PloS one 2017 02 2312(2) e0168783 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0168783
Early bonding by skin-to-skin contact (SSC) has been demonstrated to be beneficial for mothers and newborns following vaginal delivery. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of intraoperative bonding (early SSC) after cesarean section on neonatal adaptation, maternal pain and stress response.
This prospective, randomized-controlled pilot study was performed at a single academic tertiary hospital (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Austria) between September 2013 and January 2014. Women were randomly assigned to intraoperative ("early") SCC (n = 17) versus postoperative ("late") SCC (n = 18). Main variables investigated were neonatal transition (Apgar score, arterial oxygen saturation, heart rate and temperature), maternal pain perception and both maternal and neonatal stress response by measuring the stress biomarkers salivary free cortisol and salivary alpha amylase.
There was no evidence for differences in parameters reflecting neonatal transition or stress response between the ‘Early SSC Group’ and the ‘Late SSC Group’. Maternal salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase levels as well as maternal wellbeing and pain did not differ between the groups. However, the rise of maternal salivary alpha-amylase directly after delivery was higher in the ‘Early SSC Group’ compared to the ‘Late SSC Group’ (p = 0.004).
This study did not reveal significant risks for the newborn in terms of neonatal transition when early SSC is applied in the operating room. Maternal condition and stress marker levels did not differ either, although the rise of maternal salivary alpha-amylase directly after delivery was higher in the ‘Early SSC Group’ compared to the ‘Late SSC Group’, which may indicate a stressor sign due to intensive activation of the sympathetic-adreno-medullary-system. This needs to be further evaluated in a larger prospective randomized trial.