The mother, a Romanian care worker, was living in the home of an elderly Italian in Val d'Orcia, near Siena, Tuscany, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.
She gave birth in the early hours of Sunday morning in secret, before sneaking out of her home to place the baby in a large rubbish bin, an act reportedly motivated by severe post-natal depression.
She was also said to be in a dire financial situation, as she was supporting a husband and two children in Romania.
The woman returned to retrieve her daughter, who had begun to turn blue from the cold, a couple of hours later, before bringing the newborn to the police, claiming she 'found' her in a box in the bin.
But after several hours of questioning she admitted to being the child's mother.
The woman has been charged with filing a false report and crime simulation. The newborn was taken to hospital in Siena, where she was treated by medics for hypothermia.
“It's a miracle,” Pierluigi Tosi, director of Siena's hospital association told Il Fatto Quotidiano.
“The binmen were scheduled to arrive. If they have come there would have been nothing we could have done.”