For those of you who are parents, you know how exciting it is to hold your newborn baby for the first time. But as Nancy Naeve Brown tells us, there is now evidence that shows how important that initial contact can be for the well being of your baby.
Feast your eyes on this handsome beautiful boy named Maverick Mathews Barch. This 9 pounder, on the nose, is the fourth baby born to Jill and Alan Barch of Sioux Fall but he's their first boy. Something else that is unique for Momma and Maverick, he's the first baby she's done skin to skin contact with immediately after he was born.
Avera McKennan Women's Center Registered Nurse Angie Holz says, "We place them directly on mom's chest. They are a little wet, we dry them, stimulate them to cry and cut the chord. We even give them medicine while the baby is on the chest. A lot of times they don't cry as much as they would if they were separated from mom."
Mom and baby spend 2 hours in recovery together and then she comes up to her room. She can have the nurse take the baby back to the nursery for a bath while she takes a shower and then the hope is for baby to go back to mom's bare chest.
Even though Maverick is two days old skin to skin contact is encouraged for as long as mom and even dad will do it. And it works. Listen to the difference in Maverick's mood from when Registered Nurse Angie Holz hands him over to momma and places his almost naked boy on her bare chest.
Seeing is believing just how quickly it works. Jill noticed a difference right away in the delivery room too.
Jill says, "I did actually I didn't think I would. I was like alright I'll do it and it was kinda neat. He cried which was good, you want him to cry. They did all the newborn things and then he snuggled right in and laid there by my heart. He just melted in."
Nurse Holz says the reason this calms them so much is because they can smell their mom and hear her heartbeat, it's what they are used to because it's what they've been listening to for the last 9 months.
Holz says, "It helps to stabilize the baby's temperature, it helps to stabilize the heart rate and helps promote breast feeding. They tend to latch on better, be less fussy, cry less and it helps promote bonding between mom and baby."
Lucky for this mom, the bonding doesn't end with her. Maverick has 3 big sisters (ages 4, 3 and 1) and a daddy who can't wait to love on him when he gets home. Maverick has no idea what he's in for!
This practice is now something the joint commission and the CDC are looking at and will likely be a standard of care for all moms and babies in the near future.