Early Skin-to-Skin Contact

NewbornUpdate on Women’s and Children’s Services: Early Skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants

Evidence from 34 randomized controlled trials involving 2177 mother-newborn dyads has demonstrated that, compared to newborns who are not kept skin to skin with mother in first hour,

Newborns who are skin to skin with their mother for the first hour after birth are:

  • two times more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at 3-6 months
  • ten times less likely to cry in the first hour
  • warmer and have increased cardiopulmonary stability, especially if born prematurely
  • less likely to be hypoglycemic

 Skin to skin care also increases maternal oxytocin and decreases maternal cortisol and has been shown to reduce maternal anxiety, time to expulsion of placenta and maternal bleeding. (Reference: Moore ER et al. Early skin to skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2012, Issue 5. Art No.: CD003519)  SRMC Women’s and Children’s Services and Onsite Neonatal Partners have partnered to encourage and support mother-newborn skin-to-skin care immediately after both vaginal and Cesarean deliveries.  

Want more information?  Contact Dr. Theresa Murray, Director of Neonatology at SRMC at 804-432-3438 or in the NICU at 540-498-4600.

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