Birth is unique and dynamic, working alongside your midwife you will be planning and preparing for many months towards an ideal birth. Sometimes things can and do change which may mean that you as the mother cannot hold your baby for the first time; this may be in the event of a CS for example. If for any reason you cannot hold your baby for a while, skin to skin can start between baby and your partner – Baby will Settle to the rhythm of his/her breathing and his/her heart beating, it is a voice that baby will recognise immediately and can go a long way to start the instinctual process until you are ready to take over.
Skin-to-skin care with the father after caesarean birth and its effect on newborn crying and prefeeding behaviour.
Department of Woman and Child Health, Division of Reproductive and Perinatal Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Previous reports have shown that skin-to-skin care immediately after vaginal birth is the optimal form of care for full-term, healthy infants. Even in cases when the mother is awake and using spinal analgesia, early skin-to-skin contact between her and her newborn directly after caesarean birth might be limited for practical and medical safety reasons. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of skin-to-skin contact on crying and prefeeding behaviour in healthy, full-term infants born by elective caesarean birth and cared for skin-to-skin with their fathers versus conventional care in a cot during the first 2 hours after birth.
Twenty-nine father-infant pairs participated in a randomized controlled trial, in which infants were randomized to be either skin-to-skin with their father or next to the father in a cot. Data were collected both by tape-recording crying time for the infants and by naturalistic observations of the infants’ behavioural response, scored every 15 minutes based on the scoring criteria described in the Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS).
The primary finding was the positive impact the fathers’ skin-to-skin contact had on the infants’ crying behaviour. The analysis of the tape recordings of infant crying demonstrated that infants in the skin-to-skin group cried less than the infants in the cot group (p<0.001). The crying of infants in the skin-to-skin group decreased within 15 minutes of being placed skin-to-skin with the father. Analysis of the NBAS-based observation data showed that being cared for on the father’s chest skin-to-skin also had an impact on infant wakefulness. These infants became drowsy within 60 minutes after birth, whereas infants cared for in a cot reached the same stage after 110 minutes. Rooting activity was more frequent in the cot group than in the skin-to-skin group (p<0.01), as were sucking activities (p<or=0.001) and overall duration of wakefulness (p<0.01).
The infants in the skin-to-skin group were comforted, that is, they stopped crying, became calmer, and reached a drowsy state earlier than the infants in the cot group. The father can facilitate the development of the infant’s prefeeding behaviour in this important period of the newborn infant’s life and should thus be regarded as the primary caregiver for the infant during the separation of mother and baby.
“We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children, that makes the heart too big for the body.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. The conduct of life 1860
“A mothers instinct is to nurture , and a fathers instinct is to protect” – Katharine Graves. Leading hypnobirthing teacher.
“A little child enters your life and fills a place in your heart. A place you never knew was empty.“ – Anon.