Date of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth King


For the past decade, skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has been the general recommendation for all births, as there is evidence that it provides many benefits for mothers and infants. Yet, research has shown that immediate skin-to-skin contact is not the standard practice after most Cesarean births. This study assessed access, incidence, and circumstances surrounding Cesarean skin-to-skin contact (CSSC) in the operating room and examined influencing maternal characteristics of age, education, race, and number of births via a survey of 2327 people. Women who experienced a Cesarean section birth in the past 10 years were recruited through Facebook groups for mothers to take an online survey. Study results found that respondents were offered and experienced CSSC during their most recent Cesarean birth much less often than they would have desired. The study found statistically significant associations with CSSC in older maternal age, having previous Cesarean birth experience, and higher levels of education. Previous vaginal birth experience and race were not statistically significant associations with CSSC based on this study’s sample. This study examined access and incidence of CSSC in order to increase awareness and advocacy so that all women having a Cesarean section birth can be given the option of experiencing CSSC.


Cesarean birth, Cesarean section, C-section, skin-to-skin, skin-to-skin contact, maternal age, maternal education, maternal race, birth experience, childbirth, birth options

Subject Categories

Development Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Maternal and Child Health | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Medicine and Health | Nursing Midwifery | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Perioperative, Operating Room and Surgical Nursing | Quality Improvement | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology and Interaction | Social Statistics


© Jessica S. Junk-Wilson

Open Access