Dairy cows are typically group housed, give birth in close proximity of other cows and are moved many times in the peri-parturient period. This management poses a risk for cow welfare. However, knowledge of dairy cows’ natural behavior and preferences can improve calving management. Dairy cows also typically have their calf removed shortly after birth. The welfare benefits of cow-calf contact, and the challenges when the two has to be separated eventually, will be discussed.