Parent–infant skin-to-skin contact and stress regulation: A systematic review of the literature

Chiara Ionio, Giulia Ciuffo, Marta Landoni

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Several studies have focused on neonatal maternal separation (MS) to investigate be-havioural 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.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-10
Numero di pagine10
RivistaInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Cortisol
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kangaroo care
  • Kangaroo-Mother Care Method
  • Maternal Deprivation
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • New-born
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Skin-to-skin contact
  • Stress
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Systematic review


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