Posted by: emjb | May 6, 2007

Gaming the system

I love this story Frectis tells that she heard from Ina May Gaskin (possibly the most famous midwife in the world!):

She also talked about breastfeeding and told this story of a nurse in California who was tired of the low breastfeeding rates of her hospital at discharge. She linked the low rate to the “necessary” separation of mothers and babies for “assessments” in the nursery. Being clever and knowing the hosptial machine rolls by the mechanics of intervention and you can’t just propose a new protocol based on good sense, she devised a new intervention: mandatory attachment assessment. Now following births, the baby had to remain skin to skin with their mothers for at least 30 minutes following birth so they could be observed for “bonding” before the nursery was allowed to take them. Thirty minutes turned into a lot longer once the babies started nursing. One thing led to another and now the hospital has a sky-high breastfeeding rate.

I mean, it’s beyond stupid that it has to be done this way, but kudos to the brilliant nurse who figured it out.



  1. That IS brilliant.

  2. Isn’t is just plain old insanity? Can you imagine the hours of paperwork, approvals, reviews, etc. it took to make another intervention that would’ve otherwise been just as easy to stop doing the first one? Sheesh.

    Thanks for the link! I see so much I want to comment on! 🙂

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