The Power of Touch

By Bailey Miller
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
May 21, 2024

Skin-to-skin contact, also called kangaroo care, is the practice of holding a baby so that their skin rests against yours.

Research suggests that skin-to-skin contact should be a priority within the first few hours after birth. It can help you and your little one bond. It may also help promote chest/breastfeeding.

Research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews suggests that mothers who had skin-to-skin contact right after birth were more likely to be breastfeeding one and four months later.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, skin-to-skin contact can also promote health benefits like:

  • Stabilizing your baby’s heart rate and breathing pattern
  • Supporting healthy sleep
  • Regulating body temperature and lowering risk of hypothermia

When practicing kangaroo care, your baby will be undressed, so keep them warm with a hat, socks, and/or a blanket draped over their back.

Unable to have skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth? This is a possibility after some types of delivery or if there’s a health concern or procedure. Whatever the reason may be, there’s no need to worry that you and your baby are missing out.

Practicing kangaroo care at any point after birth provides benefits to you and your baby. Snuggle up whenever you can!