Early Skin-to-Skin Contact in the Delivery Room Leads to An Increase in Exclusive Breastfeeding During the Newborn Hospital Stay

Monday, October 28, 2013
Plaza International Ballroom I-K (Hyatt Regency Orlando, formerly the Peabody)
Darshna Bhatt, D.O., MHA, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, NY and Richard J. Schanler, MD, FAAP, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York and Hofstra University School of Medicine, New Hyde Park, NY

Purpose:   The effectiveness of skin-to-skin (STS) contact between newborn and mother has been shown to have a positive correlation with breastfeeding success. Not all term newborns receive STS during the critical time post-birth.  The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of skin-to-skin between mother and the newborn immediately after delivery, and the relationship between STS and exclusive breastfeeding during the birth hospitalization. 

Hypothesis:  Early skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant in the delivery room is correlated positively with exclusive breastfeeding during the newborn hospital stay.

Methods:   Electronic medical records of consecutive admissions to the well baby nursery of healthy, singleton, late preterm or term newborn infants were reviewed if they contained documentation of STS in the delivery room (yes or no) and the following data were collected: gravidity, parity, maternal age, intention for exclusive breastfeeding, gestational age, mode of delivery, admission temperature, and glucose testing (if done) on admission to newborn nursery, number of formula feedings, birth weight, discharge weight, and duration of hospital stay in hours.  Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) was defined as receipt of no formula feedings during the hospital stay.

Results: The records of 150 newborns (birth weight 3.3 ± 0.5 kg and gestational age 39.2 ± 1.3 wk) were reviewed.  The incidence of STS was 53%.  Mothers were 32 ± 5 y and 72 % intended to breastfeed exclusively.  However, only 28% actually breastfed exclusively.  Intention to breastfeed (p<0.001) and STS (p<0.001) were significantly related to EBF, independent of maternal age, mode of delivery, parity, and gestational age.  When corrected for gestational age and delivery mode, EBF was significantly associated with STS, Odd’s ratio 3.7 (95% confidence interval 1.22; 11.38), p =0.021.

Conclusion:  Of all factors only intention to breastfeed exclusively and STS are related to EBF. Mothers are not meeting their intention to EBF.  Attention to STS in the delivery room may improve EBF rates.