Babies, Bonding and Breastfeeding in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit: Innovative Family Centered Care in a Community Hospital
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
© 2012 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Special Issue: 2012 Convention Proceedings
Volume 41, Issue s1, page S52, June 2012
How to Cite
Griffin-Walls, L. and Lewis, J. (2012), Babies, Bonding and Breastfeeding in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit: Innovative Family Centered Care in a Community Hospital. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 41: S52. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01360_36.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
Purpose for the Program
In many cultures, newborns are placed naked on their mothers’ chests immediately after birth, which is viewed by many as necessary for the infants’ survival. In most community hospitals, mothers and infants are separated quickly after cesarean birth and not reunited until hours later. In collaboration with our post-anesthesia recovery team, our obstetric nurses created a seamless process to keep the mother and infant together throughout the challenging postoperative period.
In an effort to provide immediate skin-to-skin contact and allow for early breastfeeding for mothers and their healthy infants after operative deliveries, the roles and responsibilities of the labor and delivery nurses were changed. These changes enable the nurse to be off of the labor and delivery floor and provide both intraoperative and postoperative one-on-one care for the newborn and mother as a unit.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
A multidisciplinary team was formed that consisted of labor and delivery nurses, postanesthesia recovery team members, lactation consultants, and the director of women's services. This team was formed to change the policies and procedures to allow infants to remain with their mothers after a cesarean birth and the immediate postpartum surgical recovery period. A process was developed to assist with the implementation of the new procedures and to educate and direct nursing teams involved with cesarean births. Evidence-based best practice was used to guide staff education. The education incorporated the importance of skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby and early breastfeeding after an operative delivery. Evaluation revealed that keeping the mother and baby together after cesarean birth increased patient satisfaction, enhanced quality of care, allowed skin-to-skin contact, promoted early breastfeeding, and supported thermal regulation of the newborn.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Implementing “Babies, Bonding, and Breastfeeding in the Post-anesthesia Care Unit” enhances overall postpartum operative care, fosters teamwork between nursing units, and supports the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses’ commitment to positive perinatal outcomes.