The Naked Truth
How Skin-to-Skin Works

Full chest-to-chest contact between mom (or partner, grandparent or sibling!) and baby is crucial when practicing skin-to-skin, as this is the location of the C-Afferent Nerve. When stimulated, it results in all of the physiological benefits that Skin-to-Skin offers.

The outer layer of our skin, over the front of our chest, is especially sensitive and powerful. It’s packed with nerve fibers that release hormones which eliminate stress responses in the brain and body. These extremely sensitive nerves, coined C-Afferent Nerves, respond only to pleasing human touch. When the nerves are stimulated, it sends a message of pleasure directly to the brain. In response, the brain produces oxytocin which initiates a hormonal cascade delivering the benefits of skin-to-skin contact.

How to properly position mom and baby for Skin-to-Skin contact
Demonstration of proper positioning
Step 1

Go Topless

Mom should be completely topless (not even a bra), semi-reclined, with baby wearing only diaper.

Step 2

Chest to Chest

Place baby in a vertical position directly against your bare chest, with their shoulders resting on or above your breasts. Cover with blanket to keep warm.

Step 3

Look + Listen

Baby’s head should be turned to one side with their neck straight, not flexed or extended. Make sure baby’s nose and mouth remain uncovered and you can see their face at all times.