Posted by: babybumper | September 8, 2010

No No Burrito: Choosing Skin-to-Skin after Delivery

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.  ~Rajneesh

The first moment of birth is thrilling, and breathtaking. A new person enters the world, long awaited. The astonishment of a mom and dad at the suddenness of their baby is captivating. The first hours after birth an infant is particularly alert, as he gazes deeply into eyes and peers curiously at faces. Carefully planning these first hours of life can lead to deep satisfaction, extraordinary memories, and better health for mamas and their babies.

You must be proactive in providing the Best Start for your baby (although hospitals and caretakers are catching on!). Parenting sometimes involves fighting for what is best for your children. Tell your nurse, tell your doctor, tell your doula, tell your midwife, tell your husband:

  • I want to do skin-to-skin at least an hour after birth, or until my baby is done with his first feeding.
  • I want to delay all medicines for my baby (eye ointment, Vitamin K) as long as possible, and then I want them given while I hold my baby to my chest.
  • I want to wait to weigh the baby until he nurses.
  • Tell your family and friends: we are going to reserve the first 2 hours or so to spend as a new family together. We will call you when we are ready to share our baby with the world!

Tell your healthcare team these things in the beginning, and repeat when the baby is close to being born. Husbands and doulas are great at bringing these things up with anyone involved. Something like, “I have read about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. It is very important to me that if my baby looks like he is doing well, I get to hold him to my chest immediately after birth for an hour or so.”

If someone hands your baby to you bundled, unbundle that burrito! For the first few months of life, instead of cuddling with your baby bundled, hang out skin to skin. Place that baby on your chest, and be confident that is the best thing for your baby.

With persistent communication, and consistent action, you can enjoy the unique time of your baby’s first moments of life, your baby’s first feeding, and baby’s first cuddle time, skin-to-skin with mama. This will encourage the best health possible for both mama and baby.

As a nurse I know I will do anything that does not compromise safety if my patients are insistent enough!  Does anyone else have any experiences with challenges to skin-to-skin contact? Any other recommendations to overcoming these challenges?

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.

~Sophia Loren,Women and Beauty

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Responses

  1. Great Blog! I love reading your information!

  2. Thanks Hollyn! Let me know if you think of any Ideas to write about!


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