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Effects of Paternal Skin-to-Skin Contact in Newborns and Fathers After Cesarean Delivery

Huang, Xiaoli, BS; Chen, Liling, BS; Zhang, Li, BS

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: January/March 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 68–73
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000384
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The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of paternal skin-to-skin contact (SSC) on newborns and fathers after cesarean delivery. In total, 108 neonates born via elective cesarean delivery and their fathers were recruited into this study. The neonates were randomly divided into 2 groups (n = 54 each). Newborns in the treatment group received SSC from their fathers shortly after cesarean delivery, whereas those from the control group received only routine care. The neonates' physical condition, breastfeeding rate, and the paternal psychological outcomes were compared between the 2 groups. The newborns in the treatment group had a more stable heart rate and forehead temperature, less duration of crying, and started feeding behavior earlier. The duration of breastfeeding after SSC in the treatment group was longer as well, with statistical significance, than the control group (P < .05). In addition, fathers in the treatment group had lower scores of anxiety and depression and better role attainment than those in the control group, with statistical significance (P < .05). The paternal SSC after cesarean delivery was beneficial for newborns by stabilizing newborns' physical conditions and increasing the breastfeeding rate. Meanwhile, it could significantly reduce anxiety and depression of fathers and facilitate their role attainment.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Corresponding Author: Xiaoli Huang, BS, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China (

Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for Authorship.

Submitted for publication September 22, 2017; accepted for publication July 14, 2018.

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