Promoting Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact between Mothers and Newborns

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2017-12
Authors
Keliʻikuli, Jennifer
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Nelson-Hurwitz, Denise
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Public Health
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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It is important to develop strong bonds between mother and child early after birth. One way this bond may be initialized is through skin-to-skin contact between mother and newborn during the first hour following birth. Benefits of instant skin-to-skin connection for newborns include enhanced biological transition following delivery, initiation of neuroprotective mechanisms, and allowing for early neurobehavioral self-regulation. For a new mother, benefits include improved recovery following delivery, the strengthening of maternal attachment to the child, and stimulation of breast milk production. This project focused on increasing awareness of benefits to mom and baby of instant skin-to-skin contact. Data were collected through a literature review and interviews of health care professionals, and were used to develop an educational pamphlet for distribution to expectant mothers. Awareness should be further promoted through distribution of materials and in-person information, particularly through pregnancy support programs, (e.g. Lamaze). Hopefully, through increased awareness, more expectant mothers will request skin-to-skin contact with their newborns following delivery to promote improved birth outcomes and long-term benefits among mothers and children.
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29 pages
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