While the World Health Organization recommends immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their newborns (SSC) after birth and that SSC should be practiced at least the first hour after birth, in Uganda, only two percent of mothers practice SSC after birth.
To understand how to change hospital practices and the behavior of medical staff, an intervention package was put together and evaluated that included six steps:
- Acceptance for the study from hospital management following the presentation of the DVD Skin-to-Skin in the First Hour After Birth: Practical Advice for Staff after Vaginal and Caesarean Birth that shows the nine stages a newborn goes through to find the nipple and start suckling and the effects of SSC in the first hour
- A presentation on the concept of SSC and its benefits to the health professionals at the hospital, which included a viewing of the DVD
- Production and distribution of pamphlets based on the DVD to health professionals
- Posters describing the nine stages from the video placed on walls of the antenatal, delivery, NICU, and postnatal wards
- Focus-group interviews
- Distribution of a pocket “ambassador card” with advice on how to conduct safe, uninterrupted SSC
Nine months following this intervention, additional focus-group interviews were conducted to explore the barriers to implementation that the professionals had experienced when practicing SSC and the reaction to the barriers. The first set of questions asked whether the DVD guided them in conducting SSC and what problems they anticipated to practice SSC while the second set focused on the experience of conducting SSC.
The study concluded that watching a DVD on practice advice about how to implement safe, uninterrupted SSC following birth and discussions with health professionals was applicable and accepted.
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