Long-term effect on mother-infant behaviour of extra contact during the first hour post partum. III. Follow-up at one year

Scand J Soc Med. 1984;12(2):91-103. doi: 10.1177/140349488401200205.


The present prospective study examined, one year after delivery, the possible effects of early extra contact during the first hour following delivery. An extra skin-to-skin contact and suckling contact was allowed 22 primiparous mothers and their infants (P + group). One control group of 20 primiparous mothers and their infants were given routine care immediately after birth (P group). During observation of a physical examination of the infant, 'extra contact mothers' held and touched their infants more frequently and more often talked positively to their infants than did mothers given routine care. 'Extra contact mothers' had returned to their professional employment outside the home to a lesser extent than had routine care mothers. A greater proportion of 'extra contact' infants slept in a room of their own. In the P+ group, mothers who had returned to gainful employment were also able to have their babies sleep in a room of their own--no such correspondence was found in the P group. The Gesell Developmental Schedules revealed that, in four parts out of five, infants with extra contact immediately after birth, were ahead of those in the control group. On the other hand, the Vineland Social Maturity Scale and the Cesarec Marke Personality Scheme did not reveal any major differences between the two groups. Mothers with early extra skin-to-skin contact and suckling contact breast-fed their infants on an average for 2 1/2 months longer than did routine care mothers. No other differences in feeding habits were found. The influence of extra contact was more pronounced in boy-mother than in girl-mother pairs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child Development*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant Care
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Sleep
  • Social Adjustment
  • Touch