Mothers Touching Newborns: A Comparison of Rooming‐in versus Minimal Contact

Margarita Prodromidis, Tiffany Field, Robert Arendt, Lynn Singer, Regina Yando, Debra Bendell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We compared the maternal behaviors of women who had extended and early contact (rooming-in) with their infants with those who had contact only during feedings. Thirty-one young, unmarried, predominantly black, lower-socioeconomic mothers and their infants were observed in the mother's hospital room for 15 minutes after a morning feeding approximately 18 hours after delivery. A time sample unit checklist was used to record each mother's behavior, looking, talking, and touching directed toward their infants and others, as well as watching television and talking on the telephone. Analyses of variance revealed that the rooming-in mothers looked at, talked to, and touched their infants more, watched less television, and talked less on the telephone than mothers with minimal contact with their infants. These findings suggest that increased postpartum contact with infants leads not only to more interaction, but also to more touching as well as touching in more intimate places (face and head), thus highlighting the value of rooming-in arrangements for mothers and infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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