Skin-to-skin C-section promotes health, bonding
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Skin-to-skin C-section promotes health, bonding


Brandon Gill New is about to deliver her second child through a scheduled, medically necessary C-section. While thousands of C-sections are done every year, Brandon will be only the second mother at Sunnybrook to do so using a new technique called Skin On Skin C-section. Traditionally, babies are taken away from the mother to be cleaned and given routine care. Push mommy, push! But this new technique tries to mimic vaginal birth by asking Brandon to push, involving her more in the process. And as soon as little James is born, he is placed on Brandon’s abdomen and then passed through the surgical drape to her bare chest for skin on skin contact. After a brief cry, James quickly falls asleep on his mother. Dr. Jon Barrett is leading this initiative at Sunnybrook, and says the physical connection starts right away. Thank you! And so do the benefits of skin on skin contact including increased bonding, improved breastfeeding and preserving babies temperature and blood sugar. Also, the umbilical cord is left unclamped for longer which improves babies blood flow and breathing. So there is actually medical evidence that skin to skin contact is better for the baby and mom, as well when you’ve done a few of these, you can sense immediately that it’s a different procedure. It’s much less medical. Dr. Ambika Aneja delivered James and says Brandon’s doula had asked about this procedure. As a mom myself having had two previous C-sections I think it would have been great if the procedure can be performed without compromising the health and safety of mom and baby. Special precautions are taken to minimize the risk of infection, like sterilizing the mother’s chest, and having a sterile handoff by the mother’s head. He’s very content! Brandon and her husband Brett who was also ready to do skin on skin if Brandon was medically unable, says skin on skin C-section should be a standard option. It was amazing, it was a really amazing experience to be able to have a C-section and also have your baby come right on top of you and transition into the world in such a peaceful way. It was so great to be able to be involved in the whole process to help transition our little one into the world and he was put on my wife’s chest so quickly and then there were three of us there together as a family keeping him calm and happy. Sunnybrook is now studying skin on skin C-section, and the effects on mother and baby for the first time in Canada. You know, cesarean section rates are now between 25 and 30 percent of all births. So if we’re delivering one third of our babies via cesarean, we should look at ways to see if we can mimick the normal process. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.

11 Comments

  • Sunnybrook Hospital

    Watch: an innovative way of delivering babies by C-section, emphasizing skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby

  • vicki elson

    No-Brainer #1: This should be the STANDARD of care for cesarean birth.  Bravo Sunnybrook!  Bravo Canada!  Bravo to the doula who suggested it!  
    No-Brainer #2: According to the World Health Organization, cesarean rates should never be higher than 10-15%.    

  • Kittyshmuchzan

    I wish I would have known about this before I had my little one, but I can't complain I got some face time before being moved to recovery 🙂

  • Jennifer Young

    I am a huge advocate of skin to skin for my birth clients. I am curious to know more about pushing during cesarean…

  • Alice Obuobi

    That baby was pink after delivery but turned dusky (Blue) whilst on the mother's chest. That shows the baby's oxygen level was low. There is the need to closely monitor the baby during skin to skin as some babies born via C/S can have difficulties breathing called TTN

  • Cheryl Dawn Marian

    What??? Sterilizing the mother's chest??? How stupid. No sterilization is needed. That actually defeats the purpose!

  • Lady Hawk

    Pretty sad c sections are normal and even pushed. Natural delivery is always best unless in an extreme emergency. A natural birth stimulates the newborn . Seems doctors here in the US only wish to line their pockets. I mean a white coat tells you something you'd better listen , right? I am so glad I had my baby back when giving birth was actually giving birth. Having to had watch my daughter go through what they call medical care these days was infuriating ! The system caused her issues! And almost cost her her babies! Plus they ended up in NICU ! Anything to make a buck even at the potential cost of a life.

  • Francia T

    thank you very much for this helpful video. Plan to do this with the my second child if delivered by c-section

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