For Preemies, Skin to Skin Contact Affects Hormone Levels
[Source: Science Daily]
For premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), skin-to-skin contact with parents influences levels of hormones related to mother-infant attachment (oxytocin) and stress (cortisol) — and may increase parents’ level of engagement with their infants.
Promoting early contact and parental engagement might help to lessen the risk of neurodevelopmental delay associated with preterm birth and NICU care, according to the exploratory study by Dorothy J. Vittner, PhD, RN, CHPE, of University of Connecticut School of Nursing and colleagues. They write, “Parental touch, especially during skin-to-skin contact (SSC) has the potential to reduce adverse consequences.”
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