American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges that the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative kills babies

Young girl overcome with grief kneels in front of a loved one's grave.

Finally, a step in the right direction!

After several years of mounting evidence that the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), designed to promote breastfeeding, leads to preventable deaths of babies being smothered in or falling from their mothers hospital beds, the American Academy of Pediatrics has finally weighed in. Their Clinical Report, written by members of the AAP’s Committee on Fetus and Newborn, Task Force on Sudden Infant Death, is entitled Safe Sleep and Skin-to-Skin Care in the Neonatal Period for Healthy Term Newborns.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]There is no evidence that promoting breastfeeding saves the lives of term infants. Therefore it makes no sense to risk the lives of term infants to promote breastfeeding.[/pullquote]

Buried within the oh-so-careful language and grossly exaggerated benefits of breastfeeding is a simple truth:

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative mandates practices that kill babies.

And that’s before we address the further deadly impact of restrictions on formula supplementation.

Two of the tenets of the BFHI, the encouragement of long periods of skin to skin contact (SSC) between mothers and babies, and the virtual mandate on 24 hour rooming in are in direct violation of everything we know about infant suffocation and death.

The biggest risk to babies appears to be the risk of smothering. We know that there are multiple modifiable risks for infant suffocation: co-sleeping, prone position, soft bedding, and maternal impairment by opiates. Despite this, the BFHI encourages mothers to co-sleep amid soft bedding and during maternal impairment by opiates, as well as placing babies in the prone position during skin to skin contact.

Why are such obviously deadly behaviors encouraged? It is a misguided effort to promote breastfeeding. The evidence that skin to skin contact and rooming in promote breastfeeding is weak to non-existent. Yet even the AAP cannot resist false claims:

SCC has been researched extensively as a method to provide improved physiologic stability for newborns and potential benefits for mothers. SSC immediately after birth stabilizes the newborn body temperature and can help prevent hypothermia. SSC also helps stabilize blood glucose concentrations, decreases crying, and provides cardiorespiratory stability, especially in late preterm newborns. SSC has been shown in numerous studies as a method to decrease pain in newborns being held by mothers and fathers. In preterm infants, SSC has been shown to result in improved autonomic and neurobehavioral maturation and gastrointestinal adaptation, more restful sleep patterns, less crying, and better growth. Although not specifically studied in full-term infants, it is likely that these infants also benefit in similar ways. (my emphasis)

Of the eleven papers cited in support of this claim, NOT EVEN ONE demonstrates SCC causes benefits for term infants. That’s hardly surprising since the needs of preterm infants are dramatically different than those of term infants and there is NO REASON to suppose that both benefit from SSC in similar ways.

The purported benefits of SSC for mothers are even more tenuous, and based on papers from less rigorous nursing, midwifery and lactation journals.

Even worse, the AAP unforgivably repeats a favorite lactivist canard:

Rooming-in … may avoid newborn abductions …

Really AAP, how could you support such crackpot nonsense?

The truth is that claim that SSC leads improved increased breastfeeding is based on the same “evidence” that vaccines “cause” autism: temporal association, observation and wishful thinking. The rest of the Hill criteria for causation are not fulfilled, especially the mechanism of action and the utter lack of consideration of alternative explanations for the observations.

The sad reality is that tenets of the BFHI are not based on science; they reflect the preferences of lactivists elevated to requirements for other mothers.

This insistence on invoking spurious benefits of SSC and rooming in prevents the American Academy of Pediatrics from recommending the obvious: stop promoting extended skin to skin contact and stop mandating 24 hour rooming in.

Instead the AAP recommends steps that are entirely incompatible with the functioning of contemporary postpartum wards.

… [H]ave no more than 3 dyads assigned to 1 nurse to avoid situations in which nursing staff are not immediately available and able to regularly monitor the mother-infant dyads throughout the postpartum period.

But it takes two nurses per shift to staff a well baby nursery of 30 babies or more, and hospitals are abandoning well baby nurseries in order to save money on those two nurses’ salaries. It defies common sense to imagine that the same hospital is going to double or triple the number of postpartum floor nurses per shift in order to intensively monitor babies in mothers’ rooms.

Reality check:

There is NO EVIDENCE that promoting breastfeeding saves the lives of term infants. Therefore it makes NO SENSE to risk the lives of term infants to promote breastfeeding.

The AAP has taken a long overdue first step in acknowledging that the tenets of the BFHI lead to preventable infant deaths … But they still have a long way to go in explaining why a punitive program designed by lactivists to force other women to mirror their own choices back to them has any place in a facility devoted to promoting infant and maternal health.

  • AA

    A mother’s (poor) experience with the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative:

    http://imgur.com/Iy1ARHp

  • AA

    http://i.imgur.com/gHpqLYY.png
    An anonymous nurse reports that babies receiving insufficient breastmilk will be given dextrose solution (sugar water) via IV cannula. I am APPALLED that a neonatologist will order IV dextrose instead of supplementary formula.

    http://i.imgur.com/1hKRewZ.jpg

    • corblimeybot

      IV dextrose is the super fucking natural way to supplement breastfeeding. This woman’s idiotic, ignorant dig at WIC families is just the icing on the evil cake.

      • Nick Sanders

        Worse, it’s two different women. That’s apparently some default female avatar, because the names on the first and last post are different.

        • corblimeybot

          UGH, you’re right. Even more pissed now.

    • Heidi

      What?! The hospital pediatrician threatened to put my son in NICU with an IV of dextrose if I refused supplementation. I was a bit offended since I never was anti formula but I overlooked her dramatic wording figuring she maybe deals with a lot of misinformed breastfeeders who think hospital personnel want to undermine breastfeeding. His sugar was on the high end of low even. I was under the impression dextrose was a last resort. I was on it when I was born because neither breast milk nor formula would bring my sugar up.

      And the WIC comment – screw her.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        IV canulas carry a small but clear risk of infection. I’ve seen patients with devastating infections from IV canulas. I’m yet to see convincing evidence that one or two bottles of formula carry any significant risk.

        • Heidi

          Yeah, if you can pump while baby is getting an IV, you can pump while baby gets some formula. As a person with no degrees in medicine, formula seem like a better option being that it’s designed for baby’s nutritional needs with a few exceptions like me as a newborn.

  • Zee

    Thank you!!
    So well stated!!! You are my hero! I just purchased your book and read it cover to cover in 4 hours. Simply could not put it down. You have so eloquently put into words what I have been feeling for so long!

  • Kate

    I did have one hour of supervised skin to skin contact immediately following my son’s birth because he had an elevated respiratory rate. It didn’t work and they gave him a bath, where he screamed and his resp rate came down (he had a fast birth and swallowed a little fluid). I did the SSC with the nurses around, in the delivery room, while my mom was feeding me turkey and mashed potatoes that the cafeteria sent for me. I was given a warm blanket that my baby and I cuddled in. After his bath they gave me formula for him because I had specified formula feeding. That evening they took him to the nursery for the entire night, including feedings. They told me how much they loved cuddling him and were so glad I wasn’t shy about letting them take him for the night. During my entire stay I was always fully confident that my and my baby’s mental and physical health were of paramount importance. I had a wonderful birth experience and am sad to hear that mine is not the norm. I had an enormous amount of serious risks going into the delivery and never once worried about the quality of my care. I felt that my needs were met and concerns were considered. This should be the norm, not trendy bullying masked in the disingenuous term “baby friendly”. Baby friendly was what I experienced.

    • Susan

      Skin to Skin is wonderful! If for no other reason than most parents love it. The problem as I see it is making it into dogma and forcing it in situations where it’s not wanted or appropriate. It was dogma at one time for babies to go to the warmer too. The problem is really in providers and systems that are inflexible and not respecting patients as individuals with rights. I think that a mother’s request to ask for the nurse to watch her baby while she sleeps is entirely reasonable as well as parents who want 24/7 rooming in … It’s the craziness how this stuff became religious dogma instead of a choice that interests me.

  • sdsures

    Was SSC originally developed from co-bedding or kangaroo care for micropreemies in the NICU? Do co-bedding or kangaroo care for micropreemies in the NICU have any real benefits?

    • Charybdis

      I believe it was originally developed/recommended for babies born in developing countries that did not have access to warmers, a nursery, NICU, etc. Skin to skin with mom after being born was a way to help keep the baby warm, establish nursing and have someone immediately present to attend to the baby. Similar to the WHO recommendation to breastfeed for 2 years (in places where access to clean, safe water is sporadic at best, so mixing formula is risky) it has taken root in developed countries as the best way to handle ALL babies, preemies as well as term babies. The benefits are greater for preemies (kangaroo care and breastmilk to help prevent NEC), but they have been extrapolated to include term babies.

      • I had heard that this “advice” was brought in to bring the UK in line with WHO guidance. As soon as I heard it I thought “wait a minute….”, because obviously the issues you have stated here are applicable to some places but not others. It’s part policy-based evidence-making, and part Appeal to Nature.

  • Gretta

    If there are any Moms out there reading this…. I had two C sections. Both babies spent time in the nursery. Both babies breastfed for a year (one longer). One even got a little formula at the hospital. Please don’t believe the hysteria that it isn’t possible…

  • OldTimeRN

    “No more then 3 dyads”….LOL

    • AA

      next the AAP will say that “we recommend that all nurses have time to take a 45 minute lunch break”, right? LOL

    • Susan

      We almost always have three or (two “couplets” if higher acuity. ) Four only if have to because that’s the law here. Love being in California with our unions and ratios. I almost always get breaks, the short ones and the lunch. I usually work L and D and the ratios are followed vast majority of the time. One to one with pit also. This is so different than when I started nursing at 12 dollars an hour and rarely got a break, handled crazy unsafe patient loads and felt powerless. We make decent money now thanks to CNA too. It doesn’t have to be a dream to have safe staffing but it has been a fight to get to it.

  • kfunk937

    This is also being discussed at ScienceBasedMedicine, with gusto. The more the merrier!

    (I apologise if, not having read downthread far enough, this is a duplicate.)

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      To be fair, it wasn’t much of a discussion, just a lot of neophytes being introduced to Brooke.

  • FormerPhysicist

    OT: I read terrible junk romances all the time. I actually read one this weekend where the heroine was a midwife in London, the hero an OB. The medical seemed WAY better than usual, and didn’t raise any flags for me after reading this blog for years (I have no medical training). Yeah, there was some artistic license, but it seemed pretty okay. And every mom had a placenta that needed to come out! (I hate when books say “all done” after baby emerges.)
    Plot points included – grunting baby needing nicu, anemia, OP labor, shoulder dystocia, and staffing shortages …

    • demodocus

      i’m sort of impressed. wonder if the author actually looked stuff up or if they’re a professional who writes terrible romances to relax

      • FormerPhysicist

        Sarah Morgan. Her webpage says “I trained as a nurse and worked for a few years in the ER, but George Clooney was never on my shift so I decided to do something different.”

        • demodocus

          like her sense of humor

      • sdsures

        Dr Robin Cook is a real doctor who’s written really great medical thrillers on the side.

        • demodocus

          I think one of my favorite fantasy writers, Mickey Zucker Reichert, is a doc too.

    • sdsures

      I watched a single episode of “Call the Midwife” once on Netflix.

      The blatant racism made me nauseated. I didn’t make it to the end of the pilot episode because of it. I don’t care if it was the 1960s. It was still abhorrent.

      • Mattie

        I mean, is it better to pretend it didn’t happen? Should we not tell stories from history because our past is unpleasant?

        • sdsures

          I never said that.

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    So, the OBs at my practice are still debating whether what I seem to get after I have babies is a massive yeast infection, postpartum PUPPS, an allergy to Duramorph, or some combination of the above. Whatever it is, it involves what looks like a classic yeast infection rash around the incision that appears within 12 hours of a CS, which then spreads through my stretch marks while looking like hives all over my torso, genital area, and even on my arms, neck, and lips. Lasts for about 2 weeks postpartum. Any skin irritation, even just from an abdominal binder, sweating, rinsing with anything but ice-cold water, wearing something other than very soft cotton, etc, makes the rash/hives immediately worse in that area for 2-3 days. The itching is HORRENDOUS. Worse than chicken pox, and I had that at 13.
    Bloody miserable, to say the least.
    Anyhow, this last time ’round, the on-call OB’s suggestion on my second night PP was for me to take a hefty dose of Benadryl. This on top of Vicodin. Narcotics and Benadryl both make me sleepy under ordinary circumstances. Together, they put me into a state in which I was aware of my surroundings but utterly unable to communicate, though I thought I was talking and no one could hear me. I believe “higher than a freaking kite” may be the technical medical term.
    Had my best friend not been at the hospital with me, I’d have been responsible for a newborn while in that state because there was no newborn nursery. Am I the only person who thinks that’s completely insane?
    ETA: I’m currently drafting a letter of complaint about this situation, and would appreciate any suggestions from medical-type people about the people to whom I should write, key phrases, etc. Fear not; however PO’d I am, the letter will be professional-but-firm in tone.

    • An Actual Attorney

      Make sure to copy the legal department.

      • sdsures

        And keep, like, 10 copies yourself.

    • Dr Kitty

      I think something to the effect of

      “Despite the inherent risks of sedation and altered consciousness when using this combination of medications, I do not believe any assessment was undertaken regarding potential risks to my baby of continuing to room in.

