Publication Date

Spring 2015

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Danette Dutra, Chair

Second Advisor

Jennifer Holt

Third Advisor

Linda Goldman


Skin-to-Skin, Breast-Feeding, Barriers


The purpose of this doctoral project is to provide foundational data for a skin-to-skin (STS) policy at a community hospital. Two surveys were used to determine the barriers to STS. One survey was given to the nurses electronically in the maternal/child department and the second survey was given to the mothers who delivered at the same hospital during Fall2014. Following data collection, focus groups were formed. The groups consisted of volunteer nurses who reviewed the results of the surveys and developed preliminary data for a STS policy. The three identified barriers to STS by both nurse and maternal surveys were visitors in room, family wanting to hold the baby, and mother's feeling/groggy/sleepy or sick. However, the nurses ranked these three barriers higher than did the mothers, indicating a difference in perspective. Nurses did, however, rate that the highest barrier (94% agreement) to STS was that mothers were not aware that STS is important. Nevertheless, 74% of mothers stated that they were aware ofSTS. Furthermore, 96% of mothers agreed that STS had benefits. Focus group recommendations were correlated with the steps of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. It is hoped that increased understanding of barriers to implementing STS will lead to a rise in exclusive breastfeeding.


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