Bubs get very best start
MIDWIVES at Westmead Hospital are ensuring babies born by caesarean are bonding as soon as possible with their mother under a new maternity program.
Skin-to-skin contact between a mother and baby is a vital time to help the infant adapt at birth, especially to breastfeeding.
But babies delivered through a caesarean section missed out on immediate breastfeeding, until Westmead Hospital started a special program to give the infants the same start as those born normally.
Project lead, clinical midwife consultant Gwen Moody, said within five minutes of the baby being delivered, the bub was placed on the mother’s chest.
“A skin-to-skin midwife remains with the mother when she is moved to recovery, where the first breastfeed can take place,” Ms Moody said. “It is natural for a newborn to look for their mother’s breast, and skinto-skin contact promotes this instinct.”
Previously, women who underwent a caesarean were separated from their baby for up to two hours.
Westmead Hospital delivers more than 5300 babies each year. Of these, 27 per cent are through caesarean section. Ms Moody said about 1400 caesarean bubs would be able to breastfeed within the first hour.
“The first 60 minutes of life outside the womb is a special time when a baby meets his or her parents and a family is formed,’’ she said.
Skin-to-skin promotes greater respiratory, temperature, and glucose stability and significantly less crying, indicating decreased stress.
Mothers who hold newborns skinto-skin after birth have increased maternal behaviour, show more confidence in caring for their babies and breastfeed for longer durations.
Layla Morris with baby Emilia Kate and midwife Lyda Hamid at Westmead