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Learn about the importance of skin-to-skin contact after your baby's birth and the benefits for both parents and baby.

Parents and babies have a physiological need to be together during the moments, hours, and days following birth. This time together significantly helps the birth parent and baby recover from labour and birth and helps get breastfeeding off to a great start! Being skin-to-skin means your baby is immediately placed on your bare chest lying upright after birth. A blanket can be placed over both of you for added warmth.

Did you know?

  • Skin-to-skin is recommended for all parents/caregivers and babies, regardless of feeding preference and type of birth (vaginal or c-section)
  • Uninterrupted skin-to-skin care should begin immediately after birth for at least an hour, and until after the first feeding
  • The smell of your baby's head helps with bonding and postpartum recovery

Skin-to-skin helps your baby:

  • Find the breast naturally for their first feeding
  • Adapt to life outside of the womb
  • Stay warm and calm
  • Feel safe and secure
  • Regulate their breathing, heart rate and blood sugar

Skin-to-skin helps parents:

  • Bond with their baby
  • Recover from labour and birth
  • Feel more relaxed and confident
  • Establish milk supply and flow
  • Breastfeed for a longer duration

What you can do to make skin-to-skin happen:

  • Discuss your plan with your partner, family and health care providers
  • Request that the routine newborn and maternal assessments be delayed or are completed while your baby is on your chest (this may not be possible if medical intervention is required)