      I do not recall any assessment being made of my ability to safely care for my baby, nor of any appropriate alternative management plan being put in place if it became obvious that I was no longer in a position to care for my baby.

      In hindsight, while this medication was very helpful, I was not in a position to safely care for my baby”.

      It would be highly unethical to deny women effective treatment in order to maintain mandatory rooming in, yet equally it is patently unsafe to mandate rooming-in if women cannot manage to care for their newborns safely.

      The hospital had better look into some solution- otherwise they are going to find themselves between the rock of being sued for negligence and malpractice if a woman is denied an appropriate treatment so she can care for her baby in the absence of a nursery, and the hard place of being sued for negligence and malpractice if an impaired woman injures her baby because there was no alternative to rooming in.

      Nobody sues the hospital if breastfeeding doesn’t work out.

      The more this is made clear, the faster change will happen.

      • sdsures

        Ye gods, I HATE the mandatory rooming in and the risks it entails!

    • MI Dawn

      Building on what Dr Kitty said, I would mention that you were fortunate to have a friend who was able to stay with you, but he/she is not a professional and would not have been able to assist in an emergency. And not all people are able to have a friend assisting under those circumstances.

      Also mention the risks – you were essentially under significant sedation, yet no staff member was assessing the safety of you or your newborn, and if anything had happened (you had fallen, dropped the baby, smothered the baby), the hospital would have had no legal standing.

    • sdsures

      I’m really surprised they took so long to prescribe such a basic drug as Benadryl for a severe allergic problem. (Not a HCP, so if there was something about your L&D that precluded giving it sooner, sorry.)

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        I think the reason they took as long as they did was a combination of a) it being a weekend, and my OB’s partner, rather than my OB himself, being on call; b) they still don’t know what was causing the symptoms, so it was a nurse suggesting “maybe it’s an allergy, in which case, Benadryl might help you” vs a “you’re having an allergic reaction, have an antihistamine” situation; and c) the fact that apparently itching after having Duramorph is really, really common, so they chalked it up to that until the rash started spreading and I said that I couldn’t sleep or rest because the itching was so horrible.
        I admit that it’s since crossed my mind to wonder if the fact that Benadryl would help dry up my milk (even though I wasn’t nursing) coupled with the hospital being BFHI may have been a factor, but in fairness to the hospital, I don’t think that was the case…just a situation of some sort of oddball zebra diagnosis coupled with a lack of continuity of care.

        • sdsures

          In terms of mucosal membranes, my antihistamines make me very dry, as well as another med I’m on for painful esophageal spasms. I don’t know what effect they’d have on milk supply.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Antihistamines that are designed to dry up mucus will often also dry up breastmilk as a side effect. Fun, eh? Of course, I considered that a bonus. :p

          • sdsures

            Nice!

    • Hilary

      Did they figure out what you were allergic to? I had an allergic reaction to the steri-strips.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Nope. The rash starts off like a classic yeast infection rash around the incision (dark red, very itchy), but doesn’t respond to diflucan, which makes me think it may not be a yeast infection. It then spreads through my stretch marks, which get raised, red, and very itchy, and then across my torso et all while looking like hives, which is what brought up the possibility of postpartum PUPPS. Triamcinalone, a steroid cream, seemed to help over a period of several days this time. Apparently, whatever this is isn’t too common; my OB’s partner, who saw me in the hospital, was at the point of asking *me* “what I thought it might be” and prescribing based on my guess of “they thought it might be a yeast infection last time.” (Note: I have no medical education at all.) The itching starts within an hour of the C-section, which is what makes them think it might be a Duramorph allergy. Removing the steri-strips doesn’t affect it one way or another. Last time, they closed with glue; this time, with dissolvable sutures, and the reaction was the same. Maybe it’s an allergic reaction to the internal suture material, if that’s even possible…? I’ve never had any other surgeries to which I can compare this.
        Claritin taken every evening made me sleepy, but it seemed to help a bit with the itching. That, cold showers, cooling lotion, triamcinolone, and waiting 2 weeks for it to go. away. Bleh.

  • Emilie Bishop

    Thank you, Dr. Amy, for absolving my lingering guilt on yet another postpartum issue. I HATED skin to skin contact with my son…mostly because he was born in January and I just wanted to take off the bare minimum of clothing for both of us to nurse him. But even beyond that, it felt awkward and forced. I don’t have a history of sexual abuse or assault or anything like that–I just like keeping my clothes on! It was one more thing I tried to make myself love because I was told so often how good it was for him, but it just wasn’t comfortable. I was so much happier snuggling him through our sweaters and fleece jammies! WHY have so many aspects of birth and newborn care been hijacked by people insisting everything be done a certain way “if you want the best for your baby”?!?!? What a waste of mommy guilt!

    • Ceridwen

      My son HATED STS. Hated it. He screamed bloody murder until I put clothes on him. He wouldn’t even nurse that way. It was not especially cold or anything, he just absolutely did not like it. As soon as he was snuggled up in his jammies he took right to the boob. The only skin to skin he got after a few attempts that all ended that way was when I took baths with him from ~3-5 months (the time between him outgrowing the baby bath and being able to sit up by himself in the big tub).

      • Fleur

        The midwives at the hospital told me that STS would immediately calm my baby down when she was upset. Both times I tried that trick, I got a punch on the nose from an irate baby for my trouble. AP types would have you believe that a baby’s only needs are boob, STS and the occasional nappy change, and that a baby who has these round the clock will never cry (because African babies never cry, etc). Bullshit. My daughter has always cried for the most bizarre reasons (from “I don’t like mummy with a towel on her head” to “Why won’t you let me eat the wet wipes?”).

      • demodocus

        i’m pretty sure my girl prefers to have at least a shirt on. My boy doesn’t care one way or the other,except for shoes. Those come off at the first opportunity.

        • BeatriceC

          As with the snuggling issue, my three kids each had their own opinions on the matter. YK was a nudist. Neither of the other two were any extremes that I can recall, but neither one of them liked to be unclothed for very long well into their toddler years.

          • J.B.

            Toddlers who didn’t run around naked?

          • BeatriceC

            Both of the older ones liked having shirts on. Perhaps no diaper or pants, but they did like shirts.

          • Roadstergal

            I do not know how my parents managed to get pictures of me with my clothes on as a little girl.

          • Charybdis

            My DS is *still* a nudist at nearly 13. When he was quite a bit younger and still in the “wearing a cape all the time” phase, he would run around naked except for the cape. When asked what he was doing, he replied “I’m Naked Booty Batman!” This has become an occasional nickname and will be used to embarrass him in the future.

          • BeatriceC

            YK used to tie a towel around his neck (and nothing else) then run around shouting “I’m Super *one syllable nickname for his real name*. We still use it to tease him these days.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            When he was quite a bit younger and still in the “wearing a cape all the time” phase, he would run around naked except for the cape.

            You need to check out the book “Naked” by Michael Ian Black. You might find it hits a little too close to home, and wonder how Michael Ian Black knows so much about your kids.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Since we live in North Queensland and its stinking hot here for much of the year, minimonkey has spent quite a bit of time in nothing but a nappy. Quite a few of our relatives have seemed vaguely scandalised when they see him running around naked while we video call.

    • Kelly

      Me too. I got yelled at with my second one because I did not actually put her on my skin but on my clothes with a blanket on top. With the third one I declined. I felt a twinge of guilt but I like them better bundled up.

    • Puffin

      First thought when I held my first child was “ew.” I did not enjoy the feeling of slippery, wet, goop-covered neonate at all. I especially did not like having a variety of biological substances smeared across my chest either. I was freezing and shaking uncontrollably from the blood loss. I needed to be covered MORE, not less. This was true with my second as well, though I was shaking too much to hold her safely so at least they didn’t push it. Breastfed both of them for over two years apiece.

      The next kid, I’m refusing immediate skin to skin.

      • MaineJen

        Vernix. That stuff does *not* want to come off.

      • moto_librarian

        Our eldest was handed to me with his cord still attached. I remember feeling distinctly squicked out by the feeling of the pulsing cord. Also, our son decided to poop all over me.

        • Kelly

          I only have pictures of my first with her cord still attached and gooey. It is so gross. We did not take any photos of the others until they were cleaned up because I learned from my mistake.

    • Marie

      My son was born during a November windstorm. Our power went out the day we came home from the hospital and it was freezing. Skin to skin was the last thing I wanted to do.

    • Erin

      I’m refusing this time around. Last time I’m sure the limited skin to skin I had contributed to my son being sent to NICU. He was born in February, the ward was cold, I was even colder and they stuck him on my naked chest, in just a nappy. No surprises for his temperature not going up. My husband calls me Elsa for my ability to get into the nice warm sheets and make the bed cold. I’m the last person anyone should be snuggling for warmth.

      When I had his records pulled, they gave me more answers than questions because apparently he didn’t have an infection, the only thing he had was jaundice which never went above treatment level (but they treated it without asking consent and then using it as a reason why I couldn’t touch him/breastfeed). Not that I would have refused consent but just that really contributed to my feelings of “this can not be my baby otherwise other people wouldn’t be making decisions about his welfare without asking”. Really hasn’t helped me gain any faith in the hospital whatsoever.

      I had one well meaning midwife ask if I wanted someone to hold Baby 2 on my chest in theater (Plan A is general Anesthetic, Plans B through D change at least twice a day) whilst I was unconscious. She was almost in tears when I told her what the hospital have agreed to…baby being checked and going straight to Dad, baby and Dad remaining out of recovery until asked for.

      I think that’s the hardest thing, seeing people visibly upset by my choices because they feel that I’m doing something so abnormal, so wrong. It really goes against that kernel of;

      Don’t let them in,
      don’t let them see
      Be the good girl you always have to be
      Conceal, don’t feel,
      don’t let them know

      That I was brought up with.

      Interestingly enough every NHS professional I know, from midwives, neo-natal nurses and Doctors…all escaped hospital as soon as possible including the Head of Midwifery who discharged herself less than 24 hours post section. I think that sums it up really.

      • Dr Kitty

        Your baby will have been inside you for 9 months.
        You should both meet each other while conscious and able to enjoy it!

        Holding a naked baby on you while you’re unconscious and ventilated is not going to be beneficial for you or baby. There is another warm, loving parent who happens to be awake and able to move and who wants some baby cuddles!

        Absolutely your husband should be cuddling baby until you’re physically and emotionally ready to meet them.

        Your preferred option seems perfectly reasonable and very sensible to me.

        Make sure you’re awake, not puking, not in severe pain and emotionally ok, then snuggle with a nice, warm, clean, happy, and well fed newborn- seems much better than someone holding a wriggling newborn close to a surgical field without any clear reason!

        Your choices may not be their choices, but they are not bad choices, and make perfect sense given your previous experience and stated goal (which is to have the least traumatising birth experience possible, even if it is physically riskier for you).

        I had *sadface* from more than one midwife what I said that I wasn’t interested in even trying a VBAC, and a “What do you mean it would be an unacceptable outcome? It’s the best one, and it might happen anyway!”

        To which I replied that it would certainly not be the best outcome for me because it would be against my wishes. Having seen a bad rupture with a negative outcome I consider the risks unacceptable, and doubt the hospital would consider it the best outcome either after I was finished with them.

        I can get passionate and intense…or, as my husband says “fucking terrifying”.

      • moto_librarian

        What the fuck is wrong with these midwives that they are nearly “in tears” over something like this? JFC, you’re (hopefully) going to be under general, so why shouldn’t your baby be swaddled and handed to your husband? Honestly, I question whether or not someone with such a low level of emotional maturity should even be caring for pregnant women. She needs to get a grip.

      • Roadstergal

        “She was almost in tears when I told her what the hospital have agreed to…”

        JFC, is she a medical professional or an extra in Steel Magnoilas??

        “seeing people visibly upset by my choices”

        MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS visibly upset by a choice that doesn’t have fuck-all to do with the safety of you or your baby. I do not get it.

        “My husband calls me Elsa for my ability to get into the nice warm sheets and make the bed cold”

        We’re all different. My husband and I even have different blankets on each side of the bed, since I have a small nuclear reactor inside in terms of heat generation, and he could keep milk from spoiling on his side. This is not exactly a shock, and should definitely be a consideration when it comes to things like skin to skin – shouldn’t it?

        • Erin

          My husband is like you, he starts out lovely and warm then I stick my feet on him and he gets cold.

          I think with this pregnancy, the saner I get, the weirder, madder, stranger and just plain bonkers everyone else I come into contact with becomes. My friends are all upset that I don’t want to be awake, my Mother is upset that I’m pregnant (she’s decided that the NHS is going to kill me this time) and the staff…well.

          I have had one major wobble though. A friend whose first baby was born needing resuscitation told me how important to her seeing the next one born was. She pointed out that when we met (at a group for “interesting” birth experiences) the primary issue I kept raising was the fact that I didn’t think my baby was my baby, the other stuff was horrible but secondary and that I’m going to be triggered and/or upset regardless. Sensible hat says discuss said feelings with the Consultant or the Peri-natal Psychiatrist or both, the “other” hat says “hell no!”.

          • moto_librarian

            In an ideal world, you would talk with the perinatal psychiatrist about this, but your care has left an awful lot to be desired. I think it’s reasonable to question whether or not being asleep might make you question whether or not your baby is yours, but I would think that being in control of this aspect of the delivery might make this less likely. Is there any other HCP not affiliated with prenatal care that you could talk to?

