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Benefits of Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact After Delivery

Health experts agree that skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery is best for mother and baby! Your baby should be placed directly on your chest after delivery and remain there until the first feeding is accomplished at the very minimum. This helps support a healthy transition from inside to outside of life for your baby. The more contact mom and baby have in the first few hours and days, the better for both of them! Immediate and frequent use of skin-to-skin contact will help with the following:

  • Helps prevent heat loss and maintain a normal body temperature for baby. Mom is the best warmer!
  • Baby uses less energy which helps prevent low blood sugar and keeps baby alert and engaged.
  • Brings baby's heart rate, breathing and blood pressure back to normal after the excitement of being born.
  • Baby is comforted, decreasing stress on baby and need for crying because he knows he is safe and secure with mom.
  • Mother's skin provides healthy protection from many infections that baby may come into contact with in the early days of life.
  • Increases the chances of an early start and likelihood of long-term breastfeeding success.
  • Helps slow and may reduce overall bleeding for mom after delivery while stabilizing the hormonal shift after birth.
  • Promotes early bonding and attachment between parents and baby.
  • Keep cuddling skin-to-skin after you leave the hospital — your baby will stay warm and comfortable on your chest, and the benefits of bonding, soothing and breastfeeding likely continue well after birth.
  • Dads can snuggle too — fathers and mothers who hold babies skin-to-skin help keep baby calm and cozy.