Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Skin to Skin ~ why aren't we doing this?


I recently read this information written by Dr. Jack Newman:


< To recap, skin to skin contact immediately after birth, which lasts for at least an hour has the following positive effects on the baby:

  • Are more likely to latch on

  • Are more likely to latch on well

  • Have more stable and normal skin temperatures

  • Have more stable and normal heart rates and blood pressures

  • Have higher blood sugars

  • Are less likely to cry

  • Are more likely to breastfeed exclusively longer

    There is no reason that the vast majority of babies cannot be skin to skin with the mother immediately after birth for at least an hour. Hospital routines, such as weighing the baby, should not take precedence.


The baby should be dried off and put on the mother. Nobody should be pushing the baby to do anything; nobody should be trying to help the baby latch on during this time. The mother, of course, may make some attempts to help the baby, and this should not be discouraged. The mother and baby should just be left in peace to enjoy each other's company. (The mother and baby should not be left alone, however, especially if the mother has received medication, and it is important that not only the mother's partner, but also a nurse, midwife, doula or physician stay with them—occasionally, some babies do need medical help and someone qualified should be there "just in case"). The eyedrops and the injection of vitamin K can wait a couple of hours. By the way, immediate skin to skin contact can also be done after c├Žsarean section, even while the mother is getting stitched up, unless there are medical reasons which prevent it.>>


If we KNOW that babies do better skin-to-skin, and the studies show that babies do better skin-to-skin, then why are so many hospitals not using skin-to-skin?


Why aren't we doing this?

1 comment:

Tish S. said...

It seems this falls into "the process" of birth. Hospitals seem to have rote procedures from admittance to release and everything in between. Unfortunately, skin to skin is not currently in the "plan". While best for baby and mother, it interrupts the flow of the hospital's procedures. Can this be changed? Certainly! Education for parents to be is critical for them to create their birth plans, but also their immediate post birth plans to include skin to skin and breastfeeding.

BTW...Love your blog and your website, keep up the good work!