This October I was in the USA where I visited 7 cities and delivered 32 talks. In 3 cities there were conferences, including Los Angeles to the Doulas of South California (DASC); and the NOMAS conference which is for doctors, nurses and speech therapists with a specific interest in feeding the preterm infant.
I presented the Kangaroula and the FIRST 1 000 MINUTES to DASC. We plan in future to provide certification courses to qualified doulas to become kangaroulas all over the world, perhaps this group will be one of the first to invite us?
In Buffalo it was the local forum for Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). It was encouraging that the BFHI programme is being rolled out nationally in the USA. All hospitals have to show improved breastfeeding outcomes in their evaluations by the national accrediting body (called the Joint Commission). This means that skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding have high level support in the USA. It still takes a lot of time for people to change their habits, but we are hopeful.
In 4 cities I was consulting directly to hospitals. It is equally encouraging to see that people are beginning to understand how skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are essential to improve neonatal outcomes. YAY NINO!!
Sadly the more famous the hospital, the more conservative and the more behind the times they were in practicing evidence based medicine relating to skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. I saw this first hand in one hospital.
My best experience was in a very small USA hospital on the Canadian border. I spent 2 hours in the evening explaining the neuroscience of birth to a group of doctors. The very next morning I was greeted with the news that they had already started doing skin-to-skin on the operating table – and that the baby had been suckling in theatre!
Dr Nils Bergman