Skin-to-skin bonding, also called skin-to-skin contact, refers to holding a baby dressed in only a diaper to your bare chest. Both mothers and fathers can participate in skin-to-skin bonding after childbirth. This type of contact is particularly important during a newborn’s first hour of life, regardless if the delivery takes place in a hospital, birthing facility, or at home.
Some experts and hospitals call this type of bonding “kangaroo care,” an experience that includes exclusive breastfeeding and “rooming-in,” which means health care providers offer necessary medical tests without separating the mother and newborn.
Learn more about the benefits of skin-to-skin bonding in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV by finding an obstetrician near you at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican. Our hospitals are proud to be Baby-Friendly Hospitals with specialized care for newborns and their families. Register online to take a tour of our birth centers or attend one of our childbirth classes today.
Reasons for Skin-to-Skin Bonding
Skin-to-skin contact provides many benefits to both babies and parents, including:
- Development of strong emotional closeness between infant and parent
- Best neurological experience for the baby’s brain development
- Reduced stress for the baby after birth and less crying
- Reduced stress for anxious parents
- Decreased recovery time for premature and high-risk newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit
- Encourages the newborn to breastfeed, with improved success rates
- Better sleep, weight gain, temperature regulation, and hormone levels for the baby
What to Expect with Skin-to-Skin Contact
Immediately after birth, the health care team will make sure your baby is breathing, crying, and showing signs of good health. If there are any concerns, the newborn may require special attention. Otherwise, you will likely be offered the opportunity for skin-to-skin bonding. This technique is recommended for the entire first hour of life. Your newborn will be in a diaper and hat and placed on your chest, with a blanket covering his or her back. During this time, the baby might naturally attempt to breastfeed.
In addition to health benefits for the newborn, skin-to-skin contact also deepens the bond between the infant and the mother and father. Most everyone who participates in skin-to-skin contact will experience a positive psychological impact.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides many postnatal services for new families and encourages skin-to-skin bonding in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.