Midwifery and birth, NHS

Skin to skin and the WHO checklist board

The day has arrived – several large cardboard flat packs were delivered to the Women’s Unit Theatre today and I could not wait to open them ALL – lucky for me Nick (a Consultant Anaesthetist) who totally ‘gets’ my passion for skin to skin was there .
“Nick” I said “if those boards don’t have skin to skin on them I’m going to have a huge tantrum and I don’t do tantrums”
“lets get them opened then Jenny” he replied
The first ones were “checkout boards ” which are to ensure that everything is correct prior to the woman leaving theatre –
“let’s try these Jenny ” bear in mind these are huge boards about 2-3 metres by 1.5 metres and very heavy – a theatre nurse joined us to help –
“you and your skin to skin you certainly have a passion for it don’t you ?” Mark (an ODP who was tidying up in the pre-op area) commented

Inside I was overwhelmed – not because of the actual board but because of the effect that seeing the actual words would have on a woman and the staff in theatre – I felt that women , midwives and theatre staff would now feel courageous about skin to skin in theatre , ask about it more and that our board might inspire other NHS Trusts . I get lots of private messages on Twitter asking me to help improve skin to skin in theatre and I believe that a positive change in one Trust can spread like a flame through the NHS

Skin to skin is not about @JennyTheM it is about women wanting to hold their newborns that they have nurtured and grown inside their bodies it is about feminism , valuing a woman’s role as a mother and it’s about love – it’s also about quality care , safety , compassion and making a difference as well as the immense health benefits that close contact can bring to both members of the dyad.

The second lot of boxes were moved to the front – Nick opened the top we peered in “can you see skin to skin Nick?” –
he replied “yes Jenny look !!!”
I peeped inside and sure enough there it was …..

‘skin to skin?’ …..they’d even remembered the question mark ! That was crucial as it had to be about reminding , choice and also rhetoric – I hugged Nick and he looked quite shocked – this was just the start and I’d gone through so much with all the staff to get to this point – I was so excited I couldn’t stop smiling – just you wait until those board are on the wall – writing on the wall was well worth it – 20141021-225150.jpgIMG_3870.PNG

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