❤️Facilitating #SkinToskin- which midwife/nurse/operating theatre worker are you ? ❤️

In the past two days I’ve had several direct  messages on twitter – all connected and concerned with facilitating skin to skin in the operating theatre. 

Messages about  

  • maintaining  skin to skin through transfer from the operating table to the woman’s bed – how to avoid interruption and the challenges this creates
  • Starting skin to skin as a new process in a NHS trust setting 
  • Challenging others in a positive way
  • Increasing the length of skin to skin contact by deferring weighing the newborn 
  • Skin to skin and emergency theatre 

IF you think you can’t make a difference you’re so wrong – anyone CAN! 

A theatre nurse ( Julie) read my tweets and decided to implement skin to skin within her own NHS trust . Imagine receiving a message saying “from 0-58 in 5” ? You are very much mistaken if you imagine this is about cars – it’s actually about beginning with 0 % skin to skin contact at caesarean and increasing that to 58%  in just 5 months ! Well done Julie ❤️- Julie (&joolzl23) spotted me on twitter and decided to change practice – she has had many challenges as “change” is an easy word to spell and to say but to implement ? Change requires strength , evidence , courage and collaboration . It requires sharing of information and experience plus an ability to lose ownership – stop being territorial about your work because as soon as you share remarkable things start to happen

So I’d like to ask “which midwife/nurse /operating theatre worker are you ?” Are you the one that takes control and holds a baby for its mother or places it into a cot thinking you are helping and being kind or are you the one that sees the need in the woman’s eyes to hold her own child and is fully aware of the evidence and research to support practice around the facilitation of skin to skin contact ? 

Do you see the baby as inconvenience or as an intrinsic part of your work ? 

“Let’s get this theatre list done” have you uttered these words ? Or have you heard them spoken ?  

We are not automatons we are human beings involved in the beauty of birth – stop ! Step back think and reflect – Who exactly does the baby belong to? 

Why does there seem to be an obvious shift in the perception of who the newborn belongs to as soon as birth happens in the operating theatre setting ? Change your mindset -put the family in charge – “hello welcome to YOUR baby’s place of birth – we are YOUR theatre team – we work for YOU and we will help you to have the most positive experience with YOUR baby- we will be with YOU to help YOU to hold YOUR NEWBORN – remember make the “we” small make the YOU large and you’ll put the family at ease – even better make the family part of the theatre team  

This week I’ve met Jessie Lai Professor of Midwifery at Hong Kong University with the wonderful midwives she teaches on the masters programme      , talked to Jeni Stevens a midwife from Australia , connected with Meline a student on an access to health care course and of course Julie the maternity theatre nurse . These women all illustrate perfectly that skin to skin in the operating theatre for women who give birth by Caesarean section is an ongoing global issue and one that’s not going to go away . Mothers are meant  to hold their newborn child/children not Health care workers . I am going to continue to tweet, educate, facilitate, blog, present, speak in fact do whatever it takes until it’s accepted globally that all women hold their newborns in the operating theatre . As Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”  

#SkinToSkin