The biological significance of skin-to-skin contact and maternal odours


Richard H Porter, Laboratoire de Comportement, INRA - PRC, 37380 Nouzilly, France (Tel. +33 2 4742 7623, fax. +33 2 4742 7743, e-mail.


Infant-mother bodily contact is believed to be the species-typical pattern of immediate postpartum child care. Mothers and newborns engage in mutually beneficial interactions. Maternal odours stimulate breastfeeding activity and are implicated in individual recognition.

Conclusion: Skin-to-skin contact and exposure to maternal odours facilitate infants’adaptation to the early postnatal environment.