The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Kintzinger Women’s Health Center celebrates a special anniversary in July. This anniversary focuses on those first moments of life when a baby is born at GRMC.
GRMC has utilized skin-to-skin contact as a post-birth bonding method since 2013 in the labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum (LDRP) rooms but this past year the practice was implemented for babies born via Cesarean-section in the surgical suite as well.
The skin-to-skin practice is used to aid in the stabilization of the baby after birth and encourage the parent-baby bond.
Prior to implementation in July 2014, skin-to-skin was not an option in the surgical suite. Now parents may have immediate bonding time with their newborn. Mothers, particularly those who did not have the opportunity to try this practice in previous deliveries, enjoy the skin-to-skin experience.
“When my husband and I were expecting a baby a year ago, I made it my mission to try and find anywhere in Iowa that would allow for skin-to-skin. I have had two babies prior and never felt that full-blown emotion of holding a baby that I had worked so hard to make over the last nine months,” said Bethany Kriegel, the first participant of the skin-to-skin post Cesarean-section practice at GRMC.
The enactment of this practice generated huge process changes for all departments involved. Although the procedural change has been drastic, the staff involved has taken the shift in stride.
“Anesthesia has embraced the change and the OR staff has been very supportive,” said Sheryl Baarda, RN, obstetric nurse manager; “The benefits to mom and baby make this a change we want to embrace.”
Since the implementation of skin-to-skin in the operating room, the GRMC OB staff has noted many benefits of the practice, including an improvement in breastfeeding rates; better bonding between parents and babies; less pain for mothers; stabilization of infants’ body temperature, blood sugar, and heart rate; major decreases in formula supplementation; babies that cry less and self-latch within one to two hours.
“There are so many benefits with skin to skin. First, and foremost, was the emotional recovery. This was by far the best birthing experience I have ever had. The staff plays a large role in that, but the skin-to-skin made all the difference in the world. I honestly think it has helped with breastfeeding as well. Finally, the family bonding was so much more pleasant,” said Kriegel.
For more information about innovative changes at the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center to enhance birthing at GRMC, call 641-236-2326.
GRMC promotes the skin-to-skin practice for the first two hours after a birth. Bethany Kriegel, the first participant of the skin-to-skin post Cesarean-section practice at GRMC, holds her daughter, Adelyn, while in GRMC’s surgical suite.