The talk of the internet last week was a new dad's post to Reddit that included a photo of a hospital bill charging him and his wife for skin-to-skin contact after their baby's birth. "We just got a chuckle out of seeing that on the bill," he wrote in his post, but Meaghan Grant, who works at Toronto Family Doulas, isn't laughing.
"Today an image went viral. This picture was of a hospital bill," she wrote in a post on Facebook. "On that bill was a line item for 'skin to skin after csec. $39.35.' Doulas, activists, advocates, and regular people are up in arms. How DARE the hospital charge someone to hold their baby! That's ludicrous, right!?! No. It isn't."
Grant continued her post, informing everyone why it's so important not to bash hospitals over this:
During a cesarean, many people become shaky, nauseous, uncomfortable, even faint. These are normal physiological reactions. In order to facilitate skin to skin in the OR, an extra nurse needs to be available to assist. And before people scream that "there's a nurse for the baby," there is, but that nurse has other responsibilities in the OR. They aren't either holding the baby or twiddling their thumbs. So yes, an extra nurse is needed.
[Nurses] don't appear out of nowhere and they don't grow on hospital bulletin boards. Their time and their presence are valuable and should be valued. We can either keep screaming about the big, bad, awful hospital system, or we can acknowledge that concessions on their part might just mean concessions on ours too.
Grant ended her post addressing what she feels should be the new topic of conversation: "Let's talk instead that this hospital is doing skin to skin in the OR! That's amazing! We should be celebrating that!"