Skin-to-Skin Contact Right After Cesarean Has Benefits for Mom, Baby

Benefits include greater uterine contractions, higher maternal plasma hemoglobin levels, less maternal pain and newborn crying

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FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Skin-to-skin contact immediately after a cesarean section has benefits for both mother and newborn, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in Nursing Open.

José Miguel Pérez-Jiménez, from Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena at the University of Sevilla in Spain, and colleagues assessed whether immediate skin-to-skin contact between a healthy newborn and mother after a cesarean section has a modulatory role on postpartum hemorrhage and uterine contraction. Analysis included 80 women randomly assigned to skin-to-skin contact or usual procedure (40 participants in each group). Clinical variables assessed included plasma hemoglobin, uterine contraction, breastfeeding, and postoperative pain. Subjective variables assessed included maternal satisfaction, comfort, comparison with previous cesarean section, and newborn crying.

The researchers found that women in the skin-to-skin contact group had greater uterine contraction after cesarean section and significantly higher maternal plasma hemoglobin levels at discharge. Furthermore, the intervention was associated with higher breastfeeding rate, satisfaction, and comfort levels, as well as less maternal pain and less crying in the newborn.

"Techniques such as the cesarean section should not preclude performing skin-to-skin contact from the operating room since, as we have seen while conducting this study, it can be done with no difficulty," the authors write. "However, an important limitation we have had is that the hospital facilities were not 100 percent prepared to perform this technique."

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