Have you seen the article floating around Facebook about the couple who were charged around AU$40 for skin to skin after c/section?
I know most people were horrified that this couple got charged for this, and we could discuss the ethics at length, but a couple of things popped into my mind.
Firstly, I was thrilled that this couple got skin to skin following a caesarean section. This is still something denied to so many babies and mums.
I have written about the importance of skin to skin after any birth before, but the more I read the more I am convinced it is essential after a caesarean section. I actually don’t think ‘seeding’ is enough. I think skin to skin and early breastfeeding are what are essential, but that is a whole other blog.
Secondly, I had another “only in America” moment. However, my “only in America” moment always leads to a: “I wonder when we will be doing it here” moment.
I am all too aware that Australia is very similar to the States with our obstetric, litigation fearing, private health care driven maternity care.
(Which is why I wrote my ‘slightly” tongue in cheek blog: What is the Connection between Donald Trump and Birth in Australia?)
But I really,really hope this price tag won’t put you off demanding skin to skin contact after c-section.
Because it really is priceless.
Please read this article on just how important it is.
The Benefits are (in no particular order):
- Regulates your baby’s temperature
- Regulates your baby’s blood sugars
- Regulates your baby’s heartbeat
- Regulates your baby’s breathing
- Promotes bonding
- Reduces Postnatal Depression
- Better health gut and immunity in your baby
- Improves breastfeeding
- Less breast engorgement
- Less anxiety in mothers 3 days after birth
- less crying in babies
- Lowers risk of Post Partum Haemorrhage
And I really think we are going to find more and more benefits, particularly in improving your baby’s microbiome.
Also remember that the benefits of skin-to-skin care are so clear that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends ALL newborns receive skin-to-skin care, no matter the baby’s weight, gestational age, birth setting, or clinical condition. (WHO, 2003)
You many have a fight on your hands but research has shown it is absolutely possible to achieve skin to skin immediately after a c section, it just takes theatre staff, obstetricians, and the attending paediatricians to rethink their “routine practises”.
But it is definitely a fight worth winning.
It is something I always encourage my clients to demand if they are having a booked c-section, and something I encourage them all to put in their Birth Plan for “Incase of an Emergency C-section’.
Here is an email I got from a client who did a group Hypnobirthing Australia Course with me. Her baby stayed in the breech position and she and her partner chose to have a Caesarean , so I did a private session on how to keep Hypnobirthing for a Positive Caesarean Birth with her and her partner.
“Hi Pip. I just wanted to let you know everything went well for our cesarean and Dylan James arrived safe and well on 15/9.
Ben was an amazing support thanks to your guidance and I remained calm throughout the procedure thanks to him.
After much discussion with the medical support, we got the skin to skin we were hoping for .
Thank you so much as I know I would have been a wreck without your course.
He is absolutely gorgeous and we are so besotted with him.
I know it would have been a really stressful experience if we hadn’t done your course so thank you as we were able to be really informed in what was happening and knew what to expect which helped us remain really calm.
Even the midwives kept saying that I looked like I had done this before as I just got back to my room and started feeding straight away.
I kept him on my chest doing skin to skin until about 2am the next morning which was awesome!”