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How Does Skin-To-Skin Contact Help Mother & Child's Bond?

A mother-infant bond is one of the purest and most beautiful relationships in the world. No wonder, we would want to create a strong bond and there are several tested and proven ways to do that. The power of skin-to-skin contact in fostering mother-child bonding is one of them. This is a good way for promoting attachment and emotional bonding through skin-to-skin contact. 

Today, we will look at the ways for promoting attachment and the benefits of skin-to-skin contact. So let’s begin, shall we?

Science Behind Skin-To-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo care or kangaroo mother care, refers to the practice of placing a newborn baby on the bare chest of a parent or caregiver. There are several benefits of skin-to-skin contact for both the baby and the person providing the care. The science behind skin-to-skin contact involves several physiological and psychological mechanisms. 

Skin-to-skin contact provides a nurturing environment that promotes physical and emotional well-being for both the baby and the caregiver. It supports various physiological processes and strengthens the parent-child relationship, contributing to the overall health and development of the baby.

Benefits For Baby & Mother

Skin-to-skin contact provides a multitude of benefits for both the baby and the mother. Here are some of the key aspects explaining the importance of skin-to-skin contact.

Benefits for the Baby

Let’s first talk about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact for babies: 

  1. Regulation of body temperature:

    Skin-to-skin contact helps newborn babies regulate their body temperature, as the parent's body provides warmth and helps prevent hypothermia.

  2. Stabilisation of vital signs:

    Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to help stabilise the baby's heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. It promotes physiological stability and can reduce the risk of complications.

  3. Improved breastfeeding:

    Skin-to-skin contact promotes successful breastfeeding. The proximity to the mother's breast stimulates the baby's natural feeding instincts, enhances the baby's ability to latch onto the breast, and supports the establishment of breastfeeding.

  4. Enhanced bonding and attachment:

    The physical closeness and contact during skin-to-skin care facilitate the bonding process between the baby and the parent. It helps build a strong emotional connection and fosters a sense of security and trust.
  5. Reduced stress and crying:

    Skin-to-skin contact has a calming effect on the baby, reducing stress levels and soothing crying. The release of oxytocin during skin-to-skin care promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being.
  6. Improved sleep patterns:

    Babies who experience skin-to-skin contact often have improved sleep patterns. The contact with the parent's body and the familiar heartbeat can help regulate the baby's sleep-wake cycles.

Benefits for the Mother

Now let’s see the importance of skin-to-skin contact for mothers: 

  1. Breastfeeding success

    Skin-to-skin contact supports breastfeeding initiation and success. It helps stimulate the mother's milk production, triggers the baby's feeding reflexes, and facilitates a strong breastfeeding relationship.

  2. Bonding and maternal-infant attachment: 

    Skin-to-skin contact promotes maternal-infant bonding by releasing oxytocin in the mother's body. This hormone enhances feelings of love, attachment, and nurturing.

  3. Reduced postpartum depression:

    Skin-to-skin contact has been associated with lower rates of postpartum depression in mothers. The physical closeness and release of hormones can improve the mother's mood and reduce anxiety.

  4. Increased confidence in caregiving:

    Skin-to-skin care helps mothers develop confidence in caring for their newborns. Close contact provides a deeper understanding of the baby's cues and signals, enhancing maternal caregiving skills.

  5. Regulation of maternal hormones:

    Skin-to-skin contact can help regulate the mother's hormonal balance, including reducing stress hormones such as cortisol and promoting the release of oxytocin, which aids in uterine involution and promotes healing.
  6. Promotes relaxation and well-being:

    Skin-to-skin contact provides a calming and soothing experience for the mother, promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being during the postpartum period.

These benefits of skin-to-skin contact highlight the importance of skin-to-skin contact for both the baby and the mother, fostering a healthy and nurturing environment that supports their physical and emotional well-being.

