delivery, newborns

Dear blogging nana,

I’m about to have a baby.  My husband and I want to have her in the hospital.  Although I have no apparent risk factors, I want the security of the medical expertise there.  On the other hand, procedure at this hospital requires the baby to be separated from the mom at birth for a half hour if all is well.

I realize this is a short time compared to the years we will have together, but I understand enough about babies to know that this isn’t good psychologically for either of us.

Any suggestions how to handle it?

Very pregnant mom

Dear vpm:

Your thinking is good.  No other mammal is separated from its newborn. (Can you hear those babies crying, “I’m a mammal, not a reptile!  Bring me to my mother!)

There is quite a body of evidence to support maintaining the physical connection between newborn and mother from the moment of birth, including reduced risk of hemorrhage (from the nursing baby); the stimulation of the baby’s systems by its nursing and skin contact; the bond that needs to be forged at that time and probably dozens of others not yet researched.  Can you conceive of any other primate mother willingly giving up its baby at birth?

When I read Frederick LeBoyer’s book on gentle births when my babies were being born in the ’70s, I was convinced that those ideas would spread rapidly.  I was wrong!  But I was convinced and fought to keep my baby [now 40! unbelievable] with me.  They fought back, but I won that battle.

So I encourage you to fight –probably most effectively will be with clarity,  calm and respect for the staff–for that natural beginning of your relationship with your baby.  I hope the baby’s father will be your ally here.  And you might be able to win the medical staff over to be your ally too.  We need many women fighting for this.  I believe it would have an effect on the health of our society as well as each individual family.

Good luck; let me know how it works out.

the blogging nana.

On the other hand, I understand your wanting the safety of