All mothers and babies should have the opportunity to have skin-to-skin contact straight after birth. This will be a bonding experience for you both and it will keep your baby warm, close and calm.
It’s also a great time to start your first breastfeed because your baby will be alert and keen to feed. If you need any help, your midwife will offer support with positioning and attachment.
Skin-to-skin contact is good at any time. It will help to comfort you and your baby over the first few weeks as you get to know each other.
Lucy and Matthew
Skin-to-skin after a caesarean
If your baby is born by caesarean section, you should still be able to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby straight after the birth. Some births involve complications that mean the contact may be delayed but don’t worry if this happens – you will still be able to breastfeed your baby. Your midwife will help you have skin-to-skin contact with your baby as soon as possible. Dads can also have skin-to-skin contact if mum is unable to do so initially.
Premature and ill babies
If your baby is in a neonatal unit in hospital after the birth, you’ll probably be encouraged to try Kangaroo care. This means that when your baby is ready, you can hold your baby against your skin regularly, usually under your clothes. This skin-to-skin contact helps you to bond with your premature baby and it increases your milk supply.