Jordan Journal of Nursing Research
Maternal Experiences of Providing Skin to Skin Contact to their Preterm Infants in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Jordan


Khulood Kayed Shattnawi; Noha M. Al-Shdayfat; Rachel A. Joseph;


Background: Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) has been known to improve the mother-infant attachment process with a variety of positive outcomes.

Objectives: This qualitative study aimed at exploring the Jordanian mothers’ experiences in proving direct SSC to their preterm infants in one Jordanian NICU after the introduction of this care approach for the first time.

Design and methods: A qualitative descriptive design using semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 10 Jordanian mothers who provided SSC to their preterm infants in a NICU.

Results: Three themes emerged from the data analysis. The first described how SSC has the power of physical closeness, in which SSC created a change from anxiety to a serenity state, and a positive ‘back to the womb’ feeling for the mothers and their infants. The second theme described how SSC enhanced motherhood by promoting the mothers’ feelings as mothers, facilitating bonding, and promoting breastfeeding. The third theme identified was the barriers to providing SSC in Jordanian NICUs.

Implications for nursing: SSC was found to have positive outcomes for both mothers and their neonates. SSC can enhance positive psychological (serenity and relaxation) and physiological (enhancing respiration of the neonates and promoting breastfeeding) outcomes. Ongoing support and counseling from the health care providers are essential to maximizing the benefits of SSC practice.


Skin to skin contact, experiences, mothers, neonates, neonatal intensive care unit