How Long After A C-Section Can You Hold Your Baby?

The first time you hold your baby is a moment every mom-to-be dreams about. You expect to feel an immediate connection, stare into your sweet baby's eyes, and bond right after giving birth. It's not an unreasonable expectation. After all, you're the baby's mother. But in some cases, C-sections in particular, mothers don't get that immediate moment of connection after delivery. If you're anxiously asking yourself "how long will I have to wait to hold my baby after a C-section," you're not alone, as many mothers are disappointed to find that they have to wait longer than they had hoped.

With the many benefits of skin-to-skin contact after birth and how breastfeeding as soon as possible paves the way for a healthy nursing relationship, it makes sense for all mothers to have the right to hold their baby right away, no matter the type of delivery. Traditionally, after a C-section, mothers have to wait until they're in the recovery room to hold their baby, which can take about 20 minutes or so. However, waiting even 20 minutes is hard to fathom after going through a C-section.

Even with the prevalence of C-sections in the United States, skin-to-skin time still isn't common practice. In fact, according to The Stir, the first reported use of skin-to-skin time after C-section didn't happen until 2013.


Luckily, many hospitals are taking great strides to lessen the amount of time mother have to wait to hold their babies post-op. In fact, according to Belly Belly, many hospitals are implementing "mother friendly C-sections" and using skin-to-skin C-section drapes that allow mothers to hold their babies safely and immediately.

Although it might depend on each individual case, mothers recovering from C-sections shouldn't have to wait to experience the benefits of skin to skin time. Speaking to your health care provider or OB before your C-section date about what their standard practice is for skin to skin time after birth is an important conversation to have.