Posted by: babybumper | November 1, 2010

Assertiveness for After Birth Bliss

The baby exits the birth canal. Parents are stunned and ecstatic. The baby is placed on the mother’s bare abdomen and the love is instant. The cord is cut. The next 2 hours are spent cuddling, skin-to-skin, where the baby gazes at a loving face full of smiles. The newborn hears soft coos from family he has grown accustomed to in the womb. He smells the sweets smell of mother’s milk, and initiates breastfeeding, his new favorite activity. Ahh, Baby-Bliss! The bambino will enjoy this Sensory Set up for months to come. This is the ideal situation after a child enters a big world. How can you make the most of this special time?

Big World

Communicate your wishes
Ensuring this harmonious environment may not be the standard where you give birth, nor may it be the expectation from excited family members! Where I work, many nurses are still accustomed to receiving a baby to a blanket, and keeping that baby bundled, although scientific evidence boasts the benefits of skin-to-skin contact. Imagine the inhibition of valuable stimulation when the baby is bundled! These same nurses are helpful when the parents request skin-to-skin contact. This wish will need to be communicated repetitively: during labor, immediately before birth, and any time someone wants to move the baby.

Nurse: “I would like to weigh the baby now.”
Dad: “Could we please wait an hour or two? I don’t think the weight will change that much!”

Nurse: “I would like to take the baby to the warmer to give a Vitamin K injection.”
Mom: “Could you do that while I hold the baby?”

Nurse: “Why don’t I send the baby to the nursery for her bath?”
Mom: “I am enjoying her too much to give her up! Let’s wait until she is done eating.”

Sometimes moving the baby may be medically necessary. Usually it is only convenient. As a parent, you don’t know unless you ask!

Trouble in Paradise
Plan to avoid some of the common pitfalls to creating After Birth Bliss.

Eye Ointment- An goopy antibiotic ointment is place in the eyes of almost every hospital born baby to prevent blindness from gonorrhea. This routine practice can be refused by parents (as they are always the top authority on what is best for their child), or can be delayed by 1 hour and then administered while the mom holds the baby. During the special 1st hour of life, imagine the difference of visual experience of a baby seeing through goop, compared to viewing his family with crystal clear vision! Delaying eye ointment administration presents no risk for the baby and is consistent with commonsense, but is not routinely practiced at my hospital. Simply requesting this delay (or expressing the choice to withhold it altogether after careful research) will keep cloudy vision from Baby’s Sunny Paradise.

Friends and Family

Friends & Family- What a blessed child to have a waiting room of supporters! It takes a village to raise a child! While I want to always extol the message of care the gesture of being there represents, I have seen many a baby taken out of Bliss by well-wishers!! The pressure of, “There are so many people that have waited so long to see her” can delay breastfeeding and bonding. Many friends falsely assume that as soon as the birth is over, they will be right back to the room to gawk at the tiny precious one. Although all support is appreciated, hindering the baby from eating and bonding in the first 2 hours after birth is treacherous! Instead, channel this support to a tangible form that is helpful instead of unintentionally hurtful! Explain:

“The first 2 hours of our baby’s life we are set aside for a special bonding time for our family! Why don’t you come the next day to see the little guy!”

Or even better:

“We have heard that time slips by so fast, so we are going to try to spend as much of the first few days bonding together as a family. Bring us dinner this week so we can see you and you meet our bundle of joy!”

God created a unique time contained in the 1st two hours after birth. Guard this priceless chance for bonding, and you will experience After Birth Bliss to the fullest.

What are some other pitfalls to setting aside that special time? Any tips to ensure Baby Bliss? What about when the situation is not ideal? This is what I will address next post, and I would love your input!

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