*Promote NORMAL Birth and Breastfeeding* & more New Year’s Resolution Ideas for all my Co-Workers… Any Ideas?
I am continually working (baby steps- a little bit at a time) on improving what we do to care for the moms and babies in my little neck of the woods. Sometimes it feels exciting, positive and helpful….. but other times frustrating or futile.
Since I have been recently consumed with my newest career as a NICU nurse, I have seen some of my earlier successes of positive changes (on the mother baby unit and L&D)…. slowly. turn. back. to previous bad practices ….. I come over to the units and I see so many of the older traditional care models in place again which we had worked hard to place in a vault! You get new doctors, new nurses, new anesthesiologists etc… and they don’t give a crap about any guidelines or protocols for a natural process! However if the CDC changes their Hepatitis B, HIV or GBS protocols… they are all over it…. In. A. Heartbeat.
Why is it so hard for these professionals to relinquish control over all aspects of the birth process? Why can’t they look at any of that research? Why aren’t any of the recommendations for encouraging VBAC, discouraging scheduled CS’s without a TOL or keeping mother and baby together while delaying routine procedures taken as seriously?? Why?
I think I know why…I do. But that isn’t really what I wanted to talk about today.
I want to provide some encouraging – positive – inspirational ideas for my fellow nurses, practitioner or heathcare provider to do what is best for each mother and baby in their car. Even if you all pick just one… it can make a difference. So don’t feel overwhelmed. Just try to add at least one of these to YOUR daily practice. These suggestions are meant for situations without complications requiring urgent intervention of some kind.
Readers: Please ADD more in comments if you have them!
- Promote and Preserve NORMAL Physiologic Birth…… Try NOT to interfere. Please really find out what that means if you don’t know. Seriously. (sorry but please… my friends… it’s not about hurrying it up or getting it over with and closing out the chart!)
- Spend time each month reviewing Evidence-Based practice recommendations and changes with regards to Birth and Breastfeeding. You’ll learn something!
- SKIN TO SKIN…if you do nothing else… make THIS your project for EVERY mother/baby in your care. If you do this for them– nature can have a chance. Get them S2S at birth and several times each day to help with breastfeeding! (this one is my favorite!)
- Yes… Skin to Skin can be done in the O.R. Teach your fellow co-workers when just DO it!! Come on TRY IT!
- Keep a mother’s wishes at the forefront of your plan of care. Her birth plan is very important to her! Advocate for her and empower her. This is her birth, not yours.
- Advocate and Empower your patient to make truly informed decisions about her care. If she doesn’t have the right information to make a real INFORMED decision, please help her get the information or provide it for her!
- Embrace the idea and recommend Doulas to your patients. Keep a list of local doulas available and provide them at prenatal visits or out-pt testing.
- Question the doctor/midwife when an induction and or Cesarean is scheduled. Just ask why and discuss… Bring up points you’ve learned in your reading and find out the practitioners reasons for inducing. There is a way to discuss without challenging. Sometimes –> everyone learns from such a discussion. Perhaps the practitioner will realize his reasons for some cases may not be appropriate.. who knows?
- Breastfeeding and Formula feeding are not equal choices and remember it is inappropriate to indicate to a mother directly or indirectly that they are equal. She deserves correct information before making an informed choice. Utilize teachable moments to discuss the superiority of Human breast milk as the food for human infants. Show her where she can get more information before making a decision. Honor her decisions once she has made them.
- Keep the baby with the mother until the FIRST Breastfeed has taken place. Please delay all your routine procedures and help the mother (if needed) to start breastfeeding! This is recommended by ALL the experts.
- Keep the baby with the mother AT ALL TIMES. Almost everything we do can be done at the mother’s bedside. Think about it.
- Keep the baby with the mother AT ALL TIMES means at night too. Separating mother and baby so “Mom can rest” had been shown to be a barrier to successful breastfeeding. Encourage frequent feedings based on feeding cues.
- Teach and empower the mother. Include how to recognize feeding cues, signs of an effective feeding with appropriate latch, and how to recognize an overall good feeding pattern.
- Support the mother, support the mother, support the mother.
For some more ideas.. I have numerous previous posts about breastfeeding education, support and sited references such as the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services Ten Steps for example and other important issues.