Skin-to-skin (kangaroo care) to support breastfeeding

There is a significant amount of research that supports parents and babies being together skin-to-skin (i.e. baby naked, or in a nappy, placed against the mother or father’s bare chest). Particularly for new mothers, skin-to-skin is best started immediately after birth, uninterrupted, for at least an hour; or at any time during your breastfeeding relationship.

A great start for your baby

Skin-to-skin can have a really positive effect on your baby, including:

  • Baby’s skin temperature, heart rate and breathing rate are more likely to be stable and within normal range. This can also help to reduce preterm babies’ oxygen needs and conserve their energy.
  • Baby’s blood glucose levels are more likely to be stable and within normal range.
  • Baby is less likely to cry

Additional benefits for breastfed babies include:

  • Baby is more likely to attach well at the breast
  • Baby is more likely to breastfeed effectively
  • Baby is more likely to breastfeed exclusively for longer
  • Mother will share her immune system with her baby to protect her baby against bacteria

Skin-to-skin contact is beneficial for all babies, whether they are breast or formula fed. You can find out more about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact here.

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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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