            Your friends need to STFU, and your Mom should put a lid on it too.

          • demodocus

            Wait! You’re actually pregnant?! Congrats!
            (i thought you’d been discussing theoreticals)

          • Erin

            Thanks. We were talking theoreticals, then I started feeling rather sick again. Six tests later (they all said the same thing which at the time was the wrong answer), it became a lot less theoretical and a lot more “OMG Help…………………….!!!!!!!!”.

          • demodocus

            Oh my! Well, hopefully since you had already been thinking about it a bit, it’s not quite as shocking, maybe?? Do you care to share an ETA?

          • Dr Kitty

            People need different things.

            If you think it is likely that you will think that a baby handed to you by your husband is *not* your baby, she has a point.

            Otherwise, knowing that you are going to go to sleep, calm and well rested and pregnant and waking up a little woozy and sore and NOT pregnant, with your husband handing you a baby he has been taking care of since it was born, is preferable to all the triggering exhausting stuff you went through before.

            You do you.
            Have an honest chat with your husband and mental health team, but don’t presume that your preferences are wrong just because they are unusual.

          • Erin

            If I’m being honest, I don’t exactly have the best track record here.

            My Husband saw them lift our son out of me, saw them take the same baby across the room, do their checks, wipe him down, wrap him up and try and give him to me when I came around from my loss of consciousness.

            I spent around six to seven months screaming “liar” at him every time he tried to convince me that our baby was our baby.

            Which is why I think she caused some doubt to slip in.

          • Dr Kitty

            To be fair, that was after 3days of sleep deprivation and pain and and incredibly triggering CS.

            I wouldn’t assume anything will be the same second time around.

        • nomofear

          OT – my husband and I discovered separate blankets years ago and never looked back. Sharing leads to stealing which leads to resentment 🙂

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Resentment leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to the Dark Side.

          • Roadstergal

            …and I sleep on the Dark Side. Of the bed.

      • Susan

        I have seen this. Some people do need help keeping warm after a c/s. Besides being important to be aware you may need to use a warming device for mom’s health I have seen it be like, no this would be like putting the baby on a cold waterbed! Then anyone with a brain wraps the baby in warm blankets or uses the warmer. I guess you could do skin to skin with Dad too. Not everyone is into that though.

        • Roadstergal

          Isn’t that funny? If dad isn’t into skin-to-skin, nobody pressures him into it, or tells him he’s a bad father and won’t bond properly if he doesn’t do it. I’m pretty sure nobody would weep if dad doesn’t want baby on his chest while he’s unconscious.

        • Erin

          By the time they “insisted” on skin to skin to stop him going to NICU, they’d already packed Dad off home for the night. I told them I was cold, reminded her that she had remarked on it when she took my temperature but apparently “skin to skin doesn’t work like that”.

          • Roadstergal

            If you don’t break the laws of physics, you’re a Bad Mom!

      • Charybdis

        “She was almost in tears when I told her what the hospital have agreed to…baby being checked and going straight to Dad, baby and Dad remaining out of recovery until asked for.

        I think that’s the hardest thing, seeing people visibly upset by my choices because they feel that I’m doing something so abnormal, so wrong.”

        It sounds as if they are trying as hard as they can to make you have the “birth experience” they think all women secretly want, even if the women won’t admit it. I would probably start telling them that you already have a birth plan that has been agreed to by the hospital and that is your Plan A: general anesthetic, baby being checked and cleaned up and then given to Dad until you summon them from recovery. Repeat each time they try to sway you into another birth plan.

        As for them being upset by your choices because they feel that you are doing something so abnormal, so wrong…Fuck that, fuck them and the horse they rode in on. What about YOUR choices? It is THEIR fault that your first childbirth experience was such a bloody shambles and that you find yourself in this debacle. It is not your job to make them happy with your choices, as your choices are fine and the reasoning behind them is valid. It is not the USUAL birth plan, but certainly not unheard of.

    • demodocus

      i had a winter and a summer baby. Didn’t do it with either. Just too clammy in summer. That and I don’t even like v-neck or sleeveless shirts.

    • sdsures

      My husband has fibromyalgia, and very frequently allodynia. Forcing SSC on him would be inhumane. If a husband bottle-feeds the kid in the hospital, do the nurses insist he remove his shirt? 😛 That could constitute sexual harassment.

  • anonym
    • AA

      A Daily Mail commenter on that post ”

      Because
      of new cheaper equipment at my NHS hospital, my epidural leaked,
      forcing me to give birth to my twins with no pain relief AT ALL! 6 pound
      10 and 6 pound 11!! I was really mad I was not allowed a plan
      C-section even though they were breach! However, in hindsight, I am glad I have no scars and were able to pick them up straight away! Just
      thanking the stars we all walked out alive and now they are thriving!”

      • Daleth

        Omfg. They made her do a vaginal birth with breech twins, even though she wanted a CS and the new rules in the UK require them to permit even maternal request CS, much less CS with two medical indications (twins and breech)! That’s crazy! Of course, my docs here in the US tried repeatedly to persuade me to try for a VB despite having mono-di twins, one of whom was breech or transverse at virtually all of my frequent ultrasounds. WTF is wrong with these doctors?

        • Dr Kitty

          The only person I know of recently who had vaginal breech-breech twins was a grand multip with a hx of precipitous term labour who had them at 35w after being admitted that morning with slightly elevated BP.

          Membranes ruptured while in the bathroom on the ward and twins delivered on her bed 5 minutes later- no time to even move her to delivery suite, never mind CS or epidural. A week or so in NICU because they were a bit shocked by the sudden arrival and took a while to get the hang of feeding, but no lasting harm done.

          All well thank goodness, she had wanted VB, and given her hx staff had been willing to try it, but it hadn’t exactly been the preferred plan.

  • anonym
  • Puffin

    I’m very seriously considering specializing in OB/Gyn, but I’m worried that the fact that I place a greater importance on the autonomy and mental health of women than I do on how they choose to use their bodies may cause me a great deal of professional grief. It seems like dissenting voices aren’t really welcome.

    I’ve never quite understood why it’s considered entirely entirely appropriate to manipulate women into using their breasts for ‘approved’ purposes when in every other area of health care, the right to autonomy is paramount. Even if breastmilk were everything lactivists make it out to be… it would still not be right to harass, guilt, and manipulate women into providing it. No level of benefit for the infant justifies the violation of the woman’s right to decide what happens to her own body, so this constant presentation of ‘benefits of breastfeeding’ as justification for these paternalistic policies angers me. Anything beyond offering evidence-based information and support for breastfeeding *if requested* is, in my opinion, inappropriately coercive.

    • Paloma

      I’m a 3rd year OB-GYN resident and my experience is not like that at all. I’ve seen my fair share of idiots who try to harass mothers (including my boss) into doing certain things but I have never felt like anyone asked me to do something like that. I do have to specify that I work at a public hospital in Spain, so no BFHI and VERY different system from the US but still a lot of woo (especially with midwives).
      If you like OB-GYN I would encourage you to go ahead. I love my job and especially that we have two very different “specialties”, as well as imaging (in Spain all the ultrasound scans are done by doctors). When I was trying to decide what to do, one of the things that made me decide was the fact that we don’t do the same every day, and I couldn’t have made a better choice 🙂 The woo is the smallest part of my day to day and there are a lot of people who cannot stand it either.

      • Puffin

        To be totally fair, I’m also a little afraid of the very intense residency program too! It just seems like hospital policies seem to dictate how patients get treated far more than their OBs do, and I can see that being very frustrating, though of course I know OB isn’t the only specialty where that’s a problem.

    • Madtowngirl

      My post-partum self from a year ago is begging you to specialize in OB/GYN. We need more doctors like you.

    • Margo

      I so hope you pursue ob/gyn …and oh boy oh yes it will cause you some professional grief, but go for it…..you are exactly what is required in the ob/gyn field. I hope you have a full and rewarding career.

    • The Rita

      You have no idea how much I wish my last Ob, nurses etc at the hospital hadn’t pressured me into breastfeeding. I wanted formula so bad. I hated breastfeeding but the doctor made that sound like his overall priority over anything even before he delivered the baby while I was 6cm dilated and waiting on my epidural he said “and of course you plan to breastfeed” after I started to say no I don’t want to he continued until I relented.
      My god I resented breastfredinng and it was no thanks to them. My daughter went on formula at 6 months after “failure to gain weight in child” was put in her chart. And this is the second child of mine where breastfeeding was not best. I only formula fed my 3rd child from birth and he had the best outcome, was not losing weight rapidly and not struggling.
      I already know I can’t breastfeed. Why the hell is there this pressure? I can’t do it.
      I want my kids to eat. Please be an ob if this is your stance. I won’t ever have you as a doctor because of the odds of it all but you will help many many women.

  • Cyndi

    As a M/B nurse I, along with my colleagues, were saying this in 1989! But hospital administration doesn’t listen to nurses; we know nothing! 1989!!!! 27 years ago.

    • Gene

      There are a long list of things that nurses have been telling administration that has continued to be ignored: staffing ratios first and foremost. Administration ignoring nursing concerns is, sadly, nothing new.

      • Cyndi

        Sadly, you are correct!

  • CSN0116

    Is there a public forum that collects women’s bfhi experiences (where they can write to share, document)? It would make a fascinating qualitative analysis to search for themes and report.

    • BeatriceC

      If there isn’t, we should start one.

      • CSN0116

        Right? I did a similar analysis with parents’ shared stories regarding a specific fetal disease. But I pulled all the data from a public website (for disease awareness) where people willingly submitted their experiences. I got the paper picked up rather quickly.

        • CSN0116

          …qualitative analyses like this are very revealing when there is emotion and wrongdoing involved.

          • SporkParade

            Can we broaden this to breastfeeding promotion in general? The hospital I gave birth at wasn’t technically part of the BFHI and rooming in at night was actually not technically allowed (no private rooms), but I’m still pissed off at them risking the kiddo’s health for the sake of exclusive breastfeeding, especially since I was never planning or hoping to exclusively breastfeed.

      • MB

        Yes! I will post, I will post!

      • MaineJen

        “My BFH Said What?”

    • Deborah

      It should definitely be audited in some way to determine if it is working as intended and if there are any unintended consequences. My hospital is BFHI – I’ll look into it.

    • MB

      I gave birth in a BFHI hospital. I believe that the midwives there were given enough autonomy and not enough oversight which fostered the environment whereby I was manipulated, isolated and just plain lied to, to keep me out of the care of an OB who would have likely offered me the option of a c-section and more accurately described my risks to baby and mother alike related to LGA baby and the untreated, un-monitored borderline Gestational Diabetes. I would love to post my shit up there. If I could sue those c-suckers, I absolutely would, but I don’t think any lawyer would take my case, b/c in the end, my baby is now perfectly healthy and well, despite his two (preventable days) on an IV in a special care unit related to his hypoglycemia.

      On another note, there’s a lot of health care professionals here, so maybe someone knows…i had two peds tell me that the long, difficult labor and extended broken waters (28 hrs) was likely a contributing factor to his hypoglycemia, but I haven’t been able to find anything about that on the interwebs. Is that true? If so, I feel that I was absolutely not advised of that as being a risk to my baby. Informed consent, yo.

      • MI Dawn

        I’d say more that the untreated gestational diabetes contributed more, but it’s possible the long labor exacerbated the issue. Prolongued ROM, not so much. But I’ll let the doctors weigh in.

  • Susan

    Who decided to call if SUPC and not smothering?

  • BeatriceC

    Honestly to I think we need to start lobbying the insurance companies to analyze the true cost of these policies. I think they will find that there is a substantial added risk to these policies. Perhaps if they started refusing to reimburse as much for postpartum stays with a higher likelihood of causing readmission and/or NICU stays, or take other puntitive measures, hospitals will start looking seriously at the damage being done.

    Additionally, I think women who have not received proper care should start filing formal complaints. Sleep deprivation is used as a form of turture in war time interrogations, yet somehow it’s acceptable to treat postpartum women this way. I think these complaints should use inflammatory words like “torture” and “malpractice”, and if the state hospital boards were suddenly flooded with complaints, or if enough women got together to file a class action suit, then maybe things will change.

    • AA

      I truly believe that BFHI change will come from patients, as hospitals’ desires to get BFHI certification stems from marketing (“Come deliver with us–we’re BFHI!”). A lot of hospitals are actively competing with other hospitals to have women deliver at their facility. Many women have more than 1 labor and delivery unit in network. Write in and say that you’re taking your business elsewhere.

      • BeatriceC

        I think that will play a role, but in many areas, like mine, there isn’t a non BFHI alternative, so where do women go if they want to avoid it? That’s why I think the insurance companies should get involved. Usually I think they’re evil, but as a statistician, I do know a thing or two about actuarial science, and I’d venture a guess if I started analyzing actual numbers I’d find significant added risk to BFHI that would justify reducing reimbursement to hospitals with those policies, or punitive measures such as refusing to pay for related readmissions/NICU admissions from the floor (many contracts have stipulations where the insurance companies can refuse to pay for services required out of hospital/provider negligence and forbid the provider from passing the bill to the patient…there’s a name for that contractual stipulation, which I’m forgetting).

