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Tactile stimulation in the delivery room: do we practice what we preach?
  1. Tessa M A van Henten1,2,
  2. Janneke Dekker1,
  3. Arjan B te Pas1,
  4. Sanja Zivanovic2,
  5. Stuart B Hooper3,4,
  6. Charles C Roehr2
  1. 1 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  3. 3 The Ritchie Centre, The Hudson Institute for Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Tessa M A van Henten, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden 2333 ZA, The Netherlands; t.m.a.van_henten{at}

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Tactile stimulation of the newborn is a long established, possibly innate practice. As of 2005, international guidelines recommend the stimulation and support of spontaneous breathing after birth.1 Interestingly, considerable variation in tactile stimulation, particularly in preterm infants, has been observed in practice.2 To increase knowledge on the clinical application of tactile stimulation, we conducted a prospective study including preterm infants (<37 weeks gestational age) to observe timing, duration, type and location of stimulation during the first 10 min of life. The relation between tactile stimulation and the timing of the first spontaneous breath was analysed.

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  • Contributors CCR, TMAvH, SBH and ABtP conceived the concept of the study. TMAvH performed the data acquisition, input and analysis with help from SZ for the data analysis. The manuscript draft was written by TMAvH; CCR, JD, SBH and ABtP contributed to the completion of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.