Skin-to-skin means holding your baby naked against your skin.

When your baby is born, you will be encouraged to have skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible.

Skin-to-skin is really important for babies and helps them to adjust to life outside of the womb where they have been for the past 9 months or so.

Having skin-to-skin helps mothers to initiate breastfeeding and develop a close bond with your baby.

There are so many benefits to doing skin-to-skin and a really important one is regulating their temperature and calming and reducing stress (for you and baby).

Your partner can also do skin-to-skin too, which can help them to bond with your baby as well.

UNICEF recommends;

  • All mothers have skin-to-skin with their baby after they are born for as long as they wish, or at least until they have had their first feed
  • Mothers to be are supported to have their baby’s first feed whilst having skin-to-skin contact
  • If mothers are unable to have skin-to-skin straight away for various reasons they should be supported to have this as soon as they are able to

Feeding your baby can sometimes become stressful whether because baby is unsettled or other feeding issues. Going back to basics and spending time having skin-to-skin and cuddling can help relax both mum and baby, meaning feeding can become easier and less stressful.

Skin-to-skin is really beneficial even if not feeding.

For more information on the benefits of skin to skin visit UNICEF.