Why Hold Your Baby Skin-to-Skin
Skin to Skin is the Best Place for Babies to Transition to life
- Increased rate of successful breastfeeding
- Reduce maternal stress and postpartum depression
- Promotes parent-infant bonding
- Increased milk production
- Decreased pain and faster expulsion of placenta
- Increased confidence in infants care
- Improves brain functioning
- Decreased number of infections
- Latch on and feed better
- Are happier, calmer, less stressed
- Infants rarely cry
- Improves heart rate, respiratory and gastrointestinal function
- Help to regulate temperature and blood sugar
What is Skin-to-Skin Contact (aka Kangaroo Care)?
Skin-to-Skin Contact is a way of holding a preterm or full term infant so that there is skin-to-skin contact between the infant and the person holding it.
The baby is held against the parent’s bare chest wearing only a diaper.
Skin-to-Skin Contact for preterm infants is typically practiced as much as possible each day over an extended period of time in early infancy.
With babies who are medically stable, there is no maximum duration for Skin-to-Skin Contact; some parents may keep their babies in-arms for many hours per day.
Researchers have found that the close physical contact with the parent can help to stabilize the preterm infant’s heartbeat, temperature, and breathing.
Preterm infants often have difficulty coordinating their breathing and heart rate. Researchers also have found that mothers who use Skin-to-Skin Contact often have more success with breastfeeding and improve their milk supply.
Further, researchers have found that preterm infants who experience Skin-to-Skin Contact have longer periods of sleep, gain more weight, decrease their crying, have longer periods of alertness, and earlier hospital discharge.
Skin-to-Skin Contact is a method used to restore the unique mother-infant bond following the sudden separation during the birth experience particularly in premature births.
It consists of skin-to-skin contact, exclusive breastfeeding, and support for the mother-infant pair (Kirsten, Bergman, & Hann, 2001).
How to receive the benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact
- Have the mother provide continuous KC until discharge. Mother and infant should remain in KC as much as possible throughout the postpartum stay for improved interactions, development, and breastfeeding (Kent et al., 2012;Vasquez & Berg, 2012).
- Continue KC as much as possible throughout the first three months of life (Chalmers, O’Brien, & Boscoe, 2009)
- Use KC as a FIRST intervention for breastfeeding problems (Vazquez & Berg, 2012).
- Remember, Kangaroo Care is the newborn’s playground (Winberg, 2005).
- Kangaroo Care’s continual use throughout the mother’s day can be accomplished using a tube top, slings, or wraps to position the infant near the breast while maintaining maternal modesty as the mother conducts routine postpartal activities.
(Excerpts from below article)
A Comprehensive Evidence-Based Review of Skin-to-Skin (Kangaroo) Care with Full term Infants
Susan M. Ludington-Hoe, R.N., CNM, Ph.D., FAAN
Barbara Morrison, R.N., CNM, FNP, Ph.D.
View the videos on our website — “Instructional video for Second Skin Swaddle”
“Kangaroo Mother Care for Your Newborn”
- Mother or provider of SSC is in reclining position, not flat
- Baby’s back is covered and hair is dry
- Baby is well flexed on provider’s chest
- Baby should be kept upright between breasts with head turned and flat against chest. Mom and baby are to be chest to chest with both shoulders of baby on Mom’s chest, not on breast
- Faces should always be kissable and visible with mouth and nose uncovered
- Baby’s neck should be straight with his/her body, never extended, flexed or bent
*Ludington-Hoe SM, Morgan K. Infant Assessment and Reduction of Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse Risk During Skin-to-Skin Contact. Newborn & Infant Nursing Reviews (2014-Feb)
- When breastfeeding your baby, make sure his head is in a sniffing position and he is on the upper side of your breast
- Baby’s face should never be pressed against breast tissue or turned in against your body, or into the fabric of the Swaddle
If no one can watch you and your baby after feedings and when sleep is likely, put your baby on his or her back on the baby’s own firm bed.