Topic Outline
Topic Outline
Skin to Skin
Topic Outline

Skin to Skin

On-going skin-to-skin contact (SSC) with the newborn beyond the golden hour can facilitate continued optimal latching and frequent feeding1. SSC also decreases crying and stabilizes the infant’s physiological functioning and metabolism, as evidenced by blood sugars on average 10mg/dL higher than if not SSC. For optimal safety, the newborn should wear just a diaper and be placed between mom’s breasts with the legs flexed, the head slightly extended and turned to one side, and the body (not face) covered by a blanket. For the first hour or two, physical assessments and any necessary care can be done while the mom and infant are skin-to-skin.

As per the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics Statement Entitled Safe Sleep and Skin-to-Skin Care in the Neonatal Period for Healthy Term Newborns1.

“The main concerns regarding immediate postnatal SSC include sudden unexpected postnatal collapse (SUPC), which includes any condition resulting in temporary or permanent cessation of breathing or cardiorespiratory failure. Many, but not all, of these events are related to suffocation or entrapment.”

This statement suggests that because these events often occur in the first few hours of life, “it is prudent to consider staffing the delivery unit to permit continuous staff observation with frequent recording of neonatal vital signs.”

The mother and her support people should also be educated on safe positioning while SSC2,3.




  1. Feldman-Winter, L et al. Safe Sleep and Skin-to-Skin Care in the Neonatal Period for Healthy Term Newborns AAP Clinical Report   PEDIATRICS Volume 138, number 3, September 2016
  2. Bass JL, Gartley T, Lyczkowski DA, Kleinman R, et al Trends in the Incidence of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death in the Newborn: 1995-2014 J Pediatr 2018;196:104-8
  3. Ferrarello, D et al. Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse of the Newborn. Nursing for Women’s Health Volume 20, Issue 3, June-July 2016, Pages 268–275. DOI: