Q. I am due to have a C-section and I was wondering will I get the opportunity to have skin-to-skin contact with my new baby straight away or will I have to wait until I am out of recovery?
Every hospital has different policies and unfortunately despite the compelling evidence to keep mums and babies together after a surgical birth some hospitals continue to separate new mothers and their babies. Skin-to- skin is so important for all mums and babies whether mum is planning on breastfeeding or not. Your baby has just ‘moved house’ very suddenly and that time spent skin to skin with your baby calms his nervous system, regulates his temperature, blood sugar levels and breathing.
Have a conversation with the midwife at your next appointment to find out what the policy fro skin-to-skin contact after a C-section is at your maternity unit and be sure to have written caesarean section birth preferences. If your maternity unit is not providing this option you can always change to a hospital where you and your baby can stay together. If you prefer not to change hospitals you can expect to be separated from your baby for up to two hours – this is a great opportunity for your partner to do skin-to-skin with your newborn and arrange for the staff to help you initiate breastfeeding as soon as you get back to the postnatal ward.