In order to be able to optimize the clinical practice of phototherapy, the effect of phototherapy on the contact between mother and child was investigated. 88 mothers were interviewed and asked questions related to the hospital conditions after delivery and the development of contact between mother and child. About 10% of the children had received phototherapy, while 34% had variable degrees of hyperbilirubinemia the first week after birth. In this limited study, few significant effects on factors as the duration and frequency of breast feeding were found. Apparently there is a tendency of lower score on the latter in groups reporting a feeling of unwanted separation after birth. Phototherapy leads in some cases to a feeling of less than optimal contact between mother and child. 6 refs., 6 tabs.