There is no Need to Rush
There is no hurry!
Why is childbirth so rushed? The baby comes out-Clanking instruments, loud, high–pitched voices, tunnel-vision and sharp jerking motions surround the baby as he is dried vigorously and the cord is cut and clamped usually in the first seconds of life. I think this is the result of the high adrenaline levels in the people around the birth. The providers and staff, on high alert for the potential disaster at the delivery, have their fight or flight in full effect keeping them from seeing that everything is actually so perfectly fine.
The birth of a child should be so relaxed, so calm. Even when we have a concern about the welfare of the baby, the providers of care, the Midwife, MD, Nurse, NICU staff need to exude confidence in the baby’s ability to be alive well and in their ability to help the baby get to that point. The normal complications of childbirth are limited in number and our responses to them are fairly rote. We will have the best births when we are calm and confident in our clients and in ourselves.
A Baby-Friendly Approach is Optimal
It is optimal for the baby to go skin-to-skin for evaluation. This allows us to begin our evaluation of the baby in its “habitat”, the place he is most likely to do well. If the baby isn’t ok after gently stimulation, it is appropriate to first attempt to expand the baby’s lungs with bag and mask as close to the mother and father as possible. It has been demonstrated that the baby only needs to be help to breathe with a bag and mask not connected to Oxygen and so it is not really necessary to disconnect the baby from the placenta to help a baby start breathing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20877407
This can happen on the mother’s body while the parents speak to the baby encouraging him to begin to breathe and to join his family for a wonderful life. If the bagging and stimulation are deemed ineffective, less than one minute has generally passed and it is fine to go ahead and clamp the cord and move the baby to the warmer for a more intensive resuscitation. But if the calm, yet immediate response to an unresponsive baby is successful, the beating umbilical cord will provide a continued support to the baby as he transitions on his mother’s chest. I always say they are “double-dipping” for a while. So lovely for a mother to be able to continue to offer the sustenance of the womb for a few more minutes into her baby’s new life. Except in the most concerning of situations, this is a very effective and baby-friendly way to jump start a stressed baby. I have found that an immediate response leads to a quick positive response from the baby and the family is really unaware that the there was ever any problem at all. Everyone stays so chill, so hormonally appropriate.
Revel in the Birth Process
If the baby is born responsive and eager to be here in the world with us, it is still best to leave the baby attached to its cord for many reasons but mostly because it is so disruptive to the mother and baby in those first irretrievable moments of life and bonding. We need to relax and know that we are really very capable when things go a bit awry. We need to slow down and revel in the awesomeness of birth.
There is no hurry.
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