        As you said, hospitals won’t change unless it hits them in the pocketbook. If women can’t choose another alternative, then the financial pressure is going to have to come from somewhere else.

        • demodocus

          I’m fairly sure all of our locals are BFHI, too. Fortunately, only one NICU nurse showed any disapproval over our bottle feeding, and it was so mild that Dem didn’t even notice.

    • MB

      I literally just filed my formal complaint to the hospital 2 weeks ago because of THIS FORUM!! Even though it has been 13 months now, I am still mad about it. My rights as a woman were trampled on, and at the detriment to my baby and I. I received a formal apology via phone with the VP of Resources at the BFHI hospital, but I felt that it was empty and although she was agreeing with her mouth that it was not the “level of care they expected from their midwives”, I felt like it was empty. She doesn’t give a shit about me or any other mother or baby for that matter. Those asshole midwives over there are gonna kill someone someday, if they haven’t already.

  • Chant de la Mer

    I hate the BFHI, I didn’t even have a terrible experience with my BFHI hospital but there were a bunch of little things that made life worse rather than better. I planned on breastfeeding, I had support for breastfeeding but I did not have any support for other important things like sleep. Now admittedly I’m sure the baby nursery was shut down for financial reasons but why did I have to ask for formula to feed my poor hungry baby when he was hungry after only getting colostrum for 12 hours and his blood sugar wasn’t going up? Why did breastfeeding have to be so important that a medical professional wasn’t the one suggesting we supplement so the baby would have stable blood sugar, something that is fairly important for his little brain.

    I was chastised for falling asleep with him in my arms both nights I was there because I was so tired I couldn’t stay awake, yet no one offered to take him and watch him so I could get some sleep. Instead I was told scary stories about how 3 infants have been dropped, IN THE HOSPITAL, in the last year and one died so I needed to leave him in his bassinet, which by the way was too tall for me to reach into unless I stood up or raised my bed to unsafe heights. Which again I got chastised for since I could drop the baby or fall out of the bed and yes that could have happened but I was also sore and recovering and it was really hard to stand up the first 2 days, the ones I happened to spend in the hospital.

    • Katie

      That’s right, I was so weak from blood loss (no hemorrhage, just a lot of cutting) and so sore that it was difficult for me to get out of bed, go around it, and get my baby. Plus, I couldn’t get back in bed without laying him down first and I couldn’t sit in a chair because of the swelling. But my husband and mom were available and he’s my first, so no one had to leave to take care of an older child. How many mothers really have multiple support people who can leave work/other dependents for the entire first week of the child’s life?

    • Hilary

      So I’m really curious, what do they do with c-sections moms who have a hard recovery? I had a classical after 2 days of labor and it was 24+ hours before I could even get out of bed into a wheelchair to see my son. I was dizzy and had uncontrolled pain, was taking heavy doses of Percocet. I couldn’t get to the bathroom without a nurse helping me, I definitely couldn’t have held a baby. He was in the NICU so it didn’t matter, but if he hadn’t been in the NICU, who would have taken care of him??

      • maidmarian555

        I gave birth in April. Had 3 days of labour after an induction, which ended with an emergency CS for CPD. My son was born at 6am, at 6pm they took my catheter out so I could get out of bed and at 9pm they send his dad home as we weren’t allowed visitors on the ward at night so all the mums could ‘get some rest’. I was still off my head on morphine, could barely move and had slept only 5 hours since my induction started. They left me alone with my son, in a mini-ward with 3 other women. We all had curtains around our beds and at midnight I gave in and buzzed for a nurse as I couldn’t work out how to express colostrum into a syringe on my own and my baby was starving (he had a really bad tongue tie, which they couldn’t deal with until the next day as the only person in the entire hospital who could fix it was on a day off). A nurse came, I must have looked awful as she suggested a few syringes of formula, she fed him and then left me again. At 2am I buzzed again as he was still hungry and I felt really self-concious as he was the only screaming baby in our room and was bothering everyone else. She took him, I passed out and woke up to him grumbling back in his bassinet at 4.30am. I got him out and cuddled him to keep him calm until 8am when the next shift came on, terrified that I would pass out again and drop him but I really didn’t want to disturb anyone and felt like I shouldn’t buzz again as I’d already buzzed and nobody else in my room was doing that. From what I can work out, I could have easily passed out and dropped him off the bed at 11pm that night and NOBODY would have known until 8am the next morning as I was only checked on when I buzzed for help. I went home the next day (36hrs after my CS) as even though I was a mess and not anywhere near recovered, at least his Dad was at home to help and I would be able to sleep for the first time in FIVE DAYS. When I think about what happened, it makes me feel physically sick. We were really vulnerable and just abandoned to get on with it and are lucky nothing awful happened.

        • Hilary

          See, that’s appalling. How is that even legal? I’m so glad your baby is all right.

        • MaineJen

          Someone *really* needs to start collecting and publicizing these stories, so people can see what really goes on in baby friendly hospitals. This is insane.

        • Puffin

          That is just… unbelievable. Not that I think you’re making it up, it’s just hard to understand how anyone can think this is adequate care.

          That the removal of well-baby nurseries is a real problem is particularly highlighted by your experience. Not every well baby has a well mum. We can’t expect every single woman to be capable of caring for an infant – an activity universally acknowledged to be pretty exhausting! – immediately after delivery. Childbirth is a pretty complex, physically taxing process. Womens’ needs afterwards are going to vary.

          • maidmarian555

            I’m in the UK and this was an NHS hospital. I know a lot of women who’ve had their babies there and their experiences post-birth are broadly similar (no help at night with caring for their babies) to mine although, obviously, most of them were not in hospital and awake for three days prior to delivery. At the time I thought it was just me being unable to cope; the midwives who came round in the morning did not approve when I asked for more formula to feed my son and made a number of comments that made me feel that I was getting things wrong and needed to sort myself out. It’s only really with the benefit of hindsight and speaking to other people about my experience that made me realise that my feeling that it was dangerous for me to be left alone with him that night wasn’t just me being useless. I thought my fear of being alone with him was down to me being a terrible mother and being over-dramatic because I was tired. I know now that it was entirely justified.

          • Dr Kitty

            I found that NHS midwives on postnatal wards came in two flavours.

            The one close to retirement who offered me 20 mg of temazepam and to take the baby until 8am… And then showed me how to feed while side lying when I declined, so I could “get my rest”.

            And the newly qualified ones who asked me if I was *really sure* I needed every single dose of opioids and suggested I co-sleep with the bed sides up when I said I was finding it difficult lifting the baby in and out of the bassinet.

            TBH, with #2 I was in an ensuite private room and I avoided them all as much as possible. Didn’t ring the call bell, made sure I was written up for 4hrly regular (NOT PRN) opioids and just got on with it.

            Thankfully the last Discworld book came out just before #2 was born, so I was sitting up all night reading anyway…

          • maidmarian555

            I had almost exactly the opposite! The younger midwives were all really good but some of the older, matronly ones were *terrifying*. My personal favourite was the one that decided it was a good idea to administer a propess for induction at 11pm at night, neglected to tell me that it was a 24hr process, complained continually about how terrible the midwife on the day shift was, refused point blank to respond to any questions my partner asked her (it was really weird, she just didn’t seem to think she should speak to him at all even though he was right there with me and behaved like he was invisible) and then gave me a paracetamol and told me to get some sleep. I spent the entire night enduring violent contractions and not getting any sleep at all….

      • J.B.

        Someone I know had an emergency c section but got no help caring for her child when she was not in a state to do so. Awful.

        • Hilary

          That’s horrible.

      • Erin

        In my experience, no one. I was lucky that I had an easy physical recovery from mine but I could have done a serious injury to the midwife who told my husband I needed to get better at asking for help, having asked for help and had none forthcoming.

      • Ceridwen

        A friend of mine gave birth to twins (her second set) by scheduled section after a pregnancy marked by severe HG, an abdominal hernia, and muscle separation so bad that PT can do little for her and she will need extremely painful surgery next year to hopefully help her be able to walk for more than 10 minutes without needing days to recover. She was at a BFH and was left to care for them by herself. My other friend who had a brutal induction attempt (something like 72 hours long) followed by a section at another BFH was left to care for her own baby. Both of them left the hospital earlier than recommended because they were so miserable at the hospital, largely from lack of sleep. Both already had older children, so the “you need to learn how to do this” bullshit did not apply. Both could not have their spouses at the hospital because they needed to care for the older children. The hospitals gave no fucks.

        • Hilary

          This and all the other stories here make me so freaking angry! Someone really does need to start a website dedicated to telling these experiences.

      • New Mommy

        I can answer that because I just did it two months ago; me. Planned C-Section due to medical necessity. Two days of contractions prior to day of surgery, so barely a few hours sleep going in. The surgery and recovery were fine. It was the lack of sleep and the severe push to breastfeed that messed me up and actually pushed me into the first stages of PPD within a week of being home. I did not sleep the night I was in the hospital. We had family come to help but the hospital staff had a severe dislike and urged the family to only stay a couple hours and were very open about their disapproval of them being there. Even though we were fine with it. They weren’t allowed to stay to help at night. So my DH and I were left with a one day old to care for. My DH passed out from three days of no sleep and the stress of watching his wife go through potentially life threatening surgery, from a full standing position. I was pretty helpless laying in bed but he luckily was close enough that I pulled him towards me when I saw him start to go down, so his head was able to hit the mattress. I called the nurse, she helped him get into the pull out couch bed and I asked what I could do about the baby. She made a pillow fort of my bed, lowered it, and swaddled the baby and handed her to me. Now in her defense she did offer to ‘roll her to the nurse’s station for a few hours’ but I wasn’t comfortable with my one day old being in a heavy traffic hallway with all the other patients had access to. So I laid there and she told me to try to sleep while holding my newborn. I decided instead to stay awake. All night. I stared at the ceiling, panic keeping me drifting for the most part. I did drift off to sleep at one point but woke myself up to my own whimpers and crying because I had a dream I had dropped my baby. But LO was fast asleep in my arms still. So I cried a bit and was wide awake until the sun came up and my DH woke up. How that was a ‘better’ situation for a woman who had gone through two days of labor and then abdominal surgery, no sleep for three days, and was already at risk for PPD due to hormonal fluctuations? I have no clue. Oh and I was severely struggling with breastfeeding. LO lost 11% body weight, would not latch, and had crystals in the diaper by day 2. I was crying at the nurse to do something and she pulled in a pump rather than offer what she referred to as ‘the dreaded F word.’ I was able to get some colostrum which helped but was clearly not enough. I clearly have a low supply, but I wasn’t expecting to have to keep traveling back and forth for lactation consultants every single day for two weeks after I just gave birth. That alone was tiring. My experience of breastfeeding and the amount of pressure and struggle I had with me was immensely horrible. I turned to exclusively pumping when the day I realized I was dreading attempting to nurse and ending up in tears each time because the baby would cry each time and refuse to latch. I ended up crying for hours in the nursery, not wanting to see anyone and feeling like my LO hated me or was associating me with awfulness since I wasn’t allowed to just hold LO without the pressure of trying to nurse.

        Honestly, I’m extremely pissed at my so-called baby friendly hospital and the amount of pressure to do things just the way they want you to.

        I’m now mentally in a better place, but a secondary concern is that I wasn’t told how difficult breastfeeding would be. I don’t mean the latch either. I mean the amount of potential health risks. Mastitis, yeast infections, plugged ducts, bacterial infections, milk blisters, etc. The amount of money I’ve had to spend to keep it up, the parts for the pump, the pump rental, nursing clothing, skin creams, lactation tea/cookies/oatmeal bars/supplements. I mean I may have still chosen to do it, but I feel like a lot of those topics were withheld from me and mentioned only in passing when a problem popped up later. Had I been given the opportunity to make a decision, with all the information, who knows what I would have picked, but the fact it was withheld makes me so angry.

        • Hilary

          What reading your story and these others reminds me of, is the stories I’ve read of women in Ireland who had symphysiotomies without their consent. Obviously this doesn’t have the same long term, devastating physical effects, but it comes from the same ideological place where the woman’s health and well-being doesn’t matter as much as something else – the baby being breastfed, or the ability to have unlimited numbers of children – whether or not those things are actually important to the mother. It’s ideological cruelty.

        • HD

          Oh I can relate to so much of this! I am sorry you went through it ☹️

    • Carolina

      I had a scheduled C-section with my second. The hospital had a well baby nursery, but I still got crap from a nurse that sending him to the nursery at night would ‘mess up” breastfeeding (he’s still nursing 17 months later). Thanks in part to this blog, I smiled and firmly told her that I was all alone at night, had had major surgery, was on pain killers, and wasn’t going to care for a baby all night. They could bring him to me to eat. And they did.

