The Sacred Hour

Uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth

Raylene Phillips MD, IBCLC, FAAP


NAINR. 2013;13(2):67-72. 

In This Article

Skin-to-Skin Contact Provides Physiologic Stability

Being skin to skin with mother stabilizes the newborn's respiration and oxygenation, increases glucose levels (reducing hypoglycemia), warms the infant (maintaining optimal temperature), reduces stress hormones, regulates blood pressure, decreases crying and increases the quiet alert state.[3]

Thermal synchrony is a phenomenon whereby the temperature of mother's chest increases to warm a cool baby and decreases to cool an overly warm baby. While often seen with premature infants who are skin to skin in kangaroo care, this phenomenon is equally important for the newborn infant who has just exited the warmth of mother's womb into the cooler extra-uterine environment, wet and easily chilled. In a study done with babies after cesarean delivery, babies held skin to skin by their fathers had higher temperature and glucose levels compared to those of babies left alone under warmers.[4]