Skin-to-skin contact is great for your new baby!
Sometimes called “kangaroo care” because a mama kangaroo carries her baby snuggly in her pouch, skin-to-skin contact has been shown to calm your infant, stabilize her temperature and heartbeat, and make her happier.
Start immediately. When baby is born, place her directly on mom’s bare chest. If mom is recovering from the birth, dad’s bare chest works exactly the same way.
As much skin-to-skin contact a baby can get in the first weeks of life is best. It has been shown to reduce allergies, help with feeding and, of course, help with bonding. If baby is breast-feeding, this can happen naturally and frequently, but don’t forget about dad. It’s important for him to spend the same kind of time with baby.
Kangaroo care is also important for preemies and babies born with a few complications, like unstable blood sugar.
Don’t worry if the delivery was rough, and you can’t initiate kangaroo care immediately. Do it when it’s safe for all involved.