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Acta Paediatr. 2010 Aug;99(8):1145-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01806.x. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Extremely preterm infants tolerate skin-to-skin contact during the first weeks of life.

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  • 1Department of Neonatology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. ram@rh.regionh.dk



To determine if clinically stable extremely preterm infants can maintain their temperature during skin-to-skin contact and to screen for other negative effects.


Continuous measurement of 22 stable infants' physical parameters 2 h before, during, and 2 h after skin-to-skin-contact. Mean gestational age at birth was 25 weeks and 4 days, mean post-natal age was 8 days, postmenstrual age was 26 weeks and 6 days, and mean actual weight 702 g. Mean duration of skin-to-skin-contact was 98 min. 16 infants were skin-to-skin with the mother, five with the father and one with an older sister.


There were no significant differences in mean skin temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, or oxygen saturation before, during, and after skin-to-skin contact. While staying within normal range, the mean skin temperature increased 0.1 degrees C during skin-to-skin contact with the mother and decreased 0.3 degrees C during skin-to-skin contact with the father (p = 0.011) (without post-hoc correction).


Clinically stable, extremely preterm infants can keep adequate skin temperature and adequate physical stability during skin-to-skin contact with their parents.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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