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Mothers' experiences of skin-to-skin care of healthy full-term newborns--a phenomenology study.

Dalbye R, et al. Sex Reprod Healthc. 2011.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Previous reports have shown that skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth is the optimal form of care for a full-term, healthy infant and its mother. As this is rarely researched the aim of this study was to explore experiences of skin-to-skin care in healthy mothers of healthy, full-term infants in the first days after birth.

STUDY DESIGN: Using a lifeworld phenomenological approach, 20 women who had childbirth in hospital and were practising skin-to-skin care were interviewed 1-2 weeks after birth. Analysis of all interview texts was directed towards discovering qualitative meanings through a process of identifying meaning units. These were then clustered and analysed with the aim of describing themes of meaning and the essence of the phenomenon.

FINDINGS: The mothers wanted to give their newborn child the best possible care and the skin-to-skin care started a positive spiral. A mutual interaction developed which acted as a generator releasing energy to the mother who wanted to continue the practice which in terms increased mother-infant affinity. Happiness, peace and satisfaction were expressed by the newborns; also a child who was crying or troublesome exhibited a positive response to skin-to-skin care.

CONCLUSION: The study provides insight and knowledge which should guide attitudes and promote practices of this simple healthcare intervention; skin-to-skin contact care to healthy infants born at term. Healthcare professionals should support affinity between a mother and her newborn through facilitation and the provision of information about its benefits.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID

21742289 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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