Skin-to-skin holding in the neonatal intensive care unit influences maternal milk volume

J Perinatol. 1997 May-Jun;17(3):213-7.


Objectives: To evaluate the effect of early initiation of skin-to-skin (STS) holding on lactation, we compared 24-hour milk volumes of mothers of ventilated low birth weight infants in an STS group to mothers in a non-STS control group.

Study design: Mean 24-hour milk volumes at 2, 3, and 4 weeks after delivery of mothers participating in STS holding were compared with those of a retrospective control group from the 12-month period immediately preceding the introduction of STS holding in the neonatal intensive care unit. A repeated-measures analysis of variance adjusting for baseline volumes (1 week after delivery) was used to evaluate the difference in milk volumes between STS and control groups.

Results: Sixteen mothers initiated STS holding during the 2-month study period. Eight mothers met study criteria by initiating STS holding during the first 4 weeks after delivery. During a 2-week period the study group had a strong linear increase in milk volume in contrast to no indicative change of the control group's milk volume.

Conclusion: STS holding of low birth weight infants initiated in the early intensive care phase can result in a significant increase in maternal milk volume, thereby overcoming the frequently seen insufficient lactation experienced by these mothers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Lactation*
  • Respiration, Artificial