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Qualitative synthesis
Father-infant skin-to-skin contact appears to be beneficial, however paternal experiences of this need to be explored
  1. Agneta Anderzén-Carlsson
  1. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Agneta Anderzén-Carlsson, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Karlstad University, Karlstad 651 88, Sweden; agneta.anderzen-carlsson{at}

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Commentary on: Shorey S, He HG, Morelius E, et al. Skin-to-skin contact by fathers and the impact on infant and paternal outcomes: an integrative review. Midwifery 2016;40:207–17.

Implications for practice and research

  • Fathers and infants benefit from fathers practising skin-to-skin contact. Thus, there is evidence for implementing this in practice. However, the prevailing culture, a family centred perspective, including the father’s own will, must be taken into account.

  • Further studies are warranted, including standardised protocols and paternal experiences from different settings.


Skin-to skin contact within neonatal intensive care has its origin in Columbia, due to a history of lack of incubators and mothers abandoning their fragile premature and/or sick infants. Today, skin-to-skin contact is part of ordinary care also within high-tech neonatal intensive care units. The evidence is strong that skin-to-skin care has many beneficial outcomes for infants and for mothers,1 but less is known about fathers’ experiences …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.