Early skin-to-skin contact between mother and child even after elective caeserean section.
We have considered the advantages of early skin to skin contact between mother and child, in particular in relation to breastfeeding and the importance of mothers milk.
There are several studies of the positive effects on mothers milk. Mothers milk is immunoprotective and has longterm benificial effects for children being breastfed for at least a couple of months. Breasfeeding is also benificial for the mother, both physical in regards to eg. weightloss, and psychological with regards to the hormonal process which leeds to the feeling of well-being, reduction of stress and increased self-esteem.
No studies conclude with any negative effects of breatsfeeding.
A crucial part of initiation and continuation of breastfeeding is early skin to skin contact. After vaginal delievery this happens immediately as a routine. Our hypothesis is that there are no arguments why this should not be the procedure after elective caeserean section.
We interviewed 45 woman in 3 different hospital about their birth-experience, emotions, early skin contact and breastfeeding. We also interviewed 52 midwifes in these hospitals.The results were surprising. All the 52 midwifes answered that they regard facilitating and encouraging early skin-to-skin contact an important part of their job, and that early skin-to-skin contact promotes breastfeeding. Only 16 of the 45 woman answered that they received their baby skin-to-skin immediately after delivery. The others reported the cause often being that the midwife was busy, that the child would be to cold, or that it was not hospital routine.
No studies have been conducted on this particular matter yet. However the discrepancy between intent and reality is interesting.