The Relationship Between Elimination of the Newborn Bath with Skin-to-Skin Contact and Hypoglycemia

Student Author(s)

Kelsey Vander Laan

Faculty Mentor(s)

Beverly VanderWal MN, RNC-OB and Susan Dunn, Ph.D, RN

Document Type


Event Date



Newborn care immediately after birth includes numerous activities including taking weight and measurements, administration of medications, bathing and swaddling. Baby Friendly is a nationwide hospital initiative that provides ten steps for hospitals to improve breastfeeding between mother and newborn. These ten steps were the basis used in elimination of the newborn bath at one Midwestern hospital. Evidence has shown the benefits of skin to skin contact immediately after birth on breastfeeding. This quality improvement study compared outcomes of newborn bath versus newborn bath elimination and the incidence of hypoglycemia. The study took place at a large Midwestern Magnetdesignated hospital. Chart-reviews were completed and data entered into an Excel spreadsheet by the nursing student for 50 babies born in April 2014 and 50 in July 2014. Information on baths, breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, temperature, and glucose levels were gathered. Data analysis was completed using SPSS statistical software. Results showed no evidence that elimination of the newborn bath is related to improved patient outcomes. The retrospective aspect of this study provides a limitation because there were missing data and inconsistencies in charting. This study also only took place in one hospital with a small sample size, limiting the generalizability of the results. This study provided evidence-based information for nursing care on whether there are benefits, besides increased bonding, to eliminating the newborn bath. Future research is needed with larger samples in a variety of hospitals with diverse populations.

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