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Review

Parent–Infant Skin-to-Skin Contact and Stress Regulation: A Systematic Review of the Literature

CRIdee, Psychology Department, Università Cattolica, del Sacro Cuore, 20123 Milan, Italy
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Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094695
Received: 28 March 2021 / Revised: 20 April 2021 / Accepted: 26 April 2021 / Published: 28 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 1000 Days to Get a Good Start in a Child's Life)
Several studies have focused on neonatal maternal separation (MS) to investigate behavioural and neuroendocrine reactions to lack of contact, but only a few have focused on early separation in the first days or weeks after birth. This literature review investigates the vital importance of contact and touch by exploring how skin-to-skin contact (SSC) regulates stress in the mother–infant relationship. Various databases such as PubMed, Scopus, and ScienceDirect were searched for literature published between 2015 and 2020. From 1141 articles, 22 were declared eligible. The reviewed articles showed how SSC regulates child stress by biological indicators such as the autonomic nervous system (ANS), heart rate variability (HRV), cortisol, and oxytocin. This research concludes the importance of SSC for stress regulation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. With no research to date indicating a possible risk of neonatal COVID-19 transmission following SSC, SSC should continue to be practiced for all women, as recommended by the WHO. View Full-Text
Keywords: skin-to-skin contact; kangaroo care; stress; sympathetic nervous system; cortisol; newborn; systematic review skin-to-skin contact; kangaroo care; stress; sympathetic nervous system; cortisol; newborn; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ionio, C.; Ciuffo, G.; Landoni, M. Parent–Infant Skin-to-Skin Contact and Stress Regulation: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4695. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094695

AMA Style

Ionio C, Ciuffo G, Landoni M. Parent–Infant Skin-to-Skin Contact and Stress Regulation: A Systematic Review of the Literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(9):4695. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094695

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ionio, Chiara, Giulia Ciuffo, and Marta Landoni. 2021. "Parent–Infant Skin-to-Skin Contact and Stress Regulation: A Systematic Review of the Literature" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 9: 4695. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094695

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