By now, numerous studies have shown that there are some serious benefits to new moms practicing skin to skin contact the moment a baby is delivered. But should that contact come at a price?
It did for Reddit user halfthrottle, who shared a picture of his family’s hospital bill with the amount of $39.35 highlighted for skin to skin after his wife’s C-section.
“I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born,” the dad says in a post that has since gone viral.
According to the La Leche League of Canada (LLL), skin to skin contact between mother and baby immediately after birth “helps regulate the baby’s temperature, breathing, heart rate and sugar levels. It also calms the baby so he doesn’t get stressed out or cry a lot.”
For mothers who plan to breastfeed, skin to skin increases the level of prolactin your body produces, increasing milk supply and helping babies to latch.
“Many mothers find that latching their babies is easier when they are held skin-to-skin.”
To effectively practice skin to skin, LLL suggests having your baby in only a diaper and to place their chest against your bare chest, ideally between your breasts.
“Let your baby stay on your chest for at least an hour. If she starts to bob around and look for your breast, follow your instincts to help her latch on. Babies benefit from remaining skin-to-skin beyond the first breastfeed, so take every opportunity to hold her this way.”
Notice no medical equipment or even medical staff is required for this? The issue is time.
While hospitals and health professionals are not ignorant to the benefits of skin to skin, the reality is that it takes extra time — and time is money. The bill also shows a $61.96 fee for a lactation consultant, a service many Canadian hospitals offer complimentary while women are still in the hospital.
Another Reddit user pointed out that this is part of standard procedure post C-section, therefore there shouldn’t be an extra charge.
“This is part of the operating procedure, where after the baby is removed, it is placed on the mother’s chest and monitored while she is being stitched back up. It should be free and it’s ridiculous it’s not.”
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