The Importance of Safe Skin to Skin
Every moment with your child is precious, especially the first few hours after they’re born. After birth, your baby is exposed to a whole new world outside of the womb. They immediately begin to adapt by learning how to breathe air in and out, swallow, and stabilize their temperature. Learn tips below how to safely position your baby for breastfeeding.
Keeping Your Baby Safe during Skin-to-Skin
- Baby’s face can be seen
- Head is in the ‘sniffing’ position and turned to one side, fully visible
- Head can move freely
- Nose & mouth are not covered
- Neck is straight, not bent
- Vertically aligned (spine to neck to head)
- Head at chest level, not into breast tissue
- Shoulders and chest face mom or shoulders are flat against you (chest to chest)
- Legs are flexed
- Back is covered with a blanket
- Respiration seen and heard
- Color pink
- Legs flexed in the frog position
- Avoid distractions (such as your cell phone)
Remember to always place baby in crib or with a caregiver when you are feeling sleepy. Learn more about safe breastfeeding here.
Skin to skin contact has many benefits for both baby any mom.
- Babies cry less and appear to be less stressed
- Decreases maternal anxiety and postpartum pain
- Encourages normal infant breathing and heart rate patterns
- Encourages the baby to use their own instinctual behavior to begin breastfeeding, including being more likely to latch on well
- Helps babies stabilize their blood sugars and temperatures faster
- Promotes bonding between mother and child
Hear more from mom's and safe sleep experts from CDC in the video below.