Introduction The aims of this study were:
To determine if skin-to-skin contact in the delivery room has any effect on newborn temperature.
To evaluate whether it modifies the incidence of breastfeeding at hospital discharge and after a month.
Methods Prospective case-control study. Patients were assigned to either one of these two groups:
Immediate skin-to-skin contact (KC) (n = 137)
Traditional care (SC) (n = 137)
This study was approved by the Hospital Ethical Committee. Patients were included in the study once inform consent was accepted. Newborns <35 weeks of gestational age, babies born by caesarean section and multiple births were excluded. Axillar temperature was measured one minute, five minutes and 2 hours after birth. A breastfeeding survey was made one month after delivery.
Results No differences were found in sex, GA, or Apgar score. Newborn weight was lower in the KC group (p<0.01). Temperature difference between 5 and 1 minute after birth was 0.07±0.58°C (KC) and −0.22±0.52°C (SC) (p<0.0001); between 2 hours and 5 minutes after birth: −0.18±0.78°C (KC) and −0.11±0.71°C (SC) (p = 0.49). The percentage of patients exclusively breastfeeding at hospital discharge was 76.9% (KC) and 66.7% (SC) (p = 0.06); and one month later was 58.9% (KC) and 62.2% (SC) (p = 0.81).
Discussion Skin-to-skin contact in the delivery room offers a higher thermical stability to the term and nearly term newborns during the first minutes of life. No differences were observed in the percentage of exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge nor one month later.