Having a baby is said to be one of most life changing, amazing experiences you'll ever have. But for many moms who give birth via C-Section that experience was anything but amazing. Nancy Naeve Brown went to Aberdeen to show how Avera St. Luke's implemented a new program to change that.
Caroline Homan of LaMoure, North Dakota is a new mom to her second child 2 month old Ellery Claire Narum. She delivered both her children via C-Section here at Avera St. Luke's in Aberdeen, but the delivery experience between the two was very different. When Asher was born 2 years ago, she says it left her feeling alone, because she was alone.
Caroline says, "After the baby was born they took him and wrapped him up and I saw him for about 5 seconds. My husband brought him over, it wasn't really 5 seconds but it felt like it. They held him by so I saw his little head and then they left. I was taken to recovery for 2 hours and he went upstairs to our room. It was a really lonely sad experience."
The team at the Birthplace knew they had to change that. A year ago they started the "First Touch" program for C-Section moms and their babies in conjunction with their new same day surgery wing using the private post anesthesia suites.
Avera St. Luke's OB/GYN Dr. Gregg Carlson says, "We have a dedicated area with an isolette where the mom comes into the recovery room for another half hour to 45 minutes and the baby is right there with them."
Caroline says, "With Ellery they cleaned her off and did the initial tests right beside me so even when I was on the operating table I could look over and see her and I saw her skin turn bright pink. The nurses were telling me what they were doing and they were taking care of her. I felt I was part of it instead of disconnected."
Before the new program was implemented, the mom would be in the O.R. and then go directly to recovery. She wouldn't have any significant time with her baby for at least two hours.
Caroline says, "In the recovery room they laid her on my chest and she immediately started nursing. I never got to do that with Asher."
Dr. Carlson says, "The bonding in a big deal. A really big deal because it's as if they were missing a portion of their labor experience. What everyone looks forward to is seeing their baby, touching their baby and hearing their baby cry and snuggling it. People felt they were missing something."
Avera St. Luke's doesn't want any new mom to miss out on one minute of the miracle of birth which now also includes the moms who had to withstand surgery in order to give life to that miracle.
Caroline says, "It made such a difference."