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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Laying skin-to-skin, I whispered, “I am your mom.”

Published in OB/GYN Services Author: Amy Bemboom, RNC-OB

Is there anything more exciting than preparing for the birth of a new baby? As the days inch closer and closer, the excitement builds to an almost indescribable point. The moment of finally seeing your baby is becoming reality.

During all the planning, we, like many people, made a list of things that were important to us during our hospital stay. At the top of my list, was holding my baby skin-to-skin immediately after he was born.

I knew all the wonderful benefits of skin-to-skin:

  • Helps to regulate baby’s temperature after delivery.
  • Aids in normalizing heart rate and breathing after birth. 
  • Lays a key building block for successful breastfeeding.
  • Leads to amazing bonding time with baby.

Knowing that I was going to have a cesarean birth, I knew it was important to talk to my doctor and nurses about what I wanted in regards to skin-to-skin in the operating room. On the day of the delivery, I talked with the nurses caring for us, sharing with them how important it was for me to hold our baby skin-to-skin as soon as he was born. They worked with us to make this possible, even in the operating room.

As our doctor was about to deliver our son, my eyes welled up with tears. My heart was racing. The time had come to see our son, Franklin. Just seconds after he was born, the nurse laid this wet and wrinkly little baby on my chest. He cried; I cried. This was the moment I had longed for, for nearly 40 weeks. I wrapped my trembling arms around him and whispered to him, “I am your mom.” His wrinkled hand caressed my face. I was overwhelmed with feelings; my heart was full. As he laid there listening to my heart, a familiar sound to him, he became part of me in a different way than he once was. The love was already there before he was born, but it came to life once he was in my arms. This is truly a magical moment, etched in my memory forever.

He remained on my chest the entire time. The nurse checked his temperature and did assessments while he was with me. This was his new home, a perfect spot for him to adjust to life outside of me.

Throughout our stay in the hospital and in the coming weeks, he spent most of his days skin-to-skin with me. Frequent feedings and lots of skin-to-skin time helped to establish a good breastfeeding foundation and the beