After your baby is born, hold him against your skin as soon as possible, and for as long as you want. This will calm him and give you both the chance to rest, keep warm and get to know each other.
Babies have strong instincts to feed - they are able to see and smell the nipple and latch themselves with a little help from mum.
Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin releases oxytocin in baby and mother, which will help you feel close and connected. Bonding is a gradual process, and it can take days, weeks or months to build that special closeness.
First feed together
Watch Cameron and his mum Angela enjoying their first feed together after spending time skin to skin.
Breastfed babies cannot be overfed so you can use breastfeeding to soothe your baby and as a way of spending time together, or having a rest whenever you both want. Skin-to-skin helps to increase milk supply and gives mum and baby the time to practice feeding at home. Have a babymoon together - get a box set in, cuddle up in bed and enjoy all the baby snuggles.
Take a look at the Lullaby Trust's safer sleep advice, for peace of mind to enjoy this special time.
Dads and partners are great at giving skin-to-skin cuddles as well. It will help baby feel calm and secure, as well as strengthening the bond between them.
Love me Grow my Brain
One top tip from a local Medway mum
Lots of skin-to-skin to encourage a strong bond and great attachment.
'Meeting Baby for the first time' is a video from UNICEF Baby Friendly about the benefits of skin-to-skin in the golden hour after birth.
- How do I prepare to breastfeed?
- What can I do to get breastfeeding off to the best start?
- How to keep baby calm and help grow their brain
- What do I need to breastfeed?
- Why breastfeed?
- Common myths
- Should I harvest colostrum before my baby is born?
- How can I tell breastfeeding is going well?
- For younger parents thinking about breastfeeding