Skin-to-skin bonding, also called skin-to-skin contact, is when a mother or father holds a baby dressed in only a diaper to their bare chest. No matter where the birth takes place, this type of contact is particularly important during the newborn’s first hour of life. Some experts and hospitals may refer to this type of bonding as “kangaroo care,” which also includes exclusive breastfeeding and “rooming-in,” which means necessary medical tests are given without separating the newborn and mother.
At Dignity Health Family Birth Centers, our skin-to-skin bonding program encourages mom and dad to bond with their newborn immediately after birth. The program establishes a warm, welcoming environment that fosters early closeness and connection for the new family. For more information about our program for skin-to-skin bonding in Arizona, call (877) 728-5414.
Reasons for Skin-to-Skin Bonding
Skin-to-skin contact provides many benefits to both parents and babies, including:
- Reduced stress for anxious parents
- Encouraging the newborn to breastfeed, with improved success rates
- Offering the best neurological experience for the baby’s brain development
- Shortening recovery time for premature and high-risk newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit
- Developing strong emotional closeness between infant and parent
- Reduced stress for the baby after birth and less crying
- Better weight gain, sleep, hormone levels, and temperature regulation for the baby
Most everyone who participates in skin-to-skin contact will experience a positive, psychological impact. Skin-to-skin bonding is also beneficial beyond the newborn’s first hours of life. Doing so continues to develop the bond between baby and parent.
Skin-to-Skin Bonding at Dignity Health: What to Expect
Skin-to-skin bonding is recommended for the entire first hour of life. Immediately after your baby is born, it will be examined to make sure there are no clear medical concerns that require special attention. If the baby seems healthy, you will likely be offered the opportunity for skin-to-skin bonding. Your newborn will be placed unclothed onto your chest against your skin, and under a blanket. Your baby will be able to hear your heartbeat, just like he or she did within the womb. During this time, the baby may naturally attempt to breastfeed.
Dignity Health offers postnatal programs for skin-to-skin bonding in Arizona.