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Skin to Skin

Skin to Skin


Skin to skin contact

There are so many benefits to frequent skin to skin contact with your baby. Skin to skin contact is supported and recommended by leading health organisations such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Academy of Breastfeeding medicine and the World Health Organization.

When should you do skin to skin contact?

If your baby is well after birth straight away and for as long as possible! Skin to skin contact is encouraged following delivery with research supporting the importance of this first hour providing numerous benefits to both mother and baby.

Benefits of skin to skin contact for baby:

  • Promotes attachment to breast
  • Better absorption of nutrients
  • Spends longer periods asleep or in quiet alert state
  • Improved brain development
  • Helps maintain body temperature
  • Cries less due to decreased cortisol levels
  • Stronger immune system development
  • Improves breastmilk production
  • Improves baby weight gain
  • Helps stabilize heart rate, oxygen levels and respiration


Benefits of skin to skin contact for mum:

  • More positive breastfeeding experiences
  • Improves breastmilk production
  • Reduces chances of Postpartum bleeding
  • Reduces risks of Postpartum depression
  • Helps separation and delivery of placenta after birth
  • Increases oxytocin levels and emotional bond with baby
  • Reduces risks of breast engorgement


How long should I do skin to skin contact?

As long as you want! Research suggests benefits of skin to skin for a minimum of 3 months for babies delivered full term, and 6 months for premature babies!

So, snuggle up! <3

Written by Keryn Thompson, RM & IBCLC (L-301766)


Baley, J., 2016. Skin-to-Skin Care for Term and Preterm Infants in the Neonatal ICU.

Bramson, L., Lee, J., Moore, E., Montgomery, S., Neish, C., Bahjri, K. and Melcher, C., 2010. Effect of Early Skin-to-Skin Mother—Infant Contact During the First 3 Hours Following Birth on Exclusive Breastfeeding During the Maternity Hospital Stay.

Moore, E., Bergman, N., Anderson, G. and Medley, N., 2019. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants.

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