12:24am Wednesday 19 February 2020

New Study Tests Most Effective Way to Warm Newborns After First Bath

News Article ImageNurse researchers are trying to determine if skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother is as effective to the infant as radiant warming, following the baby’s first bath in the hospital.

Approximately two hours after delivery, newborns are given their first bath. Following the bath, standard practice of care involves placing the baby in a warming bed, which uses a heating lamp, to help the newborn regain and maintain its body temperature. Once the baby is rewarmed, it then is reunited with its mother.

This study will examine if and how quickly babies can warm up by lying on their mother’s chest after their first bath.

“We have been looking at the effectiveness of skin-to-skin contact and warming infants from the breast feeding perspective,” says Sino George, RNC, MSN, WHNP-BC, clinical nurse specialist in Emory’s Women’s Center and principal investigator of this clinical trial. “So we wanted take a closer look at skin-to-skin rewarming of a baby after its first bath to determine if a new method is as successful as the standard of care.”

The study hopes to enroll 200 participants in the skin-to-skin rewarming group (experimental group) and 200 participants in the radiant rewarming group (control group). Parents of full-term babies will decide how they want their babies to be warmed after their first bath. Researchers will closely monitor temperatures of the infants in the skin-to-skin group, checking temperatures at 30 minutes, then again at 60 minutes.

“The idea for the study came from the nurses providing the care, and they’re conducting the study in a ‘real world’ practice setting,” says Susan Shapiro, RN, PhD, associate chief nursing officer for nursing research at Emory Healthcare and assistant dean at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory. Shapiro, an advisor to this clinical trial continued, “Because of this, if we find that skin-to-skin rewarming is as safe and effective as radiant warming, we can move ahead to change the current practice, without having to change other procedures related to giving the newborn its first bath.”

This is the first clinical trial in women’s health with a nurse as the principal investigator at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

To find out more about this study, call 404-772-2939.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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