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The Nurture of cuddles"- A project report

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"The Nurture of cuddles"- A project report Introduction The aim of this project was to promote skin to skin contact (ssc) between women and their babies following birth on a delivery suite. It is widely documented that ssc has many benefits for both mother and baby, a Cochrane review (Christensson et al 2007) found evidence to suggest that oxytocin causes an increase in skin temperature of the mother's breast providing warmth to the infant; preventing hypothermia. A calming effect on adrenaline levels reducing the mother's anxiety, aids regulation of the newborns heart and respiratory rate whilst aiding bonding and attachment, Evidence also suggests that ssc could initiate early breastfeeding (Anderson et al 2003) as Bergman (2005) discussed ssc can trigger brain based behaviour called self-attachment which primes the brain to breastfeed: as the National Feeding survey (2005) found 76% of mothers held their babies in ssc and that the breastfeeding initiation rate was higher (87%) in this group than without ssc (57%). It is widely known that breastfeeding promotes health and prevents disease and has a major role to play in public health which is high on the political agenda (DOH 2003). Breast milk has been shown to protect babies against gastro-intestinal, urinary, respiratory and middle ear infection (Howie et al 1990, Marild et al 1990, 2004), and juvenile onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Sadauskaite-Kuehne et al 2004). There is also a reduced risk of becoming obese (Arenz et al 2004, Fewtrell 2004) as well as the many maternal health benefits such as a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer (Department of health 2008) ...read more.


that states 'a midwife must make sure the needs of the woman are the primary focus of her practice' perhaps research by Erlandsson et al (2007) that found a positive effect on infant behavior if the father carried out ssc could be implemented. Maternal choice was reflected by insuring the mother was aware of the benefits of ssc although as Cantrill (2004) found even though midwives attempted first feed initiation the practice of ssc was poorly understood. Education and training of support workers to assist in the role of supporting breastfeeding, a key recommendation from the Department of Health document 'Good practice and innovation in breastfeeding '(2004) could aid the barrier of increased workload. As part of the MCA's role was to assist women in the postnatal period so this role could be utilized. Whilst the issue of time a factor discussed by Richardson (1999) that can effect implementing evidence-based care could be utilized by allowing women a quite period with their family. These barriers were approached using a combination of normative re-educational and rational-empirical strategies, as these strategies assume that change will flow by promoting the benefits of ssc which would motivate interest and reduce resistance as well as re-educating people acknowledging individual cultures. The ideas to influence practice were to be discussed on the neonatal study days and to be part of an information display on delivery suite. Change agents were identified to empower ssc promotion and these champions would work within the team on delivery suite, postnatal wards, breastfeeding clinic and leaders on the neonatal study days and training days for MCA's.(Martin 2003) ...read more.


(Chart 4) Midwives factors - mothers comfort and privacy most important, followed by temperature of baby and breastfeeding initiation which could indicate that SSC has a lower importance factor. Following project slight change in practice only. The main influences on practice were considered by midwives and strategies to aid implementing ssc. First priority Second priority Third priority Fourth priority Fifth priority Condition of the mother Maternal choice. Work load Time Benefits of breastfeeding Partner to do ssc Information re benefits of ssc MCA to assist with BF and ssc Quite time for parents whilst keeping baby warm. Health benefits for mother and baby (Chart 6) Information from MCA questionnaires (Chart 7) (Chart 8) 2 more MCA's had been trained to assist with breastfeeding, chart 9 shows a slight increase in assisting with feeding, SSC and a higher increase in confidence and job satisfaction. Number of MCA's x 10 Assisted with BF Confident to do so Increase job satisfaction Assisted with SCC Before project After project 8/10 9/10 6/10 9/10 7/10 9/10 7/10 8/10 (Chart 9) MCA'S factors - breastfeeding initiation most important and temperature of baby, this did not change after the project. (Chart 10) Discussion So it seems appropriate that the Unicef baby friendly accreditation (2007) step 3 and 4 suggests all mothers should have a period of unhurried SSC after birth.Mikiel-Kostyra et al (2002) concluded SSC increases the duration of exclusive breastfeeding whilst the experience of women from Finnegan's (2004) study showed that SSC was valued and increased the women's confidence with their babies which may explain why early SSC increases the success of breastfeeding. 0 1 ...read more.

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