«Hospital Rooming-in is essential but must provide for individualized and empathetic assistance»

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The attention towards the mother-infant relationship and the necessary assistance, aroused by the recent tragic episode of neonatal death which occurred in a hospital in Rome, has led the main Italian medical societies to share some considerations on the healthcare provided in the maternity wards.

With a joint press release, some of the main Italian scientific societies in the perinatal area, namely the Italian Society of Neonatology (SIN), the Italian Society of Pediatrics (SIP), the Italian Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (SIGO) and theAssociation of Italian Hospital Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AOGOI) reaffirm their commitment to promoting the mother-child relationship and breastfeeding, as “lasting investments with positive socio-health implications”.

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Placing the accent on the modern organization of maternity care, the press release underlines that «it currently provides for the joint management of mother and child, the so-called rooming-in, which it should be proposed by providing the necessary practical and psychological support to the new family.
The separate management of mother and newborn, prevalent in past eras, however hinders the start
of the parent-family-newborn relationship, is contrary to the physiology, even of breastfeeding, and does not guarantee against unforeseen and tragic neonatal events”.

In particular, scientific societies refer to the “postnatal collapse” known as SUPC (Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse). «It is a sudden and unexpected event, very rare (it affects 8 newborns every 100,000), but documented internationally. It occurs in the first week of life, sometimes due to undiagnosed underlying conditions, but most often in apparently healthy infants.

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At present, the indications of scientific societies to prevent this pathology are based on the elimination of the associated risk factors as far as possible.
«The sharing of the bed between an alert mother and a healthy newborn, placed in a position of
security, is a natural, practical, indisputable fact,” reads the press release. «However, scientific societies currently recommend avoiding the condition of co-sleeping, considered unsafe, suggesting placing the baby in its own cradle at the end of the feed, especially when other caregivers (family members or health professionals) are not present. This prudence is justified well beyond the stay of mother and child in the Birth Point and affects all the first 6 months of life».

Despite all the precautions, it is considered inevitable that mother and child can spontaneously fall asleep in the same bed. «It is an event which, rather than being dramatized, requires reinforcement of information to families on the safety of the child during sleep. The national shortage of health personnel, heavily suffered also in the area of ​​the birth process, is not a sufficient reason to come to the hypothesis of convoluted and lower quality assistance proposals such as the separate management of mother and child».

In conclusion, the objective of SIN, SIP, SIGO-AOGOI is to underline firstly the essential value of the practice of rooming-in and secondly it is recommended that in order to be appropriate, the rooming-in practice requires, on the one hand, «that families are adequately informed, involved and supported», on the other hand that «healthcare professionals offer care that is as individualized and empathetic as possible iso that the institutional indication to practice rooming-in is appropriately declined».

More stories from Vanity Fair that may interest you:

Rooming in, lights and shadows of the recommended practice for breastfeeding mothers

Infants and risk of suffocation in sleep: how to prevent SIDS and breastfeed safely

Crib death syndrome, what we know about SIDS and what can be done to prevent it

Rome, the mother of the newborn who died at Pertini: “I was exhausted and I collapsed that night”

Source: Vanity Fair

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