Skin-to-skin is a model of care at Cone Health Women’s Hospital, in which 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 postpones any separation of the mother and baby for several hours, and is the standard of care for all deliveries at Women’s Hospital, both vaginal and cesarean section. ‘Babies room-in’ is another care model that has been adopted at Cone Health Women’s Hospital, in which the newborn stays in the same room as the mother throughout the entire duration of their stay at the hospital.
All pediatrician and nurse assessments, lab work, baths, photographs, weights and hearing screens are now done bedside, rather than in the nursery. In addition to allowing the family to stay together after the delivery and the deeper connection it creates between the baby and mother, there have been overwhelming positive outcomes from practicing skin-to-skin and babies room-in at Women’s Hospital.
Studies have shown that these practices significantly decrease the need for babies to be placed under a radiant warmer after birth and baths, and it facilitates breast feeding, showing improved rates of babies taking the breast and successful nursing. Mothers and their support person can ask questions during the assessments, and get to know their newborn better earlier on, such as their feeding cues and other needs.
Beverly Daly is the assistant director of Lactation and Perinatal Education at Cone Health Women’s Hospital. Daly is a registered nurse, receiving a Bachelor of Science in nursing from East Carolina University in 1986. She is also an international board-certified lactation consultant, and serves as the instructor for the Breastfeeding Basics and Breastfeeding Beyond the Basics classes offered at the Women’s Hospital.