Labour is a stressful time for both mother and baby. Skin-to-skin immediately reduces stress and improves breastfeeding success. It is recommended that non-emergency procedures such as weighing or providing medications wait until the completion of the first feeding.
“Place babies in uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour or until completion of the first feeding or as long as the mother wishes; encourage mothers to recognize when their babies are ready to feed, offering help as needed.” (Breastfeeding Committee for Canada, 2011)
Regulates baby’s heart rate, temperature, respirations, and blood glucose
Allows for Mom and Baby to bond (this helps with the baby blues and postpartum depression)
Encourages early breastfeeding
Promotes the release of oxytocin and prolactin in mother promotiong relaxation and milk production