h. Skin-to-skin care

Skin-to-skin care, also called kangaroo care, is a wonderful way to be close to your baby. It means putting your baby, dressed only in a diaper, on your bare chest. For moms, you put your baby between your breasts. For dads, you put your baby on your bare chest. Be sure to put a blanket over your baby’s back to keep him warm. Skin-to-skin care is great for your baby and you.

Skin-to-skin care may help your baby:
• Keep his body warm
• Keep his heart and breathing regular
• Gain weight
• Spend more time in deep sleep
• Spend more time being quiet when awake and less time crying
• Have a better chance of being able to breastfeed

Skin-to-skin care may help you:
• Make more breast milk
• Reduce your stress
• Feel close to your baby

Tell NICU staff that you want to do skin-to-skin care. Your nurse will let you know the best time to do this. Some NICUs want you to wait to do this kind of care. Other NICUs let you do skin-to-skin care right after the baby is born. You can keep doing skin-to-skin holding once you have left the NICU and are at home together.