This article illuminates the essence of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses' attitudes in skin-to-skin care (SSC) practice for preterm infants and their parents. Health care providers are in a unique position to influence the dynamic between infants and parents, and SSC affects both partners in the dyad. The design is descriptively phenomenological in terms of reflective lifeworld approach. Eighteen Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian nurses from NICUs offering varied possibilities and extents of SSC participated. NICU nurses' attitudes in SSC practice are ambivalent. The nurses consider the sensory, wellness, and mutuality experiences to be primary and vital and enact SSC as much as possible. But "as much as possible" is a broad and varied concept, and their attitudes are ambivalent in terms of not always facilitating what they consider to be the optimal caring conditions. The source of NICU nurses' ambivalent attitudes in SSC practice is a complex interplay of beliefs, norms, and evidence, which have a multidisciplinary basis. The ambivalent attitudes are, to a great extent, the result of the need to balance these multidisciplinary concerns. This needs to be acknowledged in considering SSC practice, as well as acknowledging that clinical judgments concerning optimal SSC depend on parents and infants unlimited access to each other, which NICU nurses can influence.
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