Publication Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Arlene Spilker

Second Advisor

Robyn Nelson

Third Advisor

Mary Anne Schultz


Despite the strong evidence supporting immediate skin to skin contact (SSC) after birth, research suggests that patients who undergo cesarean births do not have the same opportunities for SSC as patients who undergo vaginal births. There are limited studies regarding provider attitudes surrounding the practice of immediate SSC after cesarean birth. The aim of this research was to understand obstetric nurses’ perceived barriers to immediate SSC after cesarean section.

An exploratory qualitative design was used for the project. The semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted via video conferencing. Conventional content analysis methods were used to analyze the data, which yielded the primary overarching theme of “performing safe and effective skin to skin contact after cesarean birth”. The participants identified both barriers and facilitators to SSC after cesarean. It was evident from the interviews that nurses strongly believe in the benefits of SSC after cesarean and try to implement it as often as possible, but various factors prevented SSC in the OR from occurring on a regular basis. This research can be used as a starting point for refining the practice of SSC after cesarean births.


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