Long-term effect on mother-infant behaviour of extra contact during the first hour post partum. V. Follow-up at three years

Scand J Soc Med. 1989;17(2):181-91. doi: 10.1177/140349488901700209.


Primiparous mothers and their infants who had had an extra 15-20 minutes skin-to-skin and suckling contact (P+) during the first hour after delivery behaved differently, had a longer duration of breast-feeding, and expressed different opinions on child rearing practices at follow-ups 36 hours, 3 and 12 months after delivery as compared with a control group (P) of primiparous mothers and their infants, who were given routine care immediately after birth. The present report is based on parts of the results of the follow-up at 3 years. Asked in retrospect more P mothers found the time together with their infants immediately after delivery to have been insufficient. More P+ children were reported to have been earlier continent during the day and also earlier stubborn than the children in the P group. The Denver Developmental Screening Test showed similar results in both groups. Catecholamine levels in the urine of extra contact mothers and their boys were found to be slightly higher than those of routine care mothers and boys. Two separate analyses of video-tapes of free play showed that mothers and children in the P+ group were smiling/laughing more often than P mothers and children. The P+ mothers were more encouraging and instructing towards their children than the P mothers. Articulated conflicts were more common in the P+ group. Regardless of the type of conflict, more conflicts in the P+ group were solved. As in earlier parts of this longitudinal study differences related to type of neonatal care were more pronounced for boy-mother than for girl-mother pairs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child Behavior
  • Child Rearing
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Object Attachment*
  • Play and Playthings
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Touch