Natural Birth

xp: bonding in the hospital

Hospital BirthHello ladies- long time lurker here with a bonding question:I will be delivering at the hospital again, and I know they like to initially clean the baby up, swaddle and hand them back to mommy right after birth. And then about a half hour later they take the baby away to the nursery and give them more of a scrub. I have been reading the Attachment Parenting book and want to make sure I get that hour of bonding right after birth, so do I let them clean off baby and ask for her back unswaddled-- then ask for the more thorough bath to be delayed for a while? With DS I just went with the flow and didn't really have a plan after he was born. I just assumed that the hospital procedures were fine. I have no idea what to expect this time around now that I have a much cleared idea of what I want for our labor and birth (and time afterwards).   Any insight into natural birth and ensuring the right amount if time for the initial bonding in a hospital will be much appreciated!TIA! 
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Re: xp: bonding in the hospital

  • tmrchitmrchi
    500 Comments Second Anniversary
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    My hospital already had the policy of skin to skin first, but you can make it clear to your doctor/midwife that is what you'd like to happen.  I also had my husband go with the baby to the nursery for his first bath.  

    My baby had a low heart rate at the end of delivery so they ended up checking him and cleaning him up a little and doing the footprints while I got stitched up, but it was in the room and my husband was next to him the whole time.  Then they brought him over for the "breast crawl".

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  • Talk to your provider about hospital policies and ask when you go on a hospital tour.  My hospital usually does skin to skin right away, but there was meconium when my water broke, so they had to monitor DD2 a little more at first. 
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  • I bonded with LO for 1-2 hours before they did anything to her.  They put her to my chest immediately and put a blanket over both of us.  After I delivered the placenta and the OB stitched me up the nurse came in to take care of LO.  I told her that we wanted to wait till later as we wanted to try BF.  The nurse was OK with that an came back an hour later.  You have the right to wait/refuse certain procedures. If you want to bond then tell them that.
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  • Well, first of all: is that your only hospital choice? I understand if it is (one hospital does all deliveries in my city), but if it isn't it's a bad choice. Go somewhere else, where they're more up to date in their practices.

    If you must stay there, then just don't give up your baby. Talk to your doctor about what you want. Talk to your DH about what you want. And then just say "in a few minutes" when they want to do things. If baby is well, they can do the basics on your chest and there is nothing that can't wait an hour. You don't need to send your baby to the nursery at all if you'd rather keep him/her with you. You don't need to do a bath until you want to do it - waiting a few hours or longer is better for body temperature anyway.

    My hospital is more progressive and happily let me cuddle and nurse my baby as long as I wanted before they did their thing. 

  • I would not be OK with them taking the baby to the nursery at any point. The only time they took DS from me was to take his weight in the middle of the night, and I went down the hall with them, and to do a hearing test on day 2, and DH went and waited outside the room for that.

    I don't see any reason why they can't do a bath in the same room as you after an hour or so, or however long you want, of bonding. Many hospitals are like this now and I would shop around if that's an option for you if they do give you flack. 

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    DS, May 2011
    DD, April 2014

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  • The hospital I was at with DD was not the most NB friendly place, but they did allow for bonding as long as I wanted with her after she was born. Immediately after she came out they wiped her off a bit with blankets for a few seconds then put her right up on my chest. We were skin to skin for over an hour. The pediatric nurse asked a few times if she could take the baby to do measurements and I asked for more time. She was very understanding and ended up doing some of the measurements while the baby was on my chest. After about an hour I allowed her to give her a bath which was right in the same room just a few feet away. I'd planned on doing the first bath and she gave us the opportunity, but I was so tired at that point and still not steady on my feet so I let the nurse. My daughter roomed in with me as well and only went to the nursery for check-ups.

    Lilypie - (xycP) Lilypie - (MO2m)
      

