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Keywords:

  • Extremely low birth weight;
  • Kangaroo mother care;
  • Nursing;
  • Skin-to-skin contact;
  • Very low birth weight

Abstract

Aim:  To describe the time of first skin-to-skin contact in extremely preterm infants in a national perspective and to investigate possible factors affecting the time of first skin-to-skin contact.

Methods:  A population-based prospective descriptive study of extremely preterm infants (n = 520) in seven regional hospitals in Sweden.

Results:  Extremely preterm infants in Sweden experience first skin-to-skin contact with the parent at a median of six postnatal days (range 0–44). Low gestational age, a high score on the clinical risk index for babies, and the number of days on a ventilator tended to delay first skin-to-skin contact. A statistically significant difference was also found between regional hospitals.

Conclusion:  There is a difference in the time of first skin-to-skin contact based on the infant’s medical condition and the tradition in the neonatal intensive care unit at the regional hospital where the infant is born.