Creating A Skin To Skin Contact Plan

Creating a skin-to-skin contact plan can help ensure that you and your baby have regular opportunities for this beneficial practice. Here are few steps you can consider when developing your plan:

  1. Early initiation:

    Aim to initiate skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after birth, ideally within the first hour. This early contact helps with temperature regulation, bonding, and breastfeeding.
  2. Hospital policies and procedures:

    Familiarise yourself with the policies and procedures of the hospital or birthing centre where you plan to give birth. Ensure that skin-to-skin contact is supported and encouraged, even during medical procedures.
  3. Communicate your preferences:

    Discuss your desire for skin-to-skin contact with your healthcare provider, midwife, or doula. Let them know that it is important to you and include it in your birth plan, if applicable.

  4. Partner involvement:

    If you have a partner or support person, discuss their role in skin-to-skin contact. Decide how they can participate in holding the baby skin-to-skin, particularly if you require assistance during recovery.

  5. Feeding considerations:

    Skin-to-skin contact provides an optimal environment for breastfeeding. Plan to have uninterrupted skin-to-skin time before attempting breastfeeding to allow your baby to self-latch. Discuss any concerns or difficulties with a lactation consultant, if needed.
  6. Daily skin-to-skin sessions:

    Create a schedule for daily skin-to-skin sessions with your baby. Aim for at least one session per day, ideally for 60 minutes or longer. Find a time that works best for you and your baby's routine.

  7. Clothing choices:

    Opt for loose and comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your chest and promotes skin-to-skin contact. Consider wearing a robe or a button-down shirt that can be easily opened or removed.
  8. Relaxation and environment:

    Choose a calm and quiet environment for skin-to-skin contact. Dim the lights, play soothing music, and minimise distractions to create a relaxing atmosphere for both you and your baby.
  9. Supportive positioning:

    Learn about the best positions for skin-to-skin contact. Typically, the baby is placed upright on your bare chest, with their head turned to the side. Use a blanket or a towel to cover both of you for added warmth and comfort.
  10. Incorporate skin-to-skin in everyday activities:

    Look for opportunities to incorporate skin-to-skin contact in your daily routine beyond the initial postpartum period. This can include napping together, cuddling during feeding times, or simply spending quality time skin-to-skin.

Remember, skin-to-skin contact is a personal experience, and you should adjust the plan to suit your unique circumstances and preferences. Flexibility is key, as every baby and mother has different needs. Enjoy bonding time with your baby and cherish the benefits of skin-to-skin contact for both of you.

For instance, some mothers choose to massage their babies with nourishing oil as it not only helps in establishing mother-infant bonds but also nourishes the baby. If you are looking to do the same, you can try Baby Massage Oil from Coco Soul, from the makers of Parachute Advansed. All baby products from Coco Soul are launched in its #AyurvedicBabyCare campaign and are completely natural and chemical-free. This massage oil will help to nourish the skin, muscles and body of your baby while creating a comforting and relaxing environment with its fragrance. 


We hope now you know everything about the role of skin-t0-skin contact in establishing a secure environment between mother and child. 


  1. When should I initiate skin-to-skin contact with my newborn?

    Ideally,skin-to-skin contact should be initiated as soon as possible after birth, ideally within the first hour. This early contact allows for important bonding, temperature regulation, and initiation of breastfeeding. However, if there are any medical complications or interventions, such as a caesarean section, skin-to-skin contact may be delayed but can still be implemented as soon as both the baby and the parent are stable.
  1. Can skin-to-skin contact benefit fathers or non-birthing parents?

    Absolutely! Skin-to-skin contact is beneficial for fathers and non-birthing parents as well. While the mother typically provides initial skin-to-skin contact after birth, fathers or non-birthing parents can also have their own skin-to-skin time with the baby. This practice promotes bonding, supports the parent-child relationship, and provides a nurturing and comforting environment for the baby.
  1. Is skin-to-skin contact only beneficial for newborns?

    Skin-to-skin contact is primarily associated with newborn care, but its benefits can extend beyond the newborn stage. While it is most commonly practised in the early postpartum period, skin-to-skin contact can be continued throughout infancy and even into toddlerhood. It continues to support bonding, emotional well-being and can be a soothing practice during times of stress or discomfort for the child. The benefits of skin-to-skin contact can be enjoyed at any age, as long as both the child and the caregiver are comfortable with it.


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