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Does Changing Newborn Bath Procedure Alter Newborn Temperatures and Exclusive Breastfeeding?

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Purpose: This evidence-based practice project evaluated effects of changing timing/character of initial newborn baths on infant temperatures and breastfeeding status.

Background: The hospital protocol for initial bathing procedures was updated: immersion baths; 12 hours postpartum; family included.

Methods: Staff nurse champions provided staff training. The evaluation included three seven-week periods (2016–2017) and three measures: adherence, temperature stabilization, and exclusive breastfeeding.

Results: Of 1,205 38-week healthy newborns, 322 were born preimplementation (Pre), 486 after (Post), and 397 during maintenance (M). Adherence to bath timing increased and was maintained: 28 percent Pre; 83 percent Post; 85 percent M. Almost 100 percent of newborns had stable temperatures. Breastfeeding exclusivity rates did not change (ps greater than or equal to .05): baths less than 12 hours: 79 percent Pre, 74 percent Post, and 68 percent M; baths 12 hours: 68 percent Pre, 71 percent Post, and 73 percent M.

Implications: Changing bath time/character for healthy newborns maintained thermoregulation and exclusive breastfeeding rates. Nurses changed practice quickly, maintaining adherence over time.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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