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Nursing Your BEST


Skin-to-skin time is when a baby snuggles on a parents bare chest. Skin-to-skin is good for all babies, whether they are breastfed or formula fed. Skin-to-skin helps parents and baby get off to a good start with breastfeeding.

The Sacred Hour

The first hour after delivery is call the Sacred Hour. It is a special bonding time that begins when your baby is placed skin-to-skin on your chest right after birth. Your heart will calm your baby and your baby will smell your milk. You should keep doing skin-to-skin time with no interruptions until your baby finishes their first feeding. 

Baby should take no longer than 80 mintues to find your breast and begin feeding. Be patient.

Simple, but Powerful!

Safe Practices of Skin-to-Skin

When you are having skin-to-skin time, you always want to make sure baby can breathe. You don’t want baby’s neck too far forward, and baby’s mouth and nose should always be uncovered.

  • Sit or lay slightly upright, in a comfortable position. Avoid falling asleep. 
  • Turn your baby’s face to one side in a position that allows baby to breath easily.
  • Make sure you can see your baby’s nose and mouth.
  • Place a blanket over baby’s back to keep warm.

Benefits of Skin-to-Skin

Skin-to-skin has many benefits, particuarlly for babies born preterm or at low birth weight. 

  • Stabalize your baby’s heart rate.
  • Improve your baby’s breathing pattern.
  • Bond with your baby.
  • Establish breastfeeding and increases your milk supply.

Planning for Skin-to-Skin

Make skin-to-skin part of your birth plan. Choose a care provider and birth place that will support skin-to-skin time during the sacred hour.

  • If giving birth in a hospital, ask if they offer skin-to-skin after any type of delivery.
  • Let family and friends know about your plans. Tell them whenever you need privacy for skin-to-skin time, whether at birth place or at home. 
  • There’s no specific age when skin-to-skin should stop. It provides powerful benefits for the baby the entire time.