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Cuddling skin-to-skin with your baby

Skin-to-skin contact

Skin-to-skin contact is when a baby is placed naked against mom or another caregiver’s bare skin. (The baby may wear a hat and diaper.)

Cuddling with your baby skin-to-skin has many benefits for both mom and baby. The benefits include:

  • keeps baby warm
  • helps regulate baby's breathing and blood glucose
  • reduces crying
  • promotes bonding
  • improves milk supply.

Skin-to-skin from birth and beyond

banding on mom

Skin-to-skin contact helps encourage a good milk supply and helps forge a bond. The identification banding can be done during skin-to-skin contact.

Skin-to-skin time reduces crying and helps promote bonding between you and your baby.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that your baby be placed skin-to-skin for at least the first hour after birth.

Routine medical care can be done while your baby cuddles with you. Some care can wait and be done at a later time.

You are encouraged to hold your baby skin-to-skin as often as possible in the hours and weeks to come. The AAP says it will continue to give your baby important physical and psychological advantages.

Your support person can hold and bond with your baby skin-to-skin too. It is a wonderful way to be a special part of your new baby’s life.

There are times when skin-to-skin cuddling may not be possible. For example, if you or your baby has health problems after birth. The nurse will help you or your support person to reunite with your baby and have skin-to-skin time as soon as possible.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Cuddling Skin-to-skin With Your Baby, ob-ahc-15187; American Association of Pediatrics

First published: 06/15/2013
Last updated: 06/15/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts