Informed parents means healthy babies. Knowing your rights in childbirth can really make a difference.
The way in which a new baby is welcomed into the world during the first hours after birth may have short- and long-term consequences.
Who should receive it:
How to skin-to-skin:
Skin-to-skin contact between mum and baby or dad and baby should ideally start at birth, but is helpful at any time. It should ideally be continuous day and night, but even shorter periods are still helpful. For comfort a small nappy is fine, and for warmth a cap may be used.
Benefits for the baby:
helping the transition from fetal to newborn life:
Hospital protocols can be modified to support uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth for both vaginal and cesarean births.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and should not be interrupted unless the baby or mother is unstable and requires medical resuscitation.
After the birth of your baby it can be possible that in your hospital there's a protocol that consists of a list of care activities and tasks that nurses often feel they must accomplish as soon as possible to get through their work assignments. But remember:
Anything that is not necessary for the immediate well-being of the newborn and mother can, and should, be delayed until after the first breastfeeding. This includes vitamin K injection, eye prophylaxis antibiotic ointment, foot and hand printing, weighing, measurements and bathing.
It's therefore important to specify this in your birthplan, including the dad referral in case of emergency and also reminding them the skin-to-skin if they do otherwise just after the birth.
Mothers who have had a cesarean delivery often mourn the loss of a normal vaginal birth they had hoped for and are especially disappointed by not having their baby with them immediately after birth. Clever Medical developed and designed a surgical drape to facilitate immediate skin to skin contact after cesarean delivery by eliminating the main physical barrier to the standard of excellence of Immediate Skin to Skin Contact.
How to get the drape (Printable form for you physician)
Gloria Coccoli, midwifery student in Dublin, but born in love with life in the land of sun, Sicily, in 1995
Mother of a baby with wings