Quality statement 7: Skin-to-skin contact

Quality statement

Women have skin-to-skin contact with their babies after the birth.

Rationale

Skin-to-skin contact with babies soon after birth has been shown to promote the initiation of breastfeeding and protect against the negative effects of mother–baby separation.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that midwives and obstetricians encourage women to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies after the birth.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of women with a record of having skin-to-skin contact with their babies after the birth[1].

Numerator – The number in the denominator where there is a record of the woman having skin-to-skin contact with the baby.

Denominator – The number of babies born.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

Women's satisfaction with the support received to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies after the birth.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (for all 4 birth settings) have protocols in place for midwives and obstetricians to encourage women to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies as soon as possible after the birth.

Healthcare professionals (midwives and obstetricians) encourage women to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies as soon as possible after the birth.

Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups) specify and check that service providers have protocols in place to ensure that women are encouraged to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies as soon as possible after the birth.

What the quality statement means for women and their companions

Women are encouraged to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies as soon as possible after the birth.

Source guidance



[1] It is important that this happens as soon as possible, but timescales should be determined locally, depending on the setting and whether the baby and mother are stable.