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Keywords:

  • Fullterm infants;
  • Kangaroo mother care;
  • Midwifery care;
  • Skin-to-skin contact;
  • Support

Abstract

Aim:  To explore factors that promote or hinder skin-to-skin contact (SSC) during the first days after birth between parents and healthy fullterm infants.

Methods:  A total of 117 postnatal mothers and 107 fathers/partners attending two childbirth settings, where Kangaroo mother care (KMC) was implemented as a standard routine of care, one in Sweden and one in Norway, were recruited consecutively and answered questionnaires two weeks postpartum.

Results:  Satisfaction with support for SSC in postnatal care and being a mother in the Swedish setting was found to promote SSC during the first day postpartum; previous knowledge about SSC increased the practice also during the 2nd and 3rd days. Receiving visitors apart from partner and siblings emerged as a hindering factor. SSC was known of and practised to a larger extent in the Swedish setting, whereas parents in the Norwegian setting received more visitors and were more satisfied with the received information and support for SSC in postnatal care.

Conclusions:  The results highlight the need for caregivers to give parents adequate support for practising SSC with their newborn healthy fullterm infants and indicate the importance of developing information routines during the antenatal period as well as in relation to the birth of the child, to effectively introduce and implement SSC.