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Skin to Skin

What is it?

It is recommended that baby remain on Moms chest for at least 2 hours or until the baby has completed his or her first feeding. Routine procedures such as weighing, measuring, giving of routine medications can be delayed until the baby has received the first feeding. Ask your health care provider about this.



  • Regulates your Baby’s heart beat, temperature, breathing, and blood sugar
  • Allows for Mom and Baby to get to know each other
  • Helps Mom and Baby breastfeed
  • Helps the Mom and Baby relax after delivery.
  • Helps Mom make breastmilk.
  • Helps boost baby’s immune system
  • Helps to reduce baby’s stress = less crying!


  • Place baby directly on mom’s stomach – tummy to tummy.
  • Mother can support baby as needed.
  • Baby may need time to rest and be still. It may take time before baby is interested in feeding.
  • As baby becomes more alert, the baby may begin to move his or her head towards the breast. Allow baby to do so, supporting as needed

Baby’s First Feeding

  • Watch for baby to open his or her mouth widely and let baby self attach. It may take a few attempts until baby is latched comfortably. You may feel suction, but it should not be painful when baby is latched on.
  • During the first feedings your baby is receiving COLOSTRUM. It is a thicker yellow substance. It only comes in small amounts, but it is full of energy and protection for your baby. It is all your baby needs.

Skin-to-skin at Home

  • Skin-to-skin is encouraged at home too. It’s a great way to provide comfort to your baby. It’s also great for bonding, milk production and your baby’s brain development.

What if I am separated from my baby after birth?

  • If the mother is unavailable or unwell, skin-to-skin with dad or a support person is encouraged. Once mom and baby are able, skin-to-skin should be encouraged for at least 2 hours or until the first feeding. Ask your health professional about skin-to-skin after a Cesarean Section.
Skin-to-skin is also known as Kangaroo Care. Frequent skin-to-skin is especially important for babies who are born early (premature).(pdf) Alberta Breastfeeding Committee — “Kangraroo’s Know… Do You?”


Video about Skin-to-skin

The Magical Hour
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