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Skin to Skin and Rooming-In at Winchester Medical Center

Winchester Medical Center welcomes thousands of babies into the world each year, but you won’t find these babies in rows of cribs in a nursery. That’s because WMC follows an evidence-based practice called Rooming-In, in which babies room with their mothers during their hospital stay—from the moment of birth and until they go home.

The Power Hour and Beyond: Skin-to-Skin

The first hour after a baby is born is often called the “power hour” because the baby is transitioning to the outside world and because holding a baby skin-to-skin has so many benefits for mom and baby, including:

  • Stabilizing heart and breathing rates
  • Increasing oxygen levels
  • Stabilize blood glucose levels
  • Providing warmth to the baby
  • Pain relief
  • Lowers stress in mom and baby
  • Better milk production

Being together in the first hour of life, when possible, is the best thing for both baby and mom. When babies are held skin-to-skin, important bonding hormones are released. Infant senses are activated by being held close to mom in the first hour and their sense of smell, taste, sight and hearing all come to life, just by being held skin-to-skin.

Skin to skin is crucial in helping babies transition to life outside the womb and is great for all infants and moms, not just for breastfeeding babies.


Because of the crucial link between mother and baby, we offer Rooming-In to all moms and babies so that families do not have to be separated in the first few days after birth. Rooming with your baby has many benefits:

  • Increased milk production
  • Babies who are fed often, are more content and cry less
  • Research tells us that mothers who share rooms with their babies actually get better rest when their baby is close by

It’s impossible to spoil a newborn baby by holding them often! Our staff is here to help you gain confidence as a new parent and will be happy to help and answer questions during your stay.