Angie feels “overwhelmed but hopeful” about beginning the Baby-Friendly journey. The first change KDMC is addressing is skin-to-skin after birth, with which they have had initial “excellent results.” Skin-to-skin following vaginal delivery is now going smoothly and they are working on skin-to-skin following cesarean section.
Angie shared 2 moving stories about skin-to-skin at KDMC. In the first story, a mother expecting her 5th child and who had lost 1 child due to hypertension, was admitted at 34 weeks. She delivered a “beautiful 34-week-old baby” by cesarean section and was able to successfully experience skin-to-skin. After about 15 minutes, the baby “latched on like a champ [and] breastfed for 45 minutes.” In the second story, a baby delivered by cesarean section was not able to go skin-to-skin with the mother because they needed to use general anesthesia. The father was waiting outside the room, worried for his partner and baby. They told him they were going to place the baby skin-to-skin on his chest below his T-shirt, and he looked at them “as if they were crazy.” Once the baby was on him, though, his worried and suspicious looks turned to laughter. There was an immediate bond between him and his baby and he felt part of the experience.
Angie is grateful to KDMC CEO Alvin Hoover, CFO Randy Pirtle, Chief Nursing Officer Cheri Walker, Lactation Counselor Lou Ann Wall, and Charge Nurse Lisa Spring for leading the Baby-Friendly charge with her, and to CHAMPS for all their help.