Randomized controlled trial of early skin-to-skin contact: effects on the mother and the newborn

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Nov;99(11):1630-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01597.x.


Objective: To estimate the influence of skin-to-skin care on the thermal regulation of the infant and the rate of breastfeeding at different points of time. We also aim to establish whether skin-to-skin contact reduces maternal pain during episiotomy repair and decreases the time to expel the placenta.

Methods: A randomized control study was performed with 137 patients in each branch of the study. Differences between the study groups were analysed with the unpaired t-test, Fisher test or chi-square test as appropriate.

Results: Greater thermal stability in the skin-to-skin care group was found where an average temperature rise of 0.07°C was observed. Mothers in the skin-to-skin care group exclusively breastfed more frequently at discharge. Mean time to expel the placenta was lesser in the skin-to-skin care group.

Conclusion: This study shows that skin-to-skin care implies better thermal regulation and a better proportion of exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation*
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
  • Episiotomy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor Stage, Third / physiology
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin
  • Time Factors
  • Touch / physiology*