    • Fleur

      I’m based in the UK but I had a similar experience (c-section, no nursery, couldn’t lift my baby into the bassinet for the first couple of days). My daughter breastfed 45 minutes in every hour all through the night until my nipples bled. Every time she finished, I had to buzz to get someone to put her back in the bassinet, only for her to start crying again five to ten minutes later. I now realise that she was starving hungry but the midwives convinced me that she must be getting enough milk because she “looked contented”. Nobody told me not to buzz for help but there was a strong undertone of judgement (one nurse told me I’d have to lift my own baby all the time when I was at home, which wasn’t true because my mother was going to stay with me for the first week or two). As a single mother with a history of depression, I was terrified of being labelled as “not coping”. One midwife was willing to give a small amount of formula but only out of a little cup, even though I’d brought bottles and teats. The cup scared the living daylights out of me because the midwife made noises about the risk of choking, so I didn’t dare ask for formula again. So we just didn’t sleep for three nights. I’m grateful to Dr Amy because, if I hadn’t been a regular lurker here in late pregnancy and read some scary stuff about accidents involving overtired mothers in “baby friendly” hospitals, I might have taken a chance on being able to stay awake and kept my baby in bed with me, rather than bothering the ward staff again. God knows what the consequences of that would have been – I sleep like the dead even when I haven’t just undergone surgery.

    • HD

      I was also chastised for the same thing despite being heavily sedated after a c section. And my newborn would not sleep for an instant in the bassinet…not once during our whole stay. So really, a person recovering from surgery, who was already awake all night, should stay awake an additional two days???? Seriously? It is unfathomable.

  • moto_librarian

    Is there any actual proof that skin-to-skin or constant nursing/pumping has any impact on when a woman’s milk comes in? Because I hear this proclaimed as gospel all the time.

    • Wren

      I’ve not seen it.
      I can say the best way to make sure the milk comes in quickly is to never have it dry up from the previous baby. I can’t confirm that’s the reason my second was so much better at the breastfeeding thing than the first, but I can say it meant she got fed well from her first feed and wasn’t nearly as hungry as her big brother had been in the first few days. Between recovering from an easy (lucky) VBAC vs recovering from a C-section and the difference in supply, recovery from the second birth was about a million times easier.

    • Chant de la Mer

      In order for milk to come in you need developed mammary glands, a minimum level of prolactin and the drop in progesterone that comes with delivery/removal of the placenta. The changeover from colostrum to mature milk is more of a continuum than a sudden change so it is helpful to nurse but if the three requirements are in place then the milk will come in whether you nurse/pump or not.

    • CSN0116

      Refused to nurse all 5 of my babies.

      Refused skin to skin with all 5.

      Didn’t touch my breasts, constricted them, applied ice, took Sudafed.

      My milk still came in religiously on day 4 every. single. time.

      • AA

        You left all 5 babies at the hospital, right? Without the proper bonding rituals, you must have just said “eh, these squirmy things cry a lot, I’m going home without them!”

        • CSN0116

          Of course. No bonding here. I was utterly incapable of it without sts and bf. Those kids are fucked six ways to Sunday 😛

    • BeatriceC

      Mine were all preemies. My oldest was immediately transferred to a hospital an hour away. I didn’t even get to have a good look at him, let alone skin to skin. My middle was pretty stable for his gestational age so they did put him on my chest for a few minutes after the initial assessment, but then his breathing tanked and they took him back. My youngest was so tiny and I was so sick that I didn’t see him for a few days and I didn’t get to hold him for almost a month. My milk came in like a tidal wave early the second day with all three of them, no pumping required.

    • Erin

      Anecdotal but hey… one of my friends had the perfect textbook vaginal birth, 4 or 5 hours of uninterrupted skin to skin in the delivery suite and lots and lots of constant nursing. When she wasn’t nursing, she was hand expressing.

      I refused to touch my son for the first hour and a bit after my emcs. Then he nursed for a bit but I kept putting him down/giving him to my husband. That night he went to NICU and I didn’t see him for 9 hours. When I went down to see him the following morning I was only allowed to hold him/breastfeed for 20 minutes at a time because of his jaundice treatment. I tried hand expressing, let’s say it didn’t go well.

      On day 5, they suggested my friend supplement with formula because the baby was still losing weight, she was still in hospital and there was no sign of her milk.

      By day 3, my milk was in (and out and all over my clothes). By day 10, it was capable of spraying across the room and my son was back over his birth weight much to the happiness of the health visitor/midwife.

      • MB

        This — me too. Baby was taken away due to hypoglycemia and formula fed by the nurses in the special care unit on a strict schedule to get his glucose to level off. Three days later, I brought him home and began truly nursing (with the exception of some sporadic pumps in the hospital). First night was difficult, but baby had no latch problems. 13 months later, we’re still nursing.

    • Valerie

      This is on my short list of things to check out in actual, peer-reviewed literature. What studies were done? How strong is the evidence? And is anything they say about the benefits of SSC to the baby well-supported? It sounds like people are really romancing the “natural” aspect of it.

      • swbarnes2

        Here’s a link to the ScienceOfMom website on SSC. Recap: comparing term babies being held and term babies left to lie alone in bassinets doesn’t really prove that skin-to-skin is magic.

        https://scienceofmom.com/2013/10/02/the-magic-and-the-mystery-of-skin-to-skin/

        • Valerie

          I remember stumbling onto one study of kangaroo care with the same inappropriate comparison- babies cried longer from a heel prick when left in a bassinet than when skin to skin. Duh.

    • Heidi

      I did skin to skin, nursed, snuggled my baby all the time, pumped, and never got this rush of milk to come in. I could tell when the milk changed from colostrum but it never fully came in in any amount that could have sustained the baby. I read about engorged and leaky breasts, and while I know I shouldn’t be jealous, I am a little bit so!

      • moto_librarian

        See, I put myself through sheer hell trying to get my milk to come in with my first child (pumping every 2 hours, putting baby to breast, supplementing with pumped milk, then with formula), and it did nothing. I felt so guilty and awful because I was sure that I must be doing something wrong because “every woman can breastfeed.” I didn’t put myself through nearly as much with my second (I did pump 2 or 3 times a day for the first 6 weeks, but was only getting 1/2 to 1 ounce per 15 minute session per breast), and while I made slightly more milk, the end result was the same. I have never experienced engorgement or the feeling of let-down, and as soon as I quit pumping, I was completely dried up within a day.

        It really bothers me that instead of telling me to rest and heal after my awful first birth (cervical laceration, pph nearly requiring transfusion, and 2nd degree tear), I was put on this ridiculous pumping schedule. If it doesn’t really do anything, why are we telling new mothers to do this? This is sadistic!

        • Sarah S

          Your delivery sounds like mine (except I wound up having 3 units transfused). Interestingly enough, when I finally got in to see a pediatrician-lactation specialist, she told me not to bother pumping, but rather to very slowly and gradually reduce formula and nurse more often instead, and only to the point where baby was still gaining well (weekly checks) and was content. Never did get fully off formula with him but I did reduce it considerably.

          The first night after my son was born, I wasn’t physically able to get out of bed so my husband stayed. But all that meant was that neither of us got sleep and then he got to drive home in the morning like that. I think I buzzed the nurses every few minutes at various points that day lol. Everything from formula (because of the pph they have it to me no questions asked) to spare mesh underwear. Only one of them gave me any attitude–she tried to get my husband to do her job for her at 3 AM and was quite rude to all 3 of us.

          The next night I was on my own and kind of wished there was a nursery because of how weak I still was, but at least I was off the good drugs.

          The lack of nursery was more of a problem when I was in surgery. My newborn spent ~3 hours at the nursing station while I was being operated on and on recovery afterwards.

          • Kelly

            That is ridiculous. They should have a place to watch babies when their mothers are incapacitated.

          • MaineJen

            Like…a well baby nursery! What a great idea! Oh wait…

          • Kelly

            Lol. That is what I meant.

          • moto_librarian

            Our hospital still had a well baby nursery when our second child was born four years ago, and at that time, there were no plans to eliminate it, but they were pursuing BFHI. Our son was in the NICU due to TTN and suspected infection, and I didn’t see him until the next day. I was totally spaced out from blood loss and anesthesia (conscious sedation), and there was no way that I would have been in any condition to even hold him.

      • Gene

        Don’t be. Engorgement hurts like a MF, blocked ducts are worse. And I never got any stretch marks EXCEPT on my breasts!

        • corblimeybot

          You aren’t kidding about blocked ducts. I had one that was big enough you could see it through my shirt. Miserable.

          • Kelly

            Mastitis and torn nipples here. Torn nipples are the worst pain I have ever had in my life and it made me swear off nursing again.

      • Megan

        I felt the same way with my first child. I pumped a lot and had baby to breast basically whenever I wasn’t pumping. Milk didn’t come in until at least day 7, and I can’t be sure exactly when because I never got engorged or anything. Second baby, I flat out refused to pump at all, (though I did a few times when she was readmitted for jaundice and wouldn’t feed well) and just put her to breast as much as I could and supplemented with formula as well. My milk came in on day 2. Still no heavy engorgement but it was definitely milk. It was a definite “improvement” but still not enough. Second baby is now EFF. It’s hard to resist the rhetoric that if you just try harder you’ll have more milk but that’s just not true for everyone. I actually got more milk when I tried LESS! Anyway, I get the jealousy thing. I’m mostly over it after my second but I even harbored some guilt with her until those pesky lactation hormones went away.

    • Hilary

      No. My milk came in in frightening amounts less than 12 hours after my son’s birth and I hadn’t even gotten to touch him yet.

    • Kelly

      Formula fed my third child, never did skin to skin, she was in the nursery for two nights, and was held by a lot of family and friends and my milk still came in two days later.

  • guest

    Nurses immediately available on mother-baby ward? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I don’t blame the nurses since this is a staffing issue, but OMG what fantasy land does the AAP live in? The only time nurses were “available” on my ward was when they woke you up at 3 AM to take your temperature.

    • Ceridwen

      This was actually one of the advantages of giving birth at a small hospital somewhat out in the boonies. During and after both my deliveries the nurses were almost always available immediately. At worst I might have waited 30 second for a reply to me buzzing and 5-10 minutes for them to come help me. I think I was forgotten about once when I requested something, but it was always non-emergent stuff. They also took my babies overnight at my request and watched them at the nurses station except when it was time for me to nurse. And they always timed the nursing and meds/vitals checks to coincide so was woken as few times as possible. I had the best and most magical nurses. I loved my hospital stays both times.

      The major downside of course was that there was no NICU. Any serious problem for me or baby would have meant a helicopter ride 70 miles to the nearest one. I was not at all thrilled about that part, but insurance wise I had little choice in where I could go. Thankfully the only complications for either me or baby were minimal (a moderate PPH the first time, a small piece of retained placenta that was immediately noticed and removed by the OB the second time).

      • guest

        Yeah, and I needed the NICU, so no small hospital for me. But if I was absent when meals were delivered (like, downstairs in the NICU absent), my meal would disappear. And there was no one to get me another. It was terrible.

  • graysmama

    Cuddling my almost 3 week old right now. I did not give birth to her at a BFHI hospital but the hospital I gave birth at lacks a nursery. The first night was difficult because I had a c section and my husband went home with our older child and I had no one to stay with me. The nurses were helpful with the baby but they kept questioning why I was alone in the hospital and made me feel a little bad. Well sorry that my other family and friends have jobs and their own lives and that my husband wanted to try to keep things normal for our older child who was having hard enough time without me at home with him. They were at least supportive that I already knew from my first child that I will never be able to make enough breastmilk to exclusively breast feed and did provide formula and a supplemental nursing system with the option for a bottle if I wanted it. We ended up waiting until we got home to introduce a bottle but at least it was an option along with asking if we wanted to give a pacifier. The skin to skin after my c section was nice but she ended up being jaundiced and spent most of our 3 day hospital stay under bili lights and not being held so not sure it contributed much towards bonding compared to all the cuddling we’ve done at home in the weeks since.

    • LeighW

      “The nurses were helpful with the baby but they kept questioning why I was alone in the hospital…”

      This drives me crazy. I can’t think of any other time someone would be asked to stay and care for a patient in hospital. They asked why you were alone? You weren’t alone. Unless you delivered over Skype there’s a whole building full of medical professionals there with you.

      This bullshit is getting out of hand.

      • Hilary

        “I can’t think of any other time someone would be asked to stay and care for a patient in hospital.”

        Then you’ve never been in a pediatric unit. Whenever my son’s inpatient, the hospital staff expect me to stay with him. I am basically responsible for all his care as I would be at home, except that I have to record everything, save his diapers, and ask the nurses permission to do things like give his medicines.

        This is a different situation though because there are TWO patients – the mother and the baby – and one recovering patient is being expected to care for the other. That’s messed up. Would a patient recovering from any other major surgery be asked to care for another patient?

        “Oh, we know you just had your appendix removed and it ruptured and you’re on antibiotics now for sepsis, but your grandmother with Alzheimer’s is here too and we need you to make her meals and take her to the bathroom and chase after her if she runs away.”

        • Charybdis

          “Whenever my son’s inpatient, the hospital staff expect me to stay with him. I am basically responsible for all his care as I would be at home, except that I have to record everything, save his diapers, and ask the nurses permission to do things like give his medicines.”

          This I find disturbing, in a way. When you (general) are in the hospital, it is not out of the question for the staff to actually take care of you. It’s their job, FFS: monitoring patients, answering the call buzzer when it is pressed, checking dressings, incisions, wound vacs, catheters, IV’s, dispensing medications when they are requested and/or ordered, etc.

          I do understand that having a family member/friend who can “stay” in the room with you is extremely helpful. They can adjust pillows and blankets, make sure you have ice and water in your pitcher, fetch snacks and beverages, deal with visitors, help you get to the bathroom (if it is allowed) and generally help you communicate and deal with the staff (take notes when the doctor comes by, keep a list of questions for the doctor/RN/therapist/unnamed medical professional). Staying for moral support, comfort measures and communication reasons is one thing, having to help do the staff’s jobs because they are understaffed is something else entirely.

