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House Call: New for Babies — Skin-to-skin

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Cone Health Women’s Hospital recently adopted a new technique for caring for newborns and mothers in the delivery room. 

Called skin-to-skin, or kangaroo care, this practice significantly minimizes the separation of mother and baby after birth. 

More: PDF: New Baby and Parenting Classes

Typical post-delivery practice is to take the baby from the mother and place them under a radiant warmer as they are being examined and stabilized.  It isn’t until after the baby is examined and bathed that it is given back to the mother. 

The skin-to-skin method does just the opposite.  Babies are placed directly on the mother’s bare chest immediately after delivery, and examined and stabilized while being held by the mother.  This process prolongs any separation of the mother and baby for several hours. 

In addition to the deeper connection it creates between baby and mother, there have been overwhelming positive outcomes due to practicing skin-to-skin.  Studies have shown that it significantly decreases the need for babies to be placed under a radiant warmer after birth, as well as facilitates breast feeding, showing improved rates of babies taking the breast and successful nursing. 

Any procedures needed after birth, such as blood work, are also administered through the skin-to-skin method.  By using this technique, the baby settles quicker and tolerates the procedure much better. 

Skin-to-skin is just another practice of exceptional care that Cone Health Women’s Hospital is dedicated to in order to ensure the best possible birthing experience for families in the community.

Spokesperson Background:

Sue Pedaline is the vice president of nursing and patient care services at Cone Health Women’s Hospital.  Sue received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Slippery Rock University in 1997 and earned a Master of Science in professional leadership from Carlow College in 1999.  She also earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from University of Pittsburgh in 2011.