Impact of skin-to-skin contact on maternal comfort in patients with elective caesarean section: A pilot study

Clémence Vamour, Julien De Jonckheere, Béatrice Mestdagh, Laurent Storme, Pierre Richart, Charles Garabedian, Thameur Rakza
Journal of gynecology obstetrics and human reproduction 2019, 48 (8): 663-668

OBJECTIVE: Caesarean section is a well-known cause of difficulties in breastfeeding initiation. Mother-infant skin-to-skin contact allows to improve breastfeeding and maternal comfort but remains few practiced during caesarean section. Our objective was to evaluate maternal comfort before and after immediate skin-to-skin contact in case of elective caesarean section.

METHODS: This was a prospective, observational, monocenter study including patients with elective caesarean section. Mother-infant skin-to-skin contact was begun immediately after birth. The Analgesia Nociception Index (ANI) is a well know heart rate variability (HRV) index, currently used in anesthesia, which decreases during painful stimulation and increases with maternal comfort. The Analgesia Nociception Index was compared before and after skin-to-skin contact.

RESULTS: 53 patients were included. Skin-to-skin contact was started on average 4min (2-14, IIQ (3-5)) after birth. The median duration was 21min (4-40, IIQ (12.3-29.5)). It was interrupted in 24 patients: 9 from mother's wish, 11 for maternal reasons (drowsiness, stress, pain, maternal hypothermia, lipothymia, vertigo, nausea, cough) and 4 for the newborn (respiratory distress, low pH). The median Analgesia Nociception Index at the end of skin-to-skin contact and at the end of the intervention was statistically higher than that before skin-to-skin contact (p=0.034 and p<10-3 respectively).

CONCLUSION: Skin-to-skin contact is possible during caesarean section and allows a better maternal comfort. It should be encouraged and proposed to patients during elective caesarean section. It will be interesting to evaluate it in case of caesarean section during labor.

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