          I also get that if you have a family member with a chronic health problem, you get extremely well-versed in their conditon, care and when a trip to the ER/hospital is nec

          • BeatriceC

            Hospitals don’t want to spend the money to adequately staff any department, let alone pediatrics. There needs to be an almost 1-1 ratio if there are infants and toddlers. So they expect parents to fill the gap. It’s insane.

          • guest

            I can’t imagine what will happen if one of my twins needs more than a day or two of inpatient pediatric care. They have no other parent. I can get some leave from work, and probably even paid – but there’s a limit. And then there’s the twin, who also needs care, and while I can afford to take off from work, I cannot afford 24 hour overnight care for my other small child. I’ve had such neglectful nursing care for my own stays, I’d hate to leave a small child alone in the hospital even if the child was sleeping. Hospitals really have parents there – do our job, because we might not do it if you’re not here, and since you’re here, why don’t you do a whole lot of my job and if you ask for some coverage so you can go get a shower and a meal we’ll criticize your parenting.”

          • Kelly

            This makes me thankful that if one of my children were to go into the hospital that I have a lot of family and friends to help out but this is insane. We never saw my mom for six months unless we went to the hospital when this happened in my family.

          • Hilary

            I agree with you. Of course as a parent I want to be with my child and advocate for him, but often I can’t even step out to get food for myself. The staffing issue is real. One of his first hospitalizations, when he was a baby, he pulled out his IV in the middle of the night. I woke up and saw my baby coughing and covered with blood and freaked out. Hit the call button, said, “My baby is covered in blood,” gave room number. No one came. I went and tried to figure out what was going on, I called again. The third time I called, the nurse at the desk actually hung up on me. So … I hit the emergency button. Immediately there were about twenty people in the room. I said, “He pulled out his IV. I was calling and no one came.”

            I still feel sort of guilty about this incident, but he was only about 2 months adjusted, had had surgery the day before, I was alone with him in the middle of the night and he was covered in blood and the nurse hung up on me. So.

        • BeatriceC

          I didn’t read your reply before I replied myself. We had the same thought.

      • BeatriceC

        Pediatrics. They get snotty with the parents of you have to leave to take care of other children or go to work. I’ve been on the receiving end of a little bit of this myself, and one of my middle school students’ mother even had CPS called on her for neglect because she didn’t stay in the hospital to care off her toddler because she had to work three jobs to keep a roof over her kids’ heads.

        • Hilary

          And it’s a shock after the NICU, where you barely get to do anything!

        • Kelly

          That is crazy. I didn’t realize that you had to stay the whole time. My mom stayed the entire time with my brother when he was in the hospital for six months. She barely made it home for Christmas. I do not fault my mom for the decision she made, but I have vowed not to do that if one of my children are in the hospital. Not having my mother around for six months really changed the dynamics of my family and not always in a good way. We had a cancer scare for our youngest and I was already planning on figuring out how to take care of my children at home and the one in the hospital because my children at home also need me.

          • BeatriceC

            At one point I looked at a hospital administrator in frustration and asked “Which kid do you want me to neglect? The one who’s in the hospital with supposedly first rate nursing care or the ones at home with no other adult available to watch them?” They got significantly less snotty after that. But it boils down to money. If they can guilt the parents into staying 24/7 regardless of other obligations, to provide unskilled nursing care, they can hire fewer nurses and nursing assistants, increase the patient loads on the nurses they do have, and supposedly save money. I’d venture a guess, however, that the long term outcomes are more expensive when it comes to slower recovery and readmission rates.

        • kfunk937

          Is this a new thing? When I was hospitalised as a kid, neither my parents nor my room-mates’ stuck around, outside of what were then strictly imposed visiting hours. At 5YO, this meant comforting the 3-yr-old in the next bed when she got the willies (and it turned out that the gurney we heard, was coming for me). It was similar when my brother was in PICU and then paeditric neurology, both during and after an extended coma. (For comparison, US, 1960s-70s).

          How awful not to take context into account, and not to properly staff the floor to begin with.

        • amazonmom

          That is one of the ideas that drives me nuts at my job. Questioning the mother’s “bond” if she can’t spend every last second martyring herself at the bedside. I can care for my patient if Mom or Dad can’t be there. I find it to be a very classist , discriminatory attitude.

          • BeatriceC

            I think there are a lot of nurses out there like you, and you guys are much appreciated. As much as I wish I could have a clone, that’s just not in the cards. Thankfully, my boys had some pretty awesome nurses all three times I had two kids in different hospitals, a third at home and, as a single mother, no help at all.

  • Brooke

    Lol, yeah okay. The BFHI was created by WHO and UNICEF. There are benefits to breastfeeding babies exclusively for 6 months http://www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/News-and-Research/News/US-study-shows-breastfeeding-would-save-lives-and-money/ please note that this article cites a doctor from Harvard Medical School, not a group of uneducated lactivists. The BFHI does not encourage co-sleeping in an unsafe environment like a hospital bed but rooming in with the baby in a separate bassinet. There are also well established benefits to skin to skin contact following birth: http://www.cochrane.org/CD003519/PREG_early-skin-to-skin-contact-for-mothers-and-their-healthy-newborn-infants

    It’s ridiculous to claim that keeping a baby and mother together following birth is “punitive”. Skin to skin contact and rooming in help a mother to be successful at HER breastfeeding goals, considering upwards of 80% of mothers WANT to breastfeed it’s ridiculous for hospitals to adopt policies that are not helpful to establishing a breastfeeding relationship.

    • moto_librarian

      Yawn. Dr. Amy has already dissected the ridiculous claims about breastfeeding supposedly having the potential to save billions of dollars in the United States.

      And if you have had a difficult delivery and are in need of rest and recovery, it is punitive to expect you to room in with your baby. Not everyone is privileged enough to have family to come and help with these duties. My hospital was glad to bring me my son for feeds whenever he was hungry. No one supplemented him without my permission. Grow the hell up, Brooke.

      • corblimeybot

        She literally has nothing in her life but this.

    • Taysha

      Actually, supplementing with formula increases the chances of EBF.

      But you don’t care about facts when a good narrative can be built.

      You probably want to see a healthcare professional about this obsession of yours.

      • Tokyobelle

        I had two very good friends who EBF for 6+ months, and they both recommended that I not hesitate to use formula for the first few days until my milk was established. Granted, I never produced, but I was putting him to breast aplenty in the first few days, so if there had been anything there, he would have gotten it.

    • J.B.

      From the article you cite:

      “In the current care context, initiation and duration are not defined. The concept of “care” does not change; only the place where such care is provided changes. Further, although a dose-response effect has not been documented in randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the general belief is that SSC should continue until the end of the first successful breastfeeding to show an effect and to enhance early infant self-regulation”

      general belief??? This is such strong language and completely in line with what Dr. Amy said above “Of the eleven papers cited in support of this claim, NOT EVEN ONE demonstrates SCC causes benefits for term infants.”

      • J.B.

        Also, I might add. The quote I pulled out from Brooke’s article discusses skin to skin until the end of the first successful breastfeeding. So what about the other 2-3 days in the hospital? Does it have any benefit whatsoever then?

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          Even if it does have some benefit, what the woman needs should also count for something. I delivered in the middle of the night, I was exhausted. I wanted to spend sometime with my baby but after the first hour or two I wanted to sleep. It turned out I couldn’t sleep but I was so tired I was shaking and out of it.. Not the best person to try to hold on to a baby or (with the tears, swelling and stitches) lift a baby…

    • MI Dawn

      Yes, keeping a mother and baby together WHEN THE MOTHER DOESN’T WANT THE BABY THERE is punitive. If she needs to sleep, and can’t because the baby is there and every noise wakes her up, it’s punitive. If the kid is screaming because it’s hungry and no bottles are available, it’s punitive. If a mom can’t get out of bed easily and fast because she’s had a traumatic delivery, or a c/section, or has IVs in both arms and the baby’s in a bassinet, and there’s no help because there are only 2 nurses on the floor, it’s punitive.

      It won’t kill the bond if the baby goes to a nursery for a few hours if the mom requests it. It MAY kill the baby if mom falls asleep, drops the baby on the floor, or many other problems. Not everyone can have family there 24/7.

      • Hilary

        “If a mom can’t get out of bed easily and fast because she’s had a traumatic delivery, or a c/section, or has IVs in both arms and the baby’s in a bassinet, and there’s no help because there are only 2 nurses on the floor, it’s punitive.”

        See, why is this even allowed to happen? I don’t understand it. I had a traumatic delivery including a c-section and there’s no way I could have taken care of a baby afterwards. I’m really confused at how this is happening.

        • Sarah S

          In my case the nurses took care of me (easy delivery but massive pph requiring surgical intervention when I was transferred to post-partum), but expected my husband to stay the night and care for the baby. My husband doesn’t handle sleep deprivation well–he gets extremely disoriented and he almost dropped our son right in front of the night nurse (who was checking on my final transfusion at the time).

          Oddly enough, with my second they didn’t even check on me overnight, and I was alone with baby (in a shared room). They also kicked me out barely 15 hours after delivery.

          • Hilary

            My husband was working night shifts and we really couldn’t afford for him to take time off. I’d already had to leave my job because of pregnancy complications.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            My husband wasn’t allowed to stay after 8pm on the maternity ward. On the night I was having a blood transfusion he stayed 10 minutes late at my request ( I was worried about caring for a baby with one hand tied down by the transfusion). He got a dressing down from one of the midwives for that – he’s still pissed about it.

          • Charybdis

            He should file a complaint about that himself. Draws more attention to the crap that goes on in the name of care.

        • MI Dawn

          I don’t know. But the fact that I’m aware of this has made me darn sure that if my kids ever have children, I’ll be out there ASAP to care for THEM, even if it means the baby is out of the room so they can get a little sleep.

    • guest

      How does rooming in and skin-to-skin help a mother whose breastfeeding goal is not to breastfeed, Brooke?

    • Sarah

      Do 80% of mothers want to be forced to room in 24/7 even when it’s dangerous, then?

    • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

      You do realize that Dr. Amy is a doctor educated at Harvard, right?

      • moto_librarian

        Oh, Brooke knows this. She’s just an asshole.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      I posted the story of my sons birth in the comments of the last BFHI article. I don’t want to bore everyone by repeating it, but being forced to care for my son alone whilst dealing with severe sleep deprivation and serious blood loss was torturous. It nearly caused me to fall over with my newborn son in my arms and it nearly lead to me abandoning breast feeding.

      Are you opposed to women having a choice as to whether they room in or not? Perhaps you would prefer not to send your children to the nursery, but what the hell is wrong with other women having that choice?

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        And I should point out that I was relatively lucky compared to some women – no c section, an episiotomy but not 3rd or 4th degree tearing, and I didn’t need any opiate analgesia. Plus I got 4 hours of sleep immediately following delivery – after a 23 hour labour I pretty much passed out during skin to skin. My husband sat up all that night and watched our son, and when minimonkey got hungry, my husband put him on my chest to feed as he didn’t have the heart to wake me. It was still one of the worst experiences in my life (not that I wasn’t overjoyed with my sons birth, but it was terrible). I don’t know how some of the other commentators survived, I’m not sure I’d be that strong.

    • Margo

      Yep it is ridiculous “for hospitals to adopt policies that are not helpful to establishing a breastfeeding relationship” ……I agree with that statement, and that’s why a no bottle, no dummy, no formula, and rooming in regardless of circumstances around the birth, are all policies that ARE NOT helpful, or even anywhere near caring or respectful…….This is the point of all this discussion, A POLICY or POLICIES that take away choice are not good policies and do nothing but harm. I have worked with women where BFI has caused distress and harm,

      • Margo

        It can hardly be helpful to have such a rigid set of policies in place that women feel totally powerless, with no options other than the BFI options. I have seen women leave hospital early because they have felt so undermined by the BFI mindset.

      • Susan

        Well said Margo. Most moms love rooming in and skin to skin and it’s right for them and what they want; healthy too. But the way it’s actually being implemented in some hospitals is hurting some moms and babies. We need to treat all moms with respect and dignity and there is nothing so wrong or unhealthy about sending a baby to the nursery because mom chooses it or supporting a mother’s choice to formula feed. It’s respectful care and individulized care. Nurses too, need to feel they won’t be penalized for taking a baby to the nursery because the mom requests it or suggesting it to a mom who is perhaps exhausted, medicated and alone without a family member to care for the baby. We charge for the care of the baby we should be set up to provide that care if the family prefers or needs it. I like that you use the word respect. I experienced a lack of respect when I wanted to room in with my first back in the days where it was a novel idea and few moms breasted. I wasn’t treated with respect. The answer isn’t blanket policies that apply to all its respecting our patients are individuals with varied needs and adapting the care to the individual.

    • Irène Delse

      You’ve never heard the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”? The BFHI intended, with the data available in 1991, to encourage breastfeeding of newborns, especially in the developing world. But the WHO and UNICEF, and most of the BFHI advocates, seem to have lost the plot. Science hasn’t stopped in the 1990s, for one thing. We now know that breastfeeding of term infants in a resource-rich environment doesn’t make much of a difference for their health or their intellectual development. We now know that pacifiers help reduce SIDS. We know that hospitals have been using the BFHI initiative to cut costs and close well baby nurseries, resulting in exhausted moms and injured babies.

