How do I do skin-to-skin?
- Hold your baby, wearing just a diaper, on your bare chest with his or her head under your chin and face turned to the side.
- Your baby's chest should be flat against your chest between your breasts.
- Cover the baby with a warm blanket, making sure the baby's face is uncovered.
Why should I do skin-to-skin?
- The best place for your newborn to be is skin-to-skin with you. It allows the baby to stay at an ideal temperature and regulate his or her breathing and heart rate using the least amount of energy, keeping calm, and comfortable.
- It is a way of bonding with and soothing your baby.
- Having your baby close to you will help you recognize the early signs of hunger. Skin-to-skin holding, also called kangaroo care, is ideal for early breastfeeding sessions and for babies who are not breastfed.
- Babies held skin-to-skin are better at calming themselves as they get older.
How can I soothe my baby?
- Offer your breast.
- Use other comforting techniques such as swaddling and skin-to-skin.
- Ask for help. Our nursing staff can teach you other comforting techniques and are happy to help.
Will a pacifier help?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using pacifiers for the first four weeks, especially if breastfeeding. This is important as babies need to feed on cue in order for mother’s milk to come in and pacifiers can interrupt this process. There are also a few infants who have a difficult time latching on a mother’s breast after they have been sucking on a pacifier. So for the early weeks, or until breastfeeding is going really well with ample milk supply, we do not recommend pacifier use. After that time there is some evidence to suggest they may reduce the risk of SIDS, but breastfeeding decreases the risks even more than pacifiers. We at Women & Infants utilize pacifiers only during painful procedures and do not distribute pacifiers to babies or their families.