Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Maureen W. Groer, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Denise Maguire, Ph.D., RN, CNL
Melissa M. Shelton, Ph.D., RN, CNE
Lance Wyble, M.D., MPH
breastfeeding, galactokinesis, oxytocin, skin to skin
This dissertation research explored mechanisms of human milk (HM) expulsion by describing the effects of skin to skin contact (SSC) on maternal basal oxytocin (OT) secretion among 20 premature mothers with hospitalized premature infants. This one-group, repeated measures design consisted of: 1) daily SSC with covariant data via self-report diary and 2) maternal salivary OT with and without SSC at 4 time points were collected over a 7 day time frame. Results indicate that mean levels of basal OT increase over time (M 234 pg/ml, SD 108 pg/ml time point 1; M 257 pg/ml, SD 125 pg/ml time point 3). Through multilevel model data analysis basal OT was found to have a meaningful amount of dependence on SSC frequency (t(16) = 6.389, p = < 0.001) and SSC duration (t(17) = 6.867, p = < 0.001) with coefficient estimates that indicate that basal OT exposed to 75-85 minutes of SSC per day are 92 pg/ml higher. These findings provide preliminary data that suggest that lactating mothers with premature infants sustain positive effects of SSC that increase basal OT secretion over time. Continued research comparing maternal cortisol and OT will determine if SSC physiologically deregulates maternal stressors that influence OT secretion and HM volume.
Scholar Commons Citation
Gordon, Jessica Marie, "Basal Salivary Oxytocin and Skin to Skin Contact among Lactating Mothers of Premature Infants" (2015). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.