I am having a repeat C section in two weeks. Today I was in the Baby Center at the hospital for my twice weekly fetal monitoring and happened to catch a newborn (from a C-section)'s full exam in his incubator. There was no family present. I was watching through the nursery window as what probably was a pediatrician and a nurse going through the exam.
It looked like it was definitely NOT a nice beginning for this baby boy into the world. He was less than 6 lbs, and completely naked inside his incubator. The doc was reaching in with a paper tape measure and measuring all sorts of things on him. He was crying his teeny head off, shaking and trembling, legs and arms up, looking MISERABLE. You know the mom somewhere in recovery has no idea her baby is this miserable. They poked and prodded all his parts, the stump, the penis, the butt, the scrotum, etc. The male nurse was mostly just standing there. No one was hurrying to get this unpleasantness over. No one was petting or comforting him. She was going through her paper and writing down each thing. She did the eye medicine thing and eventually put a diaper on him but he was still very unhappy. I left because I was sure next would come all those unnecessary shots. I couldn't stand watching any more.
What can one do for a C section or hospital birth to ensure that the baby gets at the very least some loving comfort during this clinical and extended first exam? If the father were there, could he at least be comforting the baby? Does one just endure all this? What a horrible "welcome" to the world. I'm sure these stats are somehow important, and this baby was very small, but holy heck, he was NOT enjoying his first moments on the planet.