Skin-to-skin is bare skin contact between your baby and yourself. Your baby is born knowing how to nurse and is most alert for the first two to three hours of life. We suggest that you bring your baby skin-to-skin in the birth room. It is normal for baby to simply lick or nuzzle the nipple as he or she remembers your taste and scent when you bring him or her to breast for the first time.
To start skin-to-skin, you should be wearing nothing from the waist up. Your baby should be wearing just a diaper and a light blanket to cover his or her back. If your baby is preterm, put a hat on his or her head for warmth. Fathers and partners can do skin-to-skin as well.
Skin-to-skin is a wonderful way to calm your baby and know when your baby is ready to nurse. Keep your baby skin-to skin as much as possible in the hospital and when you go home.
It will help:
- Regulate your baby's temperature
- Your baby take on the rhythm of your heartbeat and breathing
- Increase hormones to help the milk release
- Your baby know your voice and the scent of you from the day he or she is born
- Your baby know your touch as well as your partner's by the time he or she is two weeks old
- Your baby's brain growth in the first two months of life