Achieving skin to skin contact in theatre for healthy newborns

Pract Midwife. 2015 Jun;18(6):9-10, 12.


The evidence base is supportive of early skin to skin contact (SSC) for optimal newborn-physiological adaptation, bonding and breastfeeding, and national guidelines encourage SSC as soon as possible, regardless of mode of birth. With an ever-rising caesarean (CS) rate, implementing SSC in theatre stands to benefit an increasing number of mothers and babies. While it may be best practice, in reality there is a lot of variation from trust to trust, and many hospitals do not facilitate it, citing numerous reasons as to why it is not possible. Midwives may feel that they should focus on norma birth, but it is our role to provide holistic care and normalise birth in all settings. This article looks at current evidence and the role of the midwife around facilitating SSC in theatre with an example from practice of how change has been implemented so that mothers and babies get the best start in life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / methods
  • Cesarean Section / nursing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kangaroo-Mother Care Method*
  • Midwifery / methods*
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Object Attachment*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Practice Patterns, Nurses' / organization & administration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Touch / physiology