      If you really want to promote breastfeeding in the real world, instead of arguing a fantasy, it’s time to reassess and include even a little bit of humanism into your lactivism.

  • Azuran

    My favourite part is when they say it’s important that mother spends all the time with their kids so they can recognize their cry and the cues about feeding when they go home.
    So….I can either learn them in the first 48 hours in the hospital, or in the subsequent 48 hours at home. What difference does it make? If a baby is crying in the middle of the night, there are not 1000 different possibilities. You get up, you check on it to make sure nothing is hurting it, check the diaper, check it it’s hungry and try to sooth it back to sleep. Not saying that part is fun, fast or easy. But your baby won’t die or end up damaged because you can’t instantly figure out what is wrong with it just by it’s crying on the first day of it’s life.

    Also, when I’m at home with my baby, I’m pretty sure that if I hear a baby crying at night, then it’s most likely my baby, where else could it come from? I don’t need to be able to recognize it’s cry out of 20 other babies.

    • Roadstergal

      I don’t know about y’all, but having never spent the first 24 hours of a baby’s life skin-to-skin with it, I always sleep soundly through a baby’s cries.

      • Sean Jungian

        Skin-to-skin contact in the first 24 hours is the only thing that stops women from abandoning their infants in the woods. It’s science.

        • T.

          Little knows fact: Hansel and Gretel is actually a parable on the importance of skin to skin for FATHERS.

          SSC 4 Fathers: because otherwise if you die, your child will be at risk to be eaten by a witch.

          • Sean Jungian

            Pish posh, fathers have a single photo shoot lying on the sofa shirtless with their infant, then they don’t see the child again until it has graduated college. NCB does not count fathers as caregivers!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      My favourite part is when they say it’s important that mother spends all the time with their kids so they can recognize their cry and the cues about feeding when they go home.

      Because when they go home, and there is a baby crying, you know, it might be someone else’s, right?

      That being said, with our first, we didn’t room in, but I could recognize his cry…when they were wheeling him down the hallway to bring him to our room.

      • If I try and give this as much benefit of the doubt as possible, the best I can come up with is for mums of multiples…and even then, pretty sure they only need to know WHICH baby is crying.

        • Tigger_the_Wing

          In my case, when the bigger twin cried, so did the smaller because the noise woke him. But, given that the bigger one was deaf, the reverse didn’t happen.

          So what? I fed them both at the same time anyway; if one was hungry, the second soon would be, and I simply couldn’t afford not to sleep by letting them alternate feed times.

    • BeatriceC

      And of course we’re just stupid women. I can tell the difference between the subtle squeaks and squawks my birds make; not just who’s who, but what sound means what in each individual bird. I can tell you if Leo is hungry, or Charlotte is bored, or Cookie is annoyed, or Goofy wants to play from a few hundred feet away (they’re loud), and they’re not even human babies.

      Edited to add: Leo just blew a raspberry at me. I have no idea what that means except maybe he’s hanging out with the teenagers too much.

      • Azuran

        I can even tell when one of my bird is actually imitating another one of my bird.

        • BeatriceC

          Lol, yeah. Cookie and Leo are good for that. Then there’s the 4pm cacaohony alerting me that it’s dinner time. How do they know?????

      • What is Leo again?

        RSPB site says some birds make “soft calls” which sound a bit like a raspberry. From what I can tell, it’s the birdie equivalent of whispering to someone but ya know, Googlefu so take that with massive piles of salt.

        • BeatriceC

          Leo is a Senegal. He also imitates electronic noises. If my phone is near him I have a hard time telling if I’m getting a text message or if it’s him.

    • Brooke

      Typically babies start rooting for the breast etc long before they start crying because they’re hungry. It can be difficult for the mother to get positioned correctly and get the baby latched on while they’re screaming. Also its kind of important a new baby is fed on demand for the mother’s milk to come in so if her partner or other caregivers ignore these cues and do not bring the baby to the mother when they start showing signs of hunger etc it can interfere with breastfeeding.

      • J.B.

        Actually I knew second kid was hungry at 20 hours old – how? She was constantly crying. I handed her over to dad because I was desperate for sleep. Guess he fed her then? I would have much rather offered a tiny formula bottle at that time. As I learned from first kid, I tend towards oversupply so early pumping would have meant even more milk and more pain for me. Whoopee.

        Both kids are feisty and firmly attached now.

      • Roadstergal

        It’s just odd to me that NCB/lactivism work on this different universe from the rest of us where lack of sleep makes a body work better.

        I’m training right now, and rest and recovery are very important. Nobody would suggest that I will run better if I skip sleep in order to run more.

        Seems to me that a good night’s sleep in that first 24 hours would do more for a non-essential bodily function (sorry, but as far as mum’s concerned, lactation is like menstruation – non-essential) than any amount of skin-to-skin…

      • Azuran

        Yea? But I’m asleep, and so is the father and most likely not going to ear the baby before it’s crying.

        When my siblings where baby and they were sleeping, my mother only went to them when they started crying, she didn’t hear them before that. So did all the other mothers in my family, and all of my coworkers who currently have babies.. They went to the sleeping baby when they heard it crying.
        (And all those baby had no trouble stopping crying and getting on the breast/bottle when it was presented to them

      • moto_librarian

        I want to see studies that demonstrate whether or not feeding on demand and skin-to-skin truly make a woman’s supply come in earlier.

      • Sean Jungian

        So what are you saying, that mothers – not fathers, just mothers – need to be able to intuit when their baby is rooting in its sleep? Yeah, that is not a thing that happens with any kind of regularity. The vast majority of parents hear their child cry or fuss at night, then go to it.

        • Mattie

          I mean there’s an argument for being able to hear a baby fussing a bit at an earlier point when the baby is in your room, than if it is in a room down the hall. But also, if you have attentive nursery staff in a hospital, they could bring the baby for feeding when it starts to root/before it begins to scream.

        • corblimeybot

          Brooke and her ilk are trying to abridge women’s rights and autonomy, by making biological mothers the only valid caregivers for children. As you know!

          So of course they don’t expect fathers to notice anything about the baby. Children are just tools for keeping women in their place. And men don’t breastfeed, so they’re obviously not intended to care for babies!!!!

          /cynicism

        • corblimeybot

          And pardon me if I’m being too snarky, but my husband has always been extremely attuned to the needs of our child. He was better at bonding than I was. And it annoys me that Brooke and the gang devalue any caregiver that doesn’t have a lactating boob.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            My husband has better hearing than me, and wakes before I do when our son cries at night. And despite not giving birth, breastfeeding, doing skin to skin and despite working long hours and not seeing our son as much as he’d like, he still adores our son and our son adores him.

      • demodocus

        Nope, it’s not the least bit important if the kid is fed on demand for her mother’s milk to come in. Women whose babies have died at birth still get oversupply a few days after delivery.

        • Spamamander

          I chose not to breastfeed my 3rd child because of the struggles with my first two, and not really enjoying it. My milk came in like a Noahic flood.

          • demodocus

            me too.

          • Chant de la Mer

            Yup, my first one was formula fed because reasons, and on the third day came the milky flood.

          • Kelly

            Me too and I didn’t do a single thing to encourage it either.

      • Mel

        *Laughs*

        1) You make it sound like mothers and fathers need some sort of advanced degree in newborn behavior to figure out when the kid is hungry. It’s not that complicated.

        2) Yes, attaching a screaming newborn to a breast can be harder. Hence why adults figure out the earlier, easy cues. Or, actually, you could supplement with an ounce of formula to take the worst of the hunger pains away from the baby before breast-feeding. (That’s a tip passed on from my mom and aunts; 26 EBF babies between them.)

        3) Milk production in humans in the first days after the baby is born is pretty slim for most women.

        4) Somehow people fail to notice that milk production happens after the placenta is removed even if the baby doesn’t breast-feed. This is why mothers of stillborn babies have milk come in.

        5) As long as the baby is nursing AND the mother does not have a physiological reason for reduced/absent supply, starting a feeding late with a screaming baby will not actually destroy milk supply. The amount of nipple stimulation needed for milk supply is really low; the trick to boosting supply is draining milk from the breasts. A late feeding may be unpleasant for the mom dealing with a screaming baby, but it won’t cause milk production to shut off entirely…..

        • Azuran

          Yea, cows are milked usually twice a day. Everyday, regardless of when they gave birth. And they have massive production. Even in the first few days after birth, they are not milked every few hours to make their milk come in. No one is monitoring the calf and milking the cow every time the calf is hungry.
          And depending on the type of farm, the time of birth and the age of the mother, the calf might not even get to suck the colostrum directly from it’s mother. It might even get the colostrum of another cow.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’m pretty sure that if more frequent pumping increased the milk supply and made it come in faster, farmers would have been all over that years ago.

          • Mel

            It’s still a hot topic at dairy conferences. We milk 3x daily for our early lactation or “high” group and 2x daily for our late lactation or “low” group.

            My in-laws did try 4x daily milking for the high group. It did increase the pounds per animal slightly (a maximum of 15% increase) but the trade-off was that the cows had no metabolic reserve if anything went wrong. In other words, if a cow got sick, she died and died so rapidly that we never had a chance to treat her.

            We went back to 3x a day really quickly. It wasn’t worth killing cows for milk.

          • Megan

            I love your cow stories. I think they are both insightful and entertaining. And lactivists could learn a lot from them.

          • demodocus

            o.O

          • Mel

            Lactivists would be shocked – shocked! – to find out that we often skip a day or more of milking after a calf is born if the dam is sick.

            Sometimes it’s more important to let the cow rest and let her milk supply naturally slow down for a few days until she’s gotten over low blood calcium, a rough calving or an infection. Her milk supply will ramp up enough when we start milking her 2 or 3x a day.

          • Azuran

            But think about all those good bacteria and antibodies we could get if we milked those cows and drank their milk!!!! After all, infected milk is good for the babies according to lactivists, so clearly it must be equally good for us adult.
            You could even make a special replacement milk brand!

        • corblimeybot

          People like Brooke have a lot of motivation to ignore the existence of stillborn babies, since the NCB cult produces so many. So I’m sure she is totally uninterested in the fact that their mothers still produce milk. She probably thinks that the mothers boobs magically know the child is dead.

          • Tigger_the_Wing

            And they conveniently ignore history, too; once upon a time, such mothers were in demand as wet nurses for the infants whose own mothers had died in childbirth.

      • Chant de la Mer

        The process of milk coming in is related to hormone changes from giving birth. Supply after that is related to demand but the initial onset has nothing to do with demand. Which is why they used to offer drugs that would dry the milk up to mothers that were not going to breastfeed until they realized the drugs didn’t work very well.

      • Charybdis

        So then what about when the baby is still rooting and showing hunger cues when they have been on your breast for an hour? Or latching, sucking briefly, unlatching, rooting more, latching, unlatching, rooting, all while crying in hunger and frustration? How does *that* help with a secure attachment/bond between the mother and the baby? The mother is NOT meeting the baby’s needs by repeatedly attaching them to an empty breast and thinking that the baby is getting *enough* to eat, despite the baby crying and rooting after being on the breast.

        *Tsk* Isn’t that just teaching the baby that they are NOT being listened and attended to by their mother? Crying and screaming baby: “I’M HUNGRY!!! STARVING, EVEN!!!! MY STOMACH THINKS MY THROAT HAS BEEN CUT!!!! FEED ME!!!!!” Mother: “Let’s get you latched on for a sip or two of milk. That’s all you need, right? You’re not THAT hungry or else I would be making more milk. You’re two days old and the LC assures me that my teaspoon of colostrum is PLENTY for you. Your tummy is so tiny, the colostrum should fill you up. The LC’s say so.”

        Learning feeding cues doesn’t help when you don’t have enough milk to feed your baby.

        • moto_librarian

          I was so glad that the lactation consultant at the hospital with son number two was actually helpful to me. She came in to see me after our son had been latched on for more than 45 minutes. I told her that my milk had never come in after our first was born, and she said that it was obvious that the baby was unsatisfied, so let’s give him some formula. He took 1.5 ounces and slept for five hours.

      • CSN0116

        Pretty sure these moms are told to latch these kids on demand to shut them up from hunger. If they refused to latch them, and why not because there’s nothing there anyway, then they would cry continuously in hunger. The nipple us just an evil pacifier in this tense: gives no food but shuts a kid up so mom doesn’t get “discouraged.” The comfort sucking also exhausts them, allowing them to ignore hunger temporarily and, again, shuts them up.

        • StephanieA

          OMG YES. This happens every single day I work. We are supposed to tell moms that babies want to suck frequently to establish milk supply, when in reality they’re at the breast all the time because they aren’t getting anything and they are freaking hungry. Just last night I had a dyad in which mom wanted to breastfeed, baby latched well, but she was constantly at the breast and not sleeping. I had mom pump, she got about 2 cc. We gave baby a bottle of formula and she drank 60 cc immediately. She drank another 60 cc three hours later- this kid was starving. Most other nurses I work with would have told mom to ‘continue offering the breast, because your colostrum is always enough!’ This bullshit that babies only need ‘drops’ the first few days pisses me right off, because every formula fed baby I care for will easily take 20 cc right after birth.

