Skin-to-skin contact involves placing the baby wearing only a diaper, tummy down on his/her mother's bare chest immediately after birth and well into the firts month. Baby may be covered lightly with a blanket. Your partner or support person can also do skin-to-skin to know, comfort and nurture your baby.
Strengthens the mother-baby relationship;
Helps regulate the baby's body temperature, respirations and heart rate;
Promotes better breastfeeding;
Helps regulate the baby's blood sugar;
Provides pain relief to baby during painful procedures;
Encourages longer duration of breastfeeding, on average by an additional six weeks.
The benefits of skin-to-skin for bonding, soothing and breastfeeding continue well after the newborn period.
Premature babies also benefit from skin-to-skin. Sometimes this is called Kangaroo Care.