Canton-Potsdam hospital implementing best practice for mother-baby contact after caesarean
Friday, December 22, 2017 - 12:02 pm

POTSDAM – Canton-Potsdam Hospital recently had the opportunity to implement a recognized best practice of mother-baby skin to skin contact immediately following delivery via caesarean section (C-section).

This effort to recognize the “The Golden Hour” of contact between mother and baby immediately after birth is the result of inter-departmental planning over the course of the past year to develop and implement this policy in The Birthplace.

This planning was spearheaded by Janet LoMastro, RN, BSN, IBCLC, lactation specialist, and the RNs of The Birthplace at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

Long understood to be an important component of the birth process of a vaginal delivery, skin-to-skin time immediately following a Caesarian birth in the operating room was a rare occurrence. The new baby was traditionally immediately removed from the operating room, while the C-section was being completed and before the mother went to the recovery unit.

With the help of a clinical team, comprising the nursing department, obstetricians, pediatricians, anesthesiologists, as well as the staff in the operating room, skin-to-skin contact following a C-section is now the standard procedure when possible and when no complications present.

Morgan Gross, new mother of Liam, says “Being able to experience skin-to-skin with Liam immediately following delivery and while my C-section was being completed was incredibly beneficial in establishing the bond with my son. I was able to begin nursing right away, and it made the difference; we felt like a whole family,” said Morgan Gross, new mother of Liam.

“My first delivery was also by C-section, and Zachary was taken away as soon as he was delivered. It was a traumatic experience for me, and I imagine, for other new mothers,” Gross said.

“I felt like I was part of the process. I got to hold Liam as well… it just made us feel like a family,” said father Justin Gross.

“Birthplace staff are always exploring ways to give families the opportunity to experience as natural a birth as possible,” said LoMastro. “Creating an environment that allows families to be together rather than separated after a Caesarean delivery was one step in that direction. For our part it was a matter of finding that critical balance: we needed to ensure that families would have the safety they need and expect from a hospital birth while also experiencing minimal interference from medical monitoring and intervention.”

“Since adopting the practice, families have overwhelmingly expressed how skin-to-skin holding immediately after C-section delivery has enriched their birth experience,” LoMastro said.

“Skin-to-skin is being done at other facilities nationally. The story behind the story for CPH is how this community hospital is living up to its mission of providing excellence in care and putting patients and families first. The Gross family’s experience illustrates the difference skin-to-skin can make for a mother who delivers by C-section,” said Barbara Wallace, EdD, MPH, MSN, CNS, former interim director of The Birthplace.