Did you know the benefits of skin-to-skin can still be identified in former preterm infants after 20 years?
In the 2017 study by Charpak and colleagues, entitled Twenty-Year Follow-Up Kangaroo Mother Care Versus Traditional Care, researchers completed a follow up investigation with test subjects previously enrolled in a randomized controlled trial completed in Columbia from 1993-1996. The original study examined the short-term and mid-term benefits of skin-to-skin on survival, neurodevelopment, breastfeeding and the quality of mother-infant bonding. 441 of the original 716 participants were re-enrolled in this 2017 follow up and 264 participants, weighing <1800 grams at birth, were analyzed. Researchers determined the positive effects of skin-to-skin on IQ and home environment seen at 1 year were still present. Those infants who received skin-to-skin also showed a larger volume of the left caudate nucleus on neuroimaging. And parents who completed skin-to-skin were more protective and nurturing compared to the control subjects.
Isn’t it incredible the effects of skin-to-skin holding can be seen after 20 years?! For decades skin-to-skin had been proven in the research as very beneficial practice in the NICU with long-term benefits. However, safety and consistency of this practice is critically important! Creative Therapy Consults offers Educational DVDs which provide consistent education to both staff and families to increase the frequency and safety of skin-to-skin holding in your NICU! Find out more here!
Charpak, N., Tessier, R., Ruiz, J., Hernandez, J., Uriza, F., Villegas, J., Nadeau, L., Mercier, C., Maheu, F., Marin, J., Cortes, D., Gallego, J., Maldonado, D. (2017). Twenty-year follow-up kangaroo mother care versus traditional care. Pediatrics, 139 (1), e20162063.