Skin-to-Skin Contact With Your Newborn – When to Do and Benefits

4 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Skin-to-Skin Contact With Your Newborn

You might not have heard much about skin-to-skin contact with newborns. Have you? Skin-to-skin contact with your newborn helps you as a mother to soothe your baby and this, in turn, improves their mental development. Skin-to-skin contact therapy is also known as “kangaroo care” and has numerous benefits for both the mother and the newborn. This leads to the healthy weight of a child and also helps in easier breastfeeding and in developing a good bond with your newborn.

In skin-to-skin contact, the newborn is laid directly on the mother’s bare chest, and both are covered inside a warm blanket. This pampering session goes on for an hour or two until the baby needs to be fed again. Skin-to-skin contact therapy also works when your baby is feeling discomfort and needs comfort. This also helps to boost the mother’s milk supply and your baby starts feeling good and happy again. Your baby is in constant search of some warmth and protection and this kangaroo care is the most effective therapy which you should do with your newborn. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

Why is it Important to Do Skin-to-Skin Contact With Your Newborn?

More and more mothers today are realizing the importance of skin-to-skin contact or kangaroo care with their newborns. This practice is usually encouraged to provide comfort, warmth, and mental peace to the newborn.

There are many more reasons why experts recommend kangaroo care to mothers to perform with their newborns. Here are a few ways in which this process is beneficial

  • Relaxes both baby and the mother.
  • Regulates the heart rate of the baby and keeps the breathing regulated.
  • Helps the baby to adopt the lifestyle easily outside the womb.
  • Promotes healthy digestion.
  • Keeps baby’s temperature in check
  • Helps the baby to take healthy bacteria from the mother.
  • Protects the baby from unnecessary infections.
  • Supports the mother in the release of hormones which helps in healthy breastfeeding.

How Long Should You Do Skin-to-Skin Contact With Your Newborn?

mom holding a baby

If you are a working mother, you should make a habit of doing this every day whenever you return from work. Make it a practice to comfort your baby every day with the help of kangaroo care as they will feel better and connected to you. You can pick your baby up (only in a diaper) and snuggle your newborn upright on your chest. This way you both will feel the closeness and if it’s chilly outside, you should prefer having a warm blanket so that your baby doesn’t catch childishness.

Babies can benefit from skin-to-skin contact for at least six months, say some experts. However, you can even carry this therapy beyond this period if you and your baby are finding it cozy, loved, and comfortable together.

[Read : Basics Of Holding A Newborn]

Amazing Top 5 Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact With Newborn

Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact With Newborn

As we have discussed above, skin-to-skin contact keeps your baby active and entirely comfortable. This can even enhance the overall well-being of your kid and hence there are many other benefits of kangaroo care which will be discussed below:

1. Provides Warmth

The mother’s skin acts as a radiant warmer. This will help regulate the newborn’s body temperature which is crucial for proper weight gain. You just have to simply lay your baby onto your chest. Keep doing this for the next 40 to 60 minutes for better results. You can even use warm blankets to wrap you and your baby inside it in chilly weather.

2. Regulates Breathing

Babies who are in constant therapy of skin-to-skin contact with their mothers are the ones who breathe easily and normally. This therapy helps in gaining more rhythmic breaths for your little one. This is because they hear your steady breathing and try to replicate the same rhythm.

3. Comforts Your Baby

Mom is the biggest source of comfort and security for babies. Once they leave the security of the mother’s womb, they can get agitated and uncomfortable in their totally new world. Skin-to-skin contact is an excellent way to soothe a baby and make them feel comfortable. These sessions also reduce crankiness among newborns.

4. Decreases Anxieties in New Moms

New mothers are prone to facing anxiety and insecurity in the initial days of having a baby. Skin-to-skin contact with their babies will promote the release of happy hormones and help the mother relax. Mother is able to breastfeed better due to the release of necessary hormones too.

5. Transfer of Beneficial Bacteria to Newborns

Kangaroo therapy facilitates the transfer of good bacteria from the mother to the baby, thereby promoting the baby’s health

What Happens if You Don’t Do Skin-to-Skin With Your Baby?

When a mother does skin-to-skin contact with her baby, it leads to the baby’s self-regulation, stabilizes their heartbeat, and regulates the breathing patterns. When babies do not receive skin-to-skin contact with their mother, they find it difficult to cope with the daily life patterns and also cry often. This can lead to the babies being deprived of sleep which affects their brain and maturation. Hence it is very crucial to give your baby a good skin-to-skin contact session.

[Read : Breathing Problems in Babies]


1. Does Skin-to-Skin Increase Milk Supply?

Yes, skin-to-skin contact may increase milk supply in mothers. How? As it stimulates prolactin and oxytocin in them. These hormones help you to make and release breastmilk.

2. Does Skin-to-Skin Help the Baby Sleep?

Of course, yes. Skin-to-skin helps a baby stress-free which leads to better sleep. This will ensure a newborn’s deep sleep without any disruptions.

Read Also: Bonding With Your Baby – Why is it Important?

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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