Skin to Skin contact

We keep hearing about the importance of skin to skin in the first hour after birth. 

But there’s more:

  1. It stimulates the baby’s digestion and interest in feeding.
  2. Enables colonisation of the baby’s skin with the mother’s friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection.
  3. Reduces stress hormone (cortisol) levels in babies.
  4. May reduce hospital stay.
  5. It’s a fantastic way to regulate premature baby’s biological functions and help them thrive and take to breastfeeding sooner, when combined with kangaroo mother care. 
  6. It’s never too late for skin to skin. If the baby or mother is having a hard time latching, if there’s illness or following separation… skin to skin can be the ‘reset’ button to bring out newborn instincts and get you back on track more easily. 
  7. If you need to keep warm, just put a blanket over BOTH of you, while regarding baby’s safety in terms of movement and airways and a safe surface where you can cosy up together. Laid back position or biological nurturing can be a perfect combination with this very mammalian, instinctual behaviour, as well as a lovely warm shared bath. 
  8. When mum needs a break or is not available, daddy or partner can also be in skin to skin contact with similar benefits to baby. 
  9. Some parents wear their babies in a wrap while skin to skin (again, can wear a blanket or big cardigan over both of you to keep warm)!


Further reading:


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