Overcoming Rooming-In Barriers: A Survey on Mothers' Perspectives

Alessandra Consales, Beatrice Letizia Crippa, Jacopo Cerasani, Daniela Morniroli, Martina Damonte, Maria Enrica Bettinelli, Dario Consonni, Lorenzo Colombo, Lidia Zanotta, Elena Bezze, Patrizio Sannino, Fabio Mosca, Laura Plevani, Maria Lorella Giannì

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The importance of rooming-in in promoting breastfeeding initiation and continuation within the 10 Steps for Successful Breastfeeding is widely acknowledged. However, adherence to this practice by healthcare facilities is lower than that of other Steps. A deeper knowledge of maternal rooming-in experience has been advocated to identify the most effective rooming-in policies, thus enabling mothers to have a positive experience when practicing it in the postpartum period. Aim: To investigate maternal knowledge of rooming-in and the most frequently encountered barriers and possible facilitators of adherence to the practice, according to their experience. Study Design and Methods: We enrolled mothers who delivered healthy term or late preterm infants during the month of January 2019 in a tertiary referral center for neonatal care in Milan, Italy. At discharge, a structured interview about mothers' rooming-in experience was administered by healthcare professionals. Basic subjects' characteristics and mode of feeding were recorded. Results: The enrolled population included 328 mothers and 333 neonates. The great majority of mothers knew of rooming-in and 48.2% practiced it continuously. The 86.3% of mothers was aware of the beneficial effects of rooming-in; promotion of mother-infant bonding, increased confidence in taking care of the baby and ability to recognize baby's feeding cues were the most frequently cited, whereas improving breastfeeding was reported by a limited number of mothers, unless they were asked a specific question about it. The main reported obstacles were fatigue (40.5%) and cesarean section related difficulties (15.5%); night was the most critical time of the day for rooming-in. Strategies suggested by mothers for improving rooming-in were increased assistance to the dyad, organizational and structural changes and the possibility to have a family member during the night. Additionally, mothers who adhered to rooming-in practice continuously during hospital stay had a higher exclusive breastfeeding rate at discharge compared to mothers who did not. Conclusions: Our study contributes to a deeper knowledge of maternal rooming-in experience in an Italian tertiary maternity. We underline the importance of providing a tailored support to the mother-infant dyad in order to overcome rooming-in barriers perceived by mothers and promote a positive rooming-in experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 21 2020


  • barriers
  • breastfeeding
  • facilitators
  • maternal knowledge
  • rooming-in

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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