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

Authors

  • Ragnhild Maastrup,

    1. Department of Neonatology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Knowledge Centre for Breastfeeding Infants with Special Needs, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Gorm Greisen

    1. Department of Neonatology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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R Maastrup, Department of Neonatology 5023, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.
Tel: +45 3545 0833 |
Fax: +45 3545 5025 |
Email: ram@rh.regionh.dk

Abstract

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

Methods:  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.

Results:  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°C during skin-to-skin contact with the mother and decreased 0.3°C during skin-to-skin contact with the father (p = 0.011) (without post-hoc correction).

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

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