          • CSN0116

            I always formula feed in recovery. My last one took 2 oz at 15 minutes old and passed out for 4 hours, to eat another 2 oz. We typically discharge at 3 oz feedings every four hours. But my milk doesn’t come in until day 4/5. So that would cumulatively be some 70-80 oz that my babies would not be getting while I wait for my milk…

          • AA

            Here is my question to the American Academy of Breastfeeding–they acknowledge that some women will only produce very small amounts of colostrum for a few days. Doesn’t matter how much a lactation counselor provides support and advice. Let’ ssay that a woman produces 20mL colostrum for 3 days and then has copious milk supply after that. Would it also be OK for a formula fed baby to receive 20mL formula for three days only?

          • Heidi

            I’m kind of glad I had gestational diabetes because they actually checked the baby’s blood sugar so it proved he wasn’t getting enough milk and I didn’t have to ask for formula. It was given to me. He wasn’t born with an especially low blood sugar but it started dropping, my GD was blamed, although I never had high blood sugars during pregnancy or labor so I have my doubts that was the true cause as I think it was not enough colostrum/breast milk, but whatever it was, we got what he needed.

          • StephanieA

            I’m always relieved when there is a reason to more closely monitor baby- GDM is a good one. I also enjoy when moms come in wanting to formula feed from the start. Not because I hate breastfeeding, but because I know that baby will be fed.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        So women are supposed to sit there watching their babies 24/7 until breastfeeding is established? Or are they somehow supposed to spot the early signs of hunger whilst they sleep?

      • swbarnes2

        How do you square “feeding on demand” with “mother has no milk”?

        • corblimeybot

          Oh, you know how she does it. By denying that it ever happens for a valid reason. It only happens to bad, lazy women in Brooke’s world. Or women who were so stupid that they let an obstetrician (AKA “milk killing psychopathic drugmongers who went to school for years so they could professionally abuse women!!!!”) touch them.

        • Azuran

          She’s say that if the woman has no milk, it’s because she didn’t feed on demand.

      • guest

        Not really, Brooke. I am in contact with a lot of families of multiples, and the vast majority of them go for scheduled feedings rather than feeding on demand. Perhaps our overall breastfeeding rates are lower, but that’s more to do with the fact that not all bodies can make milk enough for two, not because we don’t feed on demand. (For the record, I always waited for a baby to fuss before feeding, didn’t breastfeed at all for the first two weeks (pump only), and still had enough milk for triplets. You think you know everything, but you don’t.)

      • MB

        You are slightly insane. Like I said in another post somewhere around here — my baby was taken away and bottle fed first 2 days on doctor’s orders to prevent BRAIN DAMAGE due to hypoglycemia. Was very happy for the order. When we got home, baby had nursed ONE time previous at the hospital and for about five minutes. Baby latched right away, he’s still nursing after 13 months. You can absolutely still breastfeed EVEN having EFF in the first three days of his life.

      • Margo

        Yep recognising your baby’s cues is great and we get the hang of it, some quicker than others……and nurses or midwives working in a nursery knew/know all the cues and then some. In my experience, babies in a nursery were brought in a timely manner to their mothers to feed: brought to mothers who had had the best possible chance to snatch some sleep. These days we are putting the most enormous unrealistic pressure on newly birthed mothers that’s what is ridiculous…..you want to talk about “cues” how about the “cues” that are ignored in pursuit of BFI…..how about addressing the “cues” that overwrought overtired over drugged new mothers exhibit in every ward of every BFI venue. The BFI has been pushed down our throats long enough, in my humble opinion.

      • kfunk937

        Rooting is an infantile reflex (that you may demonstrate by stroking the cheek) whether the infant is hungry, or not.

      • Sonja Henie

        Babies really are much smarter than some give them credit for. Mine never had “nipple confusion”, never refused the breast in preference to a bottle, nor any of the other dire consequences that were supposed to happen. The first quit taking bottles from me but would take them from others; the second quit taking bottles from anyone at 6 weeks.

  • J.B.

    To add more details to the economic argument – I had unmedicated births (by choice) and roomed in (by choice, had help when I needed it). Not much skin to skin. The second time around the hospital was BFHI and we brought in contraband pacifiers. I wish we had brought some nursettes in to supplement once or twice. The estimated hospital bill was actually less than the negotiated insurance rate. In the short term there is money gained by the hospital. I would think that insurance companies would benefit by more detailed analysis. Because even if skin to skin has any benefit for full term babies, that’s tiny.

  • Mel

    Hmmph.
    1) Pretty sure those fancy RFID-chipped newborn bracelets do more for preventing newborn kidnappings than anything else.

    2) While lactivists won’t believe me, my mom and aunts did exclusively breast-feed during the 1980’s. They managed to do so without mandated skin-to-skin contact and with access to newborn nurseries. My mom remembers getting in an argument with a nurse who kept bringing my brother in from the nursery”because it was time for him to eat”. The problem was that the baby wasn’t hungry; he was term, healthy, had normal blood sugar, and wanted nothing more than to sleep after a long labor. Mom refused to flick him on the face to wake him up; she knew he’d wake up if he was hungry enough. (This was in 1984.)

    3) Interesting fact: two of my 30-odd cousins did not EBF. Both of the babies seemed to be fine at EBF in the hospital. Their growth issues didn’t show up for a while and formula allowed them to grow into the healthy adults they are today.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I’ve mentioned before my sister’s baby, who weighed 26 lbs at 6 mos, and was EBF that whole time. No solids, no nothing.

      In case you don’t remember, 26 lbs at 6 mos is HUGE. She looked like the Michelin man.

      BTW, she was born by c-section, with GA, no spinal block or anything.

      • Azuran

        My SIL has 2 kids. Both EBF to 6 months. the girls has been off the growth chart basically since birth. The boy is around 30th percentile.
        Makes you wonder if perhaps individual genetic has more to do with it than BM vs formula 😉
        (and yet my SIL still made the comment last week that she didn’t get immediate skin to skin with her daughter and that it’s probably why she’s less cuddly than her brother)

        • BeatriceC

          Or perhaps she’s just a less cuddly person. Ugh. I hate that line of thinking. Babies are individuals and like different things. Each of my babies had a “cuddle level” they were comfortable with and all three were very, very different. OK was kind of normal, MK liked a few cuddles here and there, but as soon as he figured out some form of mobility he was off to explore the world, and YK never wanted to be put down. I didn’t get skin to skin with any of them because they were all preemies. Hell, with YK, I didn’t even get to hold him for almost a month.

          • Azuran

            I know, it’s ridiculous. Those two kids are literally NOTHING alike. Their whole development has practically been on opposite side of the spectrum for everything. (Just how my SIL and my SO (her brother) are absolutely nothing alike, either physically, emotionally and mentally)
            But yea, it’s clearly because of that lack of SSC in the first hour of life.

        • Erin

          My son (who didn’t get immediate skin to skin) is really cuddly but only with me and my Mother said earlier this week that it’s because he didn’t get skin to skin as a newborn.

          You really can’t win.

          • demodocus

            Ridiculous.
            My daughter got literally 2 minutes on my shoulder when her Apgars plunged. She’s had no other skin-to-skin with me, since I dislike being shirtless. Still a snuggle bunny. As in “I must be held all the time!” Her brother was/is pretty similar, except he got a lot more skin-to-skin. Almost like it doesn’t matter one whit!

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          Minimonkey had immediate skin to skin, and isn’t that cuddly. He likes to cuddle for a minute, but then he gets wriggly and wants to be off exploring. He’s always been like that, even as a baby he was happier lying on my lap than in my arms. It’s just his personality.

          • Tokyobelle

            That’s exactly the case with us as well.

      • LovleAnjel

        Well, damn, my three year old is 28 lbs.

    • Tigger_the_Wing

      I had mine in ’81’ ’82, ’84 & ’93. My boys were all early or premature, only the eldest and my daughter were in with me so I could breastfeed from birth. I expressed for the other three, who were tube-fed.

      Yes, they were in SCBU (or a well-baby nursery, at least some of the time). It helped me to sleep, while the babies were being well cared-for by professionals. Sleep is good!

      I had no problem establishing breast-feeding with any of my five, regardless of their start, but I had to switch to formula at six weeks with one of them because of an infection, and at three months with another because of lactose intolerance.

      I defy anyone to tell which were fed by which method. It’s irrelevant.

      All my grandkids were/are breastfed. My elder daughter-in-law got a lot of grief from the pædiatrician because two of my granddaughters are tiny. However, the third is already bigger at three months than her sisters were at six. Mother is tiny, Dad is 6’2″. I guess the youngest got her father’s genes.

  • CSN0116

    Fuck BFHI and its all-out attack on female health care and the right to bodily autonomy. It is as anti-choice as a “cause” can get. And it’s disgusting.

  • demodocus

    Cannot figure how rooming in would reduce abductions. Most newborn nurseries have been locked for decades. Anyone could have kidnapped my son; I was so out of it I wouldn’t have noticed. My daughter, however, would have been much harder to kidnap since she was in a NICU and only people with the correct bracelets/badges were allowed in.

    • Dinolindor

      And then when you think about the nurses who “take pity” on the poor moms and have the baby hang out at the nurses station for a little while – what about the risk of baby abductions then?

      And of course, why on earth do we have to force women to be in such piteous need of help before we can “cave” and give them civilized assistance in the form of well-baby nurseries!

    • Amy M

      I don’t really know much about kidnapping, but I believe I have read that the majority of kidnappings are committed by estranged parents or other family members. (this is incorrect, see below) Since those people are likely to have access to the mom’s room (unless there’s been some deliberate security plan to keep them out) they could walk off with the baby while mom sleeps/showers/is incapacitated. (this bit could still apply to people impersonating nurses) Unless, like Mel points out, they have those bracelets and the hospital is rigorous about checking them. They were where I had my babies.

      EDIT: I was wrong. Here are the stats about infant abduction, and according to it, most abductors are women who impersonate nurses/health care workers. http://www.missingkids.org/en_US/documents/InfantAbduction_Stats.pdf

      EDIT AGAIN: It is true (according to this) that older children who are abducted are abducted most often by a family member, or someone acquainted with the family.http://www.parents.com/kids/safety/stranger-safety/child-abduction-facts/

      • Maud Pie

        You made an erroneous statement but then corrected it and alerted readers to the correction. How very UN-NCB of you!

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        58.65% of kids went missing from their mothers rooms, 12.78% went missing from the nursery. 133 infants went missing from health care facilities in total between 1983 and 2016 – on average 4 a year. Even if there is a relative risk reduction, the absolute risk reduction is so low that I don’t personally think it justifies mandatory rooming in.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          OK, 78 went missing from mothers’ rooms, 17 from the nursery, that leaves 38 kids abducted from where?

          I’m less for “the absolute risk is low” than for, it’s not the nursery that’s the problem! Rooming in is sending it the wrong way, and, if anything, increases the risk of abduction!

          But as has been said, the other things that have been done are far more important than any of this crap.

          • guest

            I mean, a nursery should have at least two awake medical professionals in it at all times. Rooming in, you can have zero awake (never mind alert) adults with the baby. Isn’t this a no-brainer?

    • Azuran

      The last case of newborn abduction where I live happened while the baby was in the room with an awake mother. The kidnapper just dressed up as a nurse, went to the hospital and just looked professional like she worked there, walked in the mother’s room and said she needed to take the baby for a quick daily check up. The mother handed the baby to the woman, who when walked out the hospital with it. (luckily is was found safe and unarmed a few hours later)
      And yet I’m pretty sure that woman would have never been able to get into the nursery. The staff there would have noticed her and stopped her.

      • Mattie

        “found safe and unarmed” see, the NRA would use this to argue that if all babies were allowed to concealed carry, they wouldn’t get kidnapped 😛

        • Azuran

          XD best typo ever.

        • Spamamander

          It takes a good neonate with a gun to stop an abductor!

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        When they came to take the baby for the newborn photoshoot(yes I am old!) I insisted my husband go with them. It just seemed to me like a dandy way to fool an tired new mother into thinking it was safe to turn the baby over to a stranger

    • guest

      Also, abductions from NICUs should be happening all the time if that’s someone easier. But when was the last time we heard of that happening? Google says 2000.

  • AA

    https://www.signup4.net/Upload/HUNT10A/20136139E/AINSWORTH_Infant%20Fall%20Prevention%20Perinatal%20conference%2010-22-14.pdf

    Patient education includes advice on how to not drop the baby. However, this article does mention a nursery, so that’s good.

    Not helpful if you delirious with sleep deprivation and do not have a safe place to put your baby so you can get uninterrupted rest.

    Don’t bother trying to convince women that they always have the same sleep quality when baby is in a nursery vs in a bassinet next to the bed. Maybe the BFHI administrators need to have a colicky baby beside them for a week and see how much they rave about getting great sleep.

    • AA

      http://nwhjournal.org/article/S1751-4851%2816%2930109-X/pdf
      “Our goal is to keep the newborn in the room with his/her
      mother unless the nurse believes the situation is unsafe for the newborn.”

      And what about the mother, is she not a patient? Does she not deserve to rest and recover from delivery?

      • Sarah

        No, she is a pair of lactating breasts only, and shouldn’t be allowed to forget it.