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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Archived User

    I am an older doula who is having a hard time trying to convince hospital staff that mothers and babies should have skin to skin immediately and uninterrupted for an hour or so after birth. Some nurses and doctors are great with this but they are in the minority. My efforts to talk about it with nurses leaves me with the emotional equivalent of having a door slammed in my face.

    I have been working on developing a handout for parents that is fast and easy to read that would convince them that the research is real. I want to convince them that they can delay learning what the baby weighs and delay calling relatives about the birth until after that first hour.  I am finding this a harder handout to develop than others I have done over the years. 

     I talk about skin to skin and the many advantages a lot with my clients ahead of time. They all seem like they want that advantage but when the time comes, a nurse often says, "Let me just take the baby for a minute to _______(fill in the blank with just about anything)."  And then the baby is handed over by the mother who is still feeling dazed by the birth. 

    Does anyone have a great handout already prepared? I would be thrilled to see it.



    Archived User

    No handout, but maybe some information from CIMS may help


    Archived User


    I have spent a lot of time on the internet looking for such a handout. It is just not out there or it is very well hidden. It seems a lot of people do not understand the facts as found by a ton of research.  The facts are:

    1. The healthy newborn should be placed immediately on its mother's abdomen. Baby can be dried and then the two of them covered over with a warm blanket of some sort. Normal weighing and measuring prevents the positive results.
    2. The infant should be placed belly to belly and skin to skin. The baby should not be taken away even for a minute to do anything unless as a lifesaving measure. The unmedicated baby will find its mothers nipple usually in about 20 minutes.( I have even seen a baby I would have thought fairly drugged find its mothers nipple and latch in under 10 minutes.)
    3. The baby should be given a chance to crawl and latch on its own. This behavior may set a precedent for a successful nursing experience in the days and even months to come.
    4. This immediate and continuous contact leads to a better control of body temperature and glucose levels in the infant. The infant will even cry less. Do babies need their mothers?  What do you think!
    5. The mothers display more affectionate behavior toward their infant which can last for at least a year and newer long term studies are beginning to show an even longer effect of 4+ years.
    6. Mothers are more satisfied with their care.

    Now, how to put this together with encouraging parents to be ready to wait to hear baby's weight and length! All in an attractive, easily readable, engaging and clear fashion. 

    Henci Goer

    Thanks a bunch, ladies!

    -- Henci

    Archived User

    Pull up the video at It's only a few minutes long and shows a baby working it's way to it's mother's breast unassisted. The narration also describes the physiological effects of baby's kicking motions on mom's belly for helping with uterine involution. It is from India I believe so the narrator's voice is very heavily accented English, but it's a fantastic video that's helps to demonstrate the many benefits of skin-to-skin.

    Archived User


    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) statement on this topic is:

    3. Healthy infants should be placed and remain in direct skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately after delivery until the first feeding is accomplished.156158

    The alert, healthy newborn infant is capable of latching on to a breast without specific assistance within the first hour after birth.156 Dry the infant, assign Apgar scores, and perform the initial physical assessment while the infant is with the mother. The mother is an optimal heat source for the infant.159,160 Delay weighing, measuring, bathing, needle-sticks, and eye prophylaxis until after the first feeding is completed. Infants affected by maternal medications may require assistance for effective latch-on.156 Except under unusual circumstances, the newborn infant should remain with the mother throughout the recovery period.161

    Sounds pretty clear to me.  In my humble opinion, our pediatricians are MIA when it comes to enforcing this for their young vunerable patients.

    Henci Goer

    This is fabulous! It couldn't make it more clear. Would it be possible to give the specific source so others can get a copy of the full document you are quoting? Even better, if it can be accessed online, would you please give the URL?

    -- Henci

    All Times America/New_York

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