For the vision of seeing every newborn in skin-to-skin contact after birth, regardless of weight or age, I have the following mission statement:
- Provide the scientific evidence for the neuroscience of optimal birth, the role of skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, parenting for secure attachment; and to conduct research as needed.
- Disseminate this knowledge on mother-infant togetherness, educate all health professionals and empower parents.
- Promote practice change in health systems and facilities that enhance mother-infant togetherness
The first is provided on previous pages - on this page I offer services with respect to the dissemination and promotion of skin-to-skin contact.
I offer a variety of TALKS … which are suitable for conferences, workshops, seminars and the like. The titles listed on that page attempt to convey the content, but can be adapted to Conference themes or specific teaching objectives. The style and content for GRAND ROUND talks (USA term for lecture to doctors) is slightly different, and the content more focused. In South Africa I offer CPD talks with 20 approved CEU’s from which to choose. These are packaged to the requirements of the Health Professions Council. For any talk, I provide the required information for local organizers to arrange CEU’s, CERPS, CME’s, etc.
“Seeing is believing” goes the saying … I do practical DEMONSTRATIONS with mothers and preterm infants of any weight and technological dependency, using the KangaCarrier. Such infants are obviously unstable and a strict protocol for how I do this can be downloaded. The sensory environment has a profound influence on the developing brain - a SENSORY ROUND with a sound and light meter can suggest areas that need improvement. NICU nurses are tied to their patients but FIRESIDE lectures allow them to hear the theory first-hand and can precede the demonstrations. I advise on PROTOCOLS and policy updating and provide the evidence base as needed.
TRAINING courses in hospitals are an efficient way of providing parallel theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on learning. Sample programmes of 1-day, 2-day and whole-week courses are provided, but primarily as a guide to customize training inputs to local needs. In general any course strives to provide a balance of half talk and half practical. The scope and quality of these courses is greatly enhanced when working together with my wife Jill. She provides additional theoretical knowledge on developmental care, parent counseling and educational aspects with respect to nurse –parent communication. On the practical side, she teaches sensory-supportive developmental care, skin-to-skin technique and breastfeeding basics in the skin-to-skin position. While one of us lectures, the other makes preparation with parents and staff for the practical demonstrations. These courses can be done anywhere in the world, but we are also able to host COACHING courses here in Cape Town and South Africa. This allows real-time exposure and hands-on experience to skin-to-skin contact in a variety of settings, spanning 2 days to 2 weeks, and to groups from 1 to 12 persons.