William Beaumont Army Medical Center performed its first ever Skin-to-Skin Contact after cesarean delivery, March 21, 2016.
The completion of the first Skin-to-Skin Contact (SSC) after cesarean delivery (C-section) opens the doors to future SSC after C-section as part of WBAMC course to seeking national accreditation as a Baby-Friendly hospital.
“This is new,” said Lt. Col. Cattleya Born, chief, Maternal Child Nursing Section. “(WBAMC) used to not let the baby go skin-to-skin, we would wrap the baby up and then let mom hold the baby for a few seconds
Although not yet common practice, the implementation of the first and successful attempt at SSC after C-section provides expecting parents an option that may benefit both mom and baby.
“It was very rewarding and actually made me feel much calmer in the Operating Room,” said Kristy Goldberg, 36 and native of Delanco, New Jersey whose delivery with son, Kaleb, was WBAMC’s first SSC after C-section. “He was comforting me and I was comforting him at the same time.”
Although Kristy Goldberg was nauseous after the C-section, she says having the immediate skin-to-skin contact and bonding helped and prevented further nausea. Goldberg, now a mother of three, said she didn’t have the opportunity to experience SSC after C-section with her oldest daughter, Maya.
In a 2010 study, the National Center for Biotechnology Information found no evidence of newborns being at risk when experiencing SSC after C-section. In addition, the study found that newborns that experienced SSC after C-section were more likely to attach and breast-feed earlier than those who didn’t. The study also stated SSC mothers expressed high levels of satisfaction with the SSC.
“I think this is a great thing we are doing,” said Born, a native of Cold Water, Michigan. “When you compare military to non-military hospitals, WBAMC’s doing the same procedures as non-military hospitals in birthing.”
Also known as Kangaroo care, SSC has been proven to have health benefits for newborns as well.
“It really does help to calm a baby down,” said Born. “Newborns hear the mother’s heartbeat and it brings them back to when they are in utero. It helps with the stabilizing vital signs.”
“It was nice for all of us to be together and the two of them being together right away, there wasn’t a delay or rush,” said Maj. Michael Goldberg, Kaleb’s father and husband to Kristy Goldberg. “They both just seemed calmer; he looked like he was doing very well from the get-go.”
Michael Goldberg, 39, gastroenterologist, WBAMC, attested to Kaleb’s progress as he latched on to breastfeeding much quicker than his siblings after their birth.
Prior to performing the actual C-section, hospital staff had performed mock C-sections to ensure medical equipment and staff would be positioned to make skin-to-skin contact possible. While the SSC after C-section isn’t common WBAMC practice, the staff is working to implement it in birthing at WBAMC.
“We have certain criteria when we can do (SSC after C-section). It can only be for scheduled routine C-sections not for urgent C-sections,” said Born. “Our surgeons will screen patients and give candidates the opportunity to choose SSC after C-section.”
“I think it be great for every mom to have the opportunity to have skin-to-skin after any birth,” said Kristy Goldberg. “It was a positive experience and important to me because I heard of the benefits from SSC for the baby.”
“I’m thrilled that they got the opportunity,” said Helen Goldberg, Kaleb’s grandmother and native of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. “Thirty-nine years ago they just took the baby away (referring to Michael Goldberg’s birth).”
Currently WBAMC is in the dissemination phase or phase three on the pathway to a Baby-Friendly Hospital accreditation.
The designation Baby-Friendly Initiative was launched by the World Health Organization in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals that offer optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother to baby bonding. Once a medical facility completes the 4-D pathway to designation, which consists of four phases, the medical facility is designated as Baby-Friendly. Currently, WBAMC is in phase three of the pathway.
As of March 14, there are two medical facilities in West Texas that are accredited as Baby-Friendly, both non-military hospitals.
Author: Marcy Sanchez – William Beaumont Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office