Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants
RHL practical aspects by Puig G, Sguassero Y
FIRST CONTACT (PRIMARY CARE) LEVEL
No firm recommendation could be drawn from the review regarding the timing and duration of skin-to-skin contact. However, the review findings suggest some benefit related to breastfeeding duration. This implies, among others, the need for skilled health-care workers to help the mothers with the skin-to-skin contact technique (i.e. uninterrupted front-to-front skin-to-skin contact with the infant properly dried, covered across the back with a prewarmed blanket and dry a cap, if necessary) and to practice rooming-in (allowing mothers and infants to remain together at all times).
REFERRAL HOSPITAL (SECONDARY CARE) LEVEL
In case of special situations, such as the mother being HIV-positiven, information about the potential benefits of early skin-to-skin contact should be provided to mothers regardless their feeding choice.
AT HOME OR IN THE COMMUNITY
Same as above. The above recommendations also apply in case of home delivery.
This document should be cited as: Puig G, Sguassero Y. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants: RHL practical aspects (last revised: 9 November 2007 The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization.