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What is "skin to skin"?

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

This is when your baby is undressed and placed onto your chest or belly. Skin to skin is a great way to soothe your baby. It also helps release hormones to make milk, keeps baby warm, and promotes instincts for breastfeeding.

a baby sleeping on her mom's chest part area

How are natural instincts helpful with breastfeeding?

Instincts and reflexes help your baby breastfeed. When babies are skin to skin on their bellies, they can use the crawl reflex to move towards the breast. They move their head up and down and side to side to line up with the nipple, open their mouth wide, and latch on.

They also use the rooting reflex (turning their head with mouth opened wide towards what is touching their cheek) and the sucking reflex (begin sucking when the roof of their mouth is touched).

If your baby is struggling with breastfeeding in any way, these natural instincts/reflexes and skin to skin can help. Snuggle with your baby on your chest skin to skin to encourage instincts.

As with most breastfeeding concerns, it can be helpful to speak with a Lactation Consultant. Our Wellspring Lactation consultants are here to help, offering virtual and in-home consults to address any of your questions and concerns.

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