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  • After they had DH announce that we had a baby girl (we were team green) they placed her on my lower belly, because we donated cord blood and they kept her there until they were done with what they needed....They then moved her to my chest, we took our first family pics, and she stayed there until the placenta was delivered.  BUT I had major tearing, and was very close to having to go to the OR for repairs.....So during that stitiching time, they took her across the room (like 8 feet away from me) and I watched them bath her, initial weight and height....I could watch it all from where I was.  I am so glad I didn't have to go to the OR it was great being able to watch all of that....  They did have to take her for hearing screaning, and a few other things, which I did not mind the next morning....Which I didn't mind, because it gave me time to get myself together.  She spent 95% of the time in the room with me.....We sent her to the nursery, when I decided to shower, and DH had to leave for a few minutes to grab some food and pack the car.  It was nice to have that option of sending her away for a few minutes....as soon as I wanted her back, she was back within a few minutes of my request. 
  • My hospital did immediate skin to skin, but I still stated our wishes in my birth plan.  Both of my babies were placed on my chest, but soon after it was determined that they had breathing problems and DD was taken to the warmer and DS to the Special Care Nursery.  But had things gone as planned my babies would have stayed with me for at least an hour for bonding and BFing.  The second time around we decided not to do a bath in the hospital at all and the staff didn't blink an eye about.
  • I would demand skin to skin immediately following birth and ZERO separation. Not even a nursery trip so you can nap. It's ridiculous separating mothers so that they can bath the baby?? You can wipe down your own baby. I would be saying a big fk no if they tried to take away my baby for even 5 minutes.
    DS Born July 25th, 2010
    BFP #2 26/03/13 - Our twins became angels 28/04/13
    DD Born at home on February 7th, 2014


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  • I am going to be really picky about that- I feel very strongly about it. We've picked an OBGYN with the same beliefs, but I'm glad to have DH on my side too. I know that he'll make sure what I want done will get done if I'm too groggy to be firm. He also knows that if I'm not well enough to hold the child immediately, that I'd like for it to be in his arms, not a strangers'. 
  • skioskio
    5000 Comments 250 Answers Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its
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    You get to decide what's done with your baby after birth barring medical issues. Tell them you want immediate skin to skin, no rubbing, and delayed bath. There's no such thing as 'hospital policy' when it comes to separating a healthy baby from its mother.

    When DD2 was born, we specified the above, plus delayed cord clamping and delayed shots/erythromycin. She came out and was plopped onto my belly. The nurse put a blanket over her and hat on, but that was it. State law required that she have her vitamin K and eye treatment done within an hour of birth; the nurse came in at the hour, gave her the stuff while she was in my arms, then left us alone. She didn't get weighed until three hours after birth and didn't get a bath until about 18 hours later.
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  • Just turn down the hard core bath. It really isn't necessary and it is better for baby to retain that white cheesy looking stuff (vernix) - it has a lot of immunological benefits. Any weighing and measuring can be done by your bedside. There is really no reason a perfectly healthy baby should leave your side while at the hospital! As far as swaddling, it is helpful to have a blanket over baby, but you do want skin to skin contact as you try to breastfeed. 

    I have had two water births using Hypnobabies and basically bring baby right to my chest after they are all the way out... start trying to nurse baby after a few minutes... with my birth in April, we didn't cut the cord for two hours, so we got the placenta into a bowl after it came out and moved to the bed. My midwife almost gave me pitocin that time, I had forgotten to get Motherswort to help stop the bleeding (I used that after child #1). Honestly, this birth should be about what you want. As long as nothing is going wrong, you should be able to call the shots. Just make sure your Dr. support that and you have cleared anything you may want to do with them. Hospital protocol is just that - it is what they have set up as "the norm." You certainly don't have to follow it!

  • I didn't know about the white stuff being good for them or the mothers wart! Thanks! :)
  • I am really surprised that it's not hospital policy to place baby directly onto your chest for immediate skin to skin. Over the past few years, there has been a big push for this and many hospitals make a big deal about the benefits of having immediate skin to skin with mom. They may have actually changed their policy since your first birth. 

    If they haven't, I would make sure they know to put baby directly onto you. Make sure your OB and nurses know. Put it into your birth plan.

    Both of my girls, we did skin to skin for about 2 hours. Everything was done at my bedside. In fact with DD2, the hospital recommended delaying the bath completely for several days. She didn't get a bath until she was almost a week old.

    Ivy: July 10  |  Stella: Dec 12

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  • We had DS1 in the hospital and refused any sort of bath. One nurse kept bringing it up the next day, telling me how great it would be for the grandparents to watch it through the window while I napped, and finally we told her to drop it. In her mind, he was covered in toxic waste because of the vernix and meconium. While the meconium part wasn't great, it is good for vernix to stay on the skin. Since we had no intention of anyone else handling him, we didn't care what she thought. He ended up having his first bath when we were home when he was 3-4 days old.

    As for immediate skin-to-skin, if all is well, I'd ask for them  to just place baby on you with cord still attached and not take him away--even across the room--until you are ready. With DS2 (out-of-the-hospital birth), that was hours which likely will not fly in a hospital, but at least 15-30 minutes seems reasonable to me.

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