Document Detail

Salivary cortisol and mood and pain profiles during skin-to-skin care for an unselected group of mothers and infants in neonatal intensive care.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16263996     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: Mother-infant separation after birth is a well-known source of stress. Parents and preterm infants in neonatal intensive care are separated immediately after birth. Skin-to-skin care is 1 possible method to reduce the separation-dependent stress. The aim of the present study was to investigate how skin-to-skin care influences stress for the mother and the infant in neonatal intensive care. METHODS: Seventeen mother-infant pairs were included at their first and fourth skin-to-skin care. The infants were 25 to 33 weeks' gestational age, with birth weights ranging from 495 to 2590 g. In mothers, salivary cortisol, heart rate, mood scale, and stress measured on a visual analog scale (VAS) were analyzed. In infants, salivary cortisol and heart rate were analyzed, and because pain is one facet of stress, 2 different pain scales were used. RESULTS: In mothers, the skin-to-skin care decreased salivary cortisol (32%), heart rate (7%), and VAS (89%), whereas mood increased (6%). Before the fourth skin-to-skin care, mothers rated less stress on VAS, and salivary cortisol and heart rate improved faster. The infants' cortisol either increased or decreased. Their heart rates and pain scores decreased during skin-to-skin care. CONCLUSIONS: Our results lend additional support to the value of skin-to-skin care in neonatal intensive care. Variable stress responses in preterm infants favor the need for individualized care. The mothers' need for support seem to be more pronounced in the first skin-to-skin session as our results show a higher degree of stress as compared with later skin-to-skin care.
Evalotte Mörelius; Elvar Theodorsson; Nina Nelson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatrics     Volume:  116     ISSN:  1098-4275     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatrics     Publication Date:  2005 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-11-02     Completed Date:  2005-12-28     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376422     Medline TA:  Pediatrics     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1105-13     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Division of Pediatrics, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University Hospital, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Heart Rate
Hydrocortisone / analysis*
Incubators, Infant
Infant Care* / psychology
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / metabolism*
Intensive Care, Neonatal*
Mother-Child Relations*
Mothers / psychology*
Pain Measurement
Saliva / chemistry*
Stress, Physiological / metabolism,  prevention & control
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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