This New Wrap Could Make Skin-To-Skin After C-Sections Much Easier

Anyone who has had a C-section knows that the recovery period is no walk in the park, especially in the immediate aftermath of the operation. However, years of research have proven the benefits of skin-to-skin contact between newborns and their moms, and those who undergo Caesareans shouldn't have to sacrifice the benefits that come with that bonding time. Fortunately, this new linen wrap makes skin-to-skin contact after C-sections not only possible, but safe and comfortable.

Research has shown that skin-to-skin contact can promote attachment between moms and their babies, decrease depression rates among mothers, and encourage breastfeeding in newborns. However, according to Childbirth Connection's 2013 Report of the Third National U.S. Survey of Women’s Childbearing Experiences, only 25 percent of moms who undergo C-sections get skin-to-skin contact with their babies immediately after birth (compared to 57 percent of moms who give birth vaginally).

Moms who underwent C-sections and couldn't hold their babies after birth spoke to Childbirth Connection about the pain it caused. "It seriously hindered our bonding time with our new baby and dampened our birthing experience," one mom said.

That's where SleepBelt's Joeyband comes in. The wrap is meant to be used in a clinical setting, allowing moms who have had C-sections to bond with their babies right after birth. Moms don't need to use their (often IV-covered) arms to hold their babies in place with the wrap, and the Joeyband can be used to hold the baby safely during the days and weeks of recovery that follow.

"Mom is medicated, and unable to use her arm because of the IV," Hayley Mullins, the mom behind Joeyband's creation, told Babble recently. "She is physically unable to hold the baby securely herself."

The wrap was inspired by Mullins' own experience after giving birth in 2012. As the mom told Babble:

Two weeks after she was born, she was asleep on my chest, when I took my hands off of her. In a split second, she startled and fell to the floor. I tried wraps, carriers, slings and babywearing shirts, but just wanted something that would simply belt my sleeping baby to me.

Currently, about 100 hospitals around the world use the Joeyband, but moms' use of the belt isn't dependent on hospitals using the system. Pregnant women who are interesting in using a Joeyband after giving birth can purchase the wrap online (for around $55) and speak to their doctor about using it after their C-section.

As the system catches on, hopefully more and more C-section moms will be able to get quality skin-to-skin time immediately after their children's births.