The purpose of reviewing an article on this below referenced topic was to examine the evidence regarding our PICO question of Is placing a healthy term newborn skin to skin immediately following birth versus in a radiant warmer more beneficial in stabilization and promotion wellbeing of a newborn? The power of first impression is well known. The events that immediately follow birth sets the stage for the subconscious thought process and behavior that will be present for a lifetime.
What is the first moments after birth like?
The placenta has provided protection, warmth, nutrients and oxygen as well as a continuous close bond with the mother. Therefore, skin to skin is what a newborn is familiar with. Everywhere we look at humans, mammals and nature all show us how mother and child bond- skin to skin.
Skin-to-skin care is simply placing infants in direct contact with their mothers or other caregivers with the ventral skin of the newborn facing and touching the skin of the mother. The newborn is naked or dressed only in a diaper to maximize the contact between mother and the newborn. The newborn is covered with prewarmed blankets, leaving the newborns head exposed. Skin to skin is recommended for all mothers and newborns, regardless of feeding or delivery method, immediately after birth, providing the mother is medically stable, awake, and able to respond to her newborn and to continue for at least 1 hour after birth.
Most of the articles I have read support skin to skin contact directly following the delivery of healthy term newborn. Some of the benefits that are mentioned on these articles are as follows:
Smooth transition to extra- uterine life
Newborn -Mother bonding
Promotion of antibodies
Skin to skin contact following birth on premature infants has been proven to be beneficial in the stabilization of vital signs. Although more studies need to be done on healthy terms newborns acknowledging what it has done for the premature newborns can only indicate to be positive on healthy newborns.
Evidence from studies also supports that healthy term newborn that go directly to the radiant warmer have been seen with the following complications such as:
Newborn Pulmonary distress
Maternal pain challenges
The mother child bond has been considered a sacred bond since gestation. Based on the research and the studies that I have found in this topic. I have concluded that skin to skin on a healthy full-term baby is proven to be the best for the mother and the newborn for many reasons already mentioned on the precious subheadings of this essay. However, I have noticed from my research and my past experiences that the nursing staff has hindered on implementing this topic. What exactly are the reasons well that can vary but is not limited to staff shortages and lack of education. Although, education should not be an issue or any additional cost to the facility since skin to skin is a technique already used on premature newborns for many other issue.
It would be recommended that mothers be educated on the topic and briefed on the many benefits incorporating skin to skin on healthy newborns can provide. Such information should include the benefits of an easier transition for newborn to extra-uterine life, breastfeeding, thermo-stabilization, and maternal pain reduction. Furthermore, as any other new implementation structure and policies must be put in place an order to carry through as a standard for all newborn babies and not limit only to the premature and distressed.
Moore ER, et., al. Early skin to skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews 2016, Issue 11.
Svivastava S. Gupta A.,Bhathagan A., Dutta S. Effect of very early skin to skin contact on success at breastfeeding and preventing early hypothermia in neonates. Indian Journal of Public Health 2014;58 (1):22-6
Chamberlin D. Windows to the womb revealing the conscious baby from conception to birth. Berkley. CA: North Atlanta books. 2013.
Fleming, P.J., Unexpected collapse of apparently healthy newborn infants: the benefits and potential risks of skin to skin contact. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 97-2012 DO: 10.1624/105812407X217147