Aims and objectives: This study aims to provide insight into key factors from a clinician's perspective that influence uninterrupted early skin-to-skin contact after vaginal and caesarean delivery of healthy full-term infants. Background: Early skin-to-skin contact of healthy full-term infants ideally begins immediately after birth and continues for the first hour or the first breastfeed as recommended by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. However, adoption of early skin-to-skin contact is low in many settings and the barriers that hinder its universal use are not well understood. Design: An exploratory qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews. Methods: Eleven clinicians were interviewed, including five registered nurses and one medical doctor from the obstetrics and gynaecology unit as well as four registered nurses and one medical doctor from the neonatal intensive care unit. Core topics that were discussed included perceptions on early skin-to-skin contact and facilitating factors and barriers to early skin-to-skin contact after vaginal and caesarean delivery. Interview sessions were recorded, transcribed and analysed using a thematic analysis approach. A coding framework was developed from which subthemes emerged. The overall themes were adopted from Lee et al.'s thematic framework to categorise factors into institutional, familial-level and implementation factors. Findings: Critical institutional factors included inadequate staffing and education of clinicians on early skin-to-skin contact. On a familial level, parental education and motivation were identified as important factors. Barriers to implementation included the absence of a clinical algorithm and unclear definitions for eligible mothers and infants. Conclusions: Various facilitating factors and barriers to early skin-to-skin contact of healthy full-term infants born via vaginal and caesarean delivery were identified. Relevance to clinical practice: Addressing these factors can help to provide a better understanding of clinician perspectives on early skin-to-skin contact and help guide its implementation as standard of care for healthy full-term infants.
- Clinician perspectives
- Early skin-to-skin contact
- Facilitating factors and barriers
- Healthy full-term infants
ASJC Scopus subject areas