In this section
Note: This guideline is currently under review.
Intermittent skin-to-skin care is widely recognised as a beneficial component of holistic care provision for sick or preterm infants requiring hospital admission. The benefits for the infant include increased physiological stability, longer periods of quiet sleep, improved self-regulation development, increased breast feeding incidence and duration, decreased pain perception and reduced stress and crying. Parental benefits include enhanced parent-infant attachment with a reduction in the negative effects of having a sick or preterm infant, greater parental ability to recognise their infant’s cues, increased self-confidence, decreased parental depression and increased maternal breast milk supply.
The aim of this guideline is to provide all clinical staff with the benefits, criteria and procedure to effectively and safely promote and provide skin-to-skin care to infants and parents during admission.
Skin-to-skin care should be promoted and provided to all haemodynamically stable infants, and also offered to families of infants receiving palliative care within the NICU.
The evidence table for this guideline can be viewed
Please remember to read the
development of this nursing guideline was coordinated by Tara Doyle, Associate Nurse Unit Manager,Butterfly Ward,
and approved by the Nursing Clinical Effectiveness Committee. Updated June 2016.