Early and prolonged skin-to-skin contact (SSC) after birth between a mother and her newborn has been shown to generate beneficial effects on the mother-infant relationship and breastfeeding. Close mother-infant body contact immediately after birth positively enhances exclusive breastfeeding during the hospital stay, with a dose-response relationship. Skin-to-skin contact may ease the infant's transition to extra-uterine life and helps regulate the infant's body temperature and nursing behavior. However, reports of sudden unexpected postnatal collapse (SUPC) soon after birth, in healthy term neonates, in association with SSC, have raised concerns about the safety of this practice. Based on available evidence, we developed a surveillance protocol in the delivery room and postnatal ward of the Institute for Maternal and Child Health of Trieste (Italy). The aim of our protocol is (a) to promote safe mother and infant bonding and (b) to establish successful breastfeeding, without increasing the risk of SUPC. As there is no known effective intervention to prevent SUPC, our protocol has been conceived as a potential best practice.
- bed sharing
- skin-to-skin contact
- sudden unexpected postnatal collapse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology