If you have a caesarean birth, either planned or emergency, ask that your baby is placed on your chest after birth. Many hospitals do this as standard practice. If you need medical care yourself and can't have your baby on your chest, they can still have skin-to-skin contact at that time with your partner.
Skin-to-skin time between mum and baby is even more important for a premature baby or baby in special care. This contact, also called ‘kangaroo mother care’, helps to keep your baby’s heart rate, breathing rate and temperature steady, much more so than in a humidicrib. Skin-to-skin contact will also help to release the breastfeeding hormones in your body. This in turn will help build up your milk supply.
Even if you and your baby weren’t able to be together immediately, you can have skin-to-skin contact at any time and it will still trigger your baby’s inborn feeding responses. Holding your baby as you prepare to feed will help you to notice their feeding cues and make it easier for them to move to your breast and attach well.
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