You took the classes.
You did your research on the procedures.
You want immediate skin to skin with your healthy baby.
You wrote that birth plan and maybe even posted it on the outside of the labor and delivery room door to ensure every single nurse was informed.
You had your partner read over it a thousand times to make sure he/she knew what you wanted.
Your doc even agreed to it…
You’ve had a healthy pregnancy.
Your labor has progressed wonderfully.
Your baby is healthy.
It’s your moment, the baby’s here.
And all of a sudden, it looks like your dreams of immediate skin to skin, soaking in that golden moment, smelling, seeing, and holding your baby for the first time are all about to get shot down. Royally.
“We need to weigh the baby.”
“We need to take the baby’s temperature.”
“We need to suction.”
And it all sounds like an emergency!
You’re confused. You’re not sure if something’s wrong. You’re looking at your partner like, “Is everything ok?”
Since you’re fine and your baby has been fine throughout the whole labor, almost all of the time, it is.
So why do docs and nurses make routine procedures sound like an emergency?
There is no reason that is not of a selfish nature and/or for convenience’ sake that a healthy baby shouldn’t be placed on your belly or chest after birth.
So why is immediate skin-to-skin so rare in American hospitals?
Are nearly all of our babies somehow not healthy and need these routine procedures immediately as if they’re some sort of emergency?
I think not.
Mama, you’ve got to stop letting this happen.
You don’t need to know everything about birth and what may or may not go wrong to speak up and say something.
All you need to do is ask questions until you get a no BS answer and use the BS filter to realize what a BS answer is.
Here’s how to do it:
- Understand that in many hospitals, it’s totally “routine” for the doc to catch the baby, suction, clamp and cut the cord, and then pass it to a baby nurse. If you walk into any hospital in labor and have no birth plan and you’ve never met the doc, you can pretty much count on no immediate skin-to-skin contact within the first 15 minutes after birth if you don’t say anything or know any better.
- Realize that if immediate skin-to-skin is something you DO want, you’re probably going to have to say something even if your doctor has already agreed to “letting” you do immediate skin to skin as long as nothing is wrong with the baby.
- Request your baby immediately after birth by saying, “Thank you for catching my baby. Please pass him/her to me now. Thanks!”
- Ask what the specific emergency is if they start taking your baby away from you. “Excuse me, what is the nature of the emergency that excludes me from having immediate skin to skin contact with my baby?”
- Use the BS filter to realize what a BS answer is. Below are 9 bull-shit excuses immediate skin to skin with your healthy baby is ruined. If I were told any of these, I would demand my baby, and/or get up and go get him/her myself (thank god for natural birth!)
- They need to suction the baby more vigorously. – This can be done on you.
- They need to weigh and measure the baby. – This can wait. The baby isn’t going to gain 5oz in an hour.
- They need to take the baby’s temp. – This can be done on you.
- They need to put goop in the eyes or give shots. – This can wait and be done on you.
- They need to get APGAR scores. – This can be done on you.
- They need to do the newborn exam. – This can wait and be done on you.
- They need to clean and dry the baby. – This can be done on you.
- They need to do a heel prick. – This can be done on you.
- They need to bathe the baby. – If, for whatever reason, you want this done, it can wait and you can do it yourself.
Mama, routine procedures are NOT emergencies. I repeat, routine procedures ARE NOT EMERGENCIES!
These are excuses the hospitals tell you to make it easier and more convenient for THEM to deal with your labor and birth, not for you.
Stand up for yourself and your baby and ask! Use the BS filter to recognize a BS answer. And demand your baby if it is.
If every birthing woman were bold enough to use her voice and not accept BS excuses in the name of convenience, we would have a lot more happier and healthier mama’s and babies on this planet.
The way we do birth in America HAS GOT TO CHANGE! And it all starts with you.
Be the change.
Take bold action.
Ask a bazillion questions until you get a no BS answer.
Don’t waste your golden moments on someone else’s’ convenience.
With so much love,
p.s. Do you have a friend or family member planning on having a hospital birth?
If so, share the 9 excuses and the BS filter with them so they have the greatest chances of enjoying their golden moment. There is no moment of greater importance!
By sharing this, you may never know the impact you’ll have on changing birth in America, but you will know you had one small part in it. And that’s something to be proud of.
p.s.s If you’ve given birth before, were you subject to one of these 9 BS excuses? Tell us in the comments below and let us know how you would handle it differently if there’s a “next time”!
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