4 comments on “What do you do with a baby right after birth?

  1. From what I’ve heard, doctors are starting to come around and now they don’t look at you like a you’re a dirty hippie when you ask for immediate skin to skin contact (with no cleaning in between). I would also assume that they’ll be more lenient with things like shots and eye goo if they’ve already done an STD test and you have insurance (I get that they want to give the hep B shot right away because what if you don’t take the kid to the doctor for their 2-week appointment? But at the same time, why not give them all of their first round of shots when they’re first born – not that I have any clue when that is – if you don’t think they’ll take the kid in for a 2-week appointment, what makes you think they’ll take it in for a 6-week appointment?)

    • I’m hearing good things about it, too. I think more hospitals are moving away from the “Everything has to be clean and sterile” mentality that really dominated in the 50s and 60s when they would strap women down, shave them bare and then quarantine the babies for hours or days before letting mom hold them. I think it’s a very good thing that we’re moving beyond that now, and recognizing that everyone will survive a little grossitude in the delivery room. I also think that people getting on board with mom being a better source for heat than an infrared lamp is good news. I got some very promising comments on FB about people having experiences that were much more natural and centered around proper bonding for mom and baby. All good stuff!

      I think they try to do some of the stuff at birth because they worry that the mom will leave with baby and will never go to a pediatrician at all. So they want to get as much into the baby as he can handle just in case she never comes back. But that seems like a weird standard to apply to every baby born, when the number of people doing that seem like they’d have to be relatively fewer than parents who will actually go to a doctor with their child. Maybe I’m naive and overly optimistic, though.

    • Thanks for the input, Russell! This is the first I’ve heard of this being an issue, so I’m glad you mentioned it. Our midwife, doula and pediatrician are all in favor of delaying the cord clamping, and our midwife actually did her master’s thesis on the practice. I’m sure she’s aware of the risks and will know how best to deal with any issues that arise, but I’ll definitely keep this in mind as well.

      Something I’m curious about is whether these issues occur more often in otherwise natural births or births where there have been medical interventions, and whether the mother’s overall health (other than diabetes) has an effect. The reason I ask is that I tend to take an evolutionary perspective on these things, and I’m having a hard time imagining what the advantage would be to having this problem arise in infants. That makes me think that there may not be such a problem in healthy, natural populations, and that potentially this is caused by some nutritional deficiency or some other health issue. I could be completely wrong, though, as this is pure speculation on my part. I’ll have to see if I can dig up any more info on research done into the problem and see if anything pops out at me.

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