Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baby Friendly

Lee and I recently completed our child birth classes at the hospital!  And while it was probably a major bore for Lee and almost all review for me, the lady who has been reading and googleing everything for the past 9 months... it was still helpful!  So if anyone is having doubts about whether or not they should go, still go!  If you learn a couple random things it will be worth it.  And review is good.

One of the things I left the hospital feeling the most excited about is that our hospital is currently becoming "baby friendly certified"
I had heard about this from Lee's time in the OB as well as from my doctor and the nurses.  But when I actually started researching it and looking into why it is different I got an appreciation for how cool it is!

Basically, some of the principles of being baby friendly are:

1. They REALLY encourage breastfeeding.
There is a ton of information and resources to help mothers be successful in breastfeeding and therefore continue to breastfeed after they go home with their babies.  I mean, I don't think I need to go into detail here about the importance of breastfeeding and how overwhelmingly better it is for a baby than formula, but I know that it can be challenging and sometimes when women struggle with it they give up.  The hospital staff is there to make sure it is an easy, smooth process for both mom and baby.  How you ask?

2. Instant skin to skin contact.
This might be the part that makes me feel the most giddy.  Instantly when that baby is born they go straight to their momma.  The doctor literally catches the baby and lays them right on the mom's chest.  No wasted time cleaning the baby, no weighing, nothing.  All the initial checks can be done right while the mom and baby are spending their first moments together. If there is an issue the baby will have to be checked out... but they try really hard to ensure that they get this precious initial skin to skin time.
Why skin to skin?  So many reasons!  A brief explanation in Kelsey terms is that it helps regulate their body temperature, heart rate, AND blood sugar!  Babies get to be right on their mommy's heart, so they hear that heart beat that they've been hearing their entire lives and it calms them down after that crazy trip into this world.  If mom isn't available to do skin to skin, the dad does it!  They even do immediate skin to skin in the OR after a c-section!
The baby stays with mom for about and hour, or until after the baby has initiated his first feeding!  It's a baby's natural instinct to find the mother's breast after birth, so not taking the baby away increases the chances of a successful latch!

3. No bath for 24 hours 
Babies are born with this protective coating called vernix.  It is the best moisturizer for baby and has been shown to have immune properties that protect baby from infections!  Also, by delaying the bath the baby doesn't have to go through that stress right away and their body temp doesn't drop from the water.  And Mom can be present for baby's first bath, sometime the next day.

4. No nursery.
Do hospitals even still do this?  I'm not sure, but ours does not even have a nursery unless the baby is sick.  They promote 24/7 "rooming in" with mom to encourage the bond between the mom and baby.

5. No pacifiers or other artificial nipples
To make sure that the baby doesn't get nipple confusion it is recommended that they don't use a pacifier for something like at least 2 weeks, so the hospital just doesn't even have them!

Other things I learned about one my hospital tour are the different things they have available to women in labor including birthing balls, bathtubs with jets(!), and squat bars.   Ok so the squat bar was weird to me at first too... especially when we had to watch a video of a woman using it, but it actually makes a lot of sense to allow gravity to help out a bit in the delivery process.  Of course this only works if the mother has not had an epidural.  Pretty much all it is is a big metal bar that goes across the end of the bed that the woman can use to pull herself up into a squatted position rather than lying on her back.  Interesting yes?
The birthing balls are really cool, basically just a big exercise ball that the mom can sit on for comfort to move around and stretch.  You aren't actually sitting on the ball when you give birth.  Again, can't use after an epidural.  Same goes with showers and baths....

I feel crazy for actually putting this in writing. on the internet. but I've decided to not have an epidural, or any pain medication.... so far as it is possible.  I understand things happen and plans change.  But I really, really, really, want to do this sans drugs if at all possible.  I have always thought I would, but once I've actually started thinking/researching it and then at the hospital learning that after you have an epidural you're pretty much stuck in bed with a catheter AND it can slow down labor (as well as a million other reasons if you'd care to google them) I decided that plan A is no epidural.  To me the idea of being unable to move my legs is more frightening than pain.  I can't breathe thinking about it.  We all have our own things...

Ok so please don't tell me I'm crazy or any horror stories... ok? No negativity needed. I'll figure it out... what other choice do I have?! :)
However, if you did deliver naturally without an epidural I am open to advice and suggestions to things that helped you!


Amber said...

I'm so proud of you for deciding not to do an epidural! I know you'll be able to do it. <3 You are one strong mama! And I am so excited for this little boy to make his arrival. You are just going to love him and never let him out of your arms, I can tell!

Anonymous said...

I think not having an epidural is great. However I don't have any kids. I just don't like the drugs and how powerful that drug is, having a baby and then you can't walk so I do agree with you. I wish you the very best and I hope you share how it all goes and maybe someday I might be able to use what I learned from you. Thanks for sharing, I just love your blog. You guys will have a beautiful baby.

Anonymous said...

As an L&D nurse, the best advice re: pain management during labor is keep an open mind! If all goes well and no pain medication is required - great! But if things don't go as planned don't worry, a healthy baby at the end of the process is REALLY all that matters - epidural or not! And remember, if the pain gets too bad - there are no metals or stickers for having an unmedicated delivery.
I love reading your blog and can't wait to see pictures of your little guy!

Amber said...

I'm planning on this third baby being my third delivery no epidural or meds and I fully support anyone doing that! I did have one drug during labor with Lily because my contractions were too fast for how dialated I was and it made labor so much longer and harder! And LOVE the birthing ball!!! If you have access to one, you can use it before labor to help engage baby's head. You probably knew that. And the tub/jets will be a little slice of heaven. Love the sound of your hospital!

habecker said...

encourage you to wait longer than one day for not washing the vernix off babe :)

encourage you in your plans to not use epidural. circumstances don't change the reality of what it does to both mom and babe.

glad you have questioned and researched-many do not.

excited for you! here's to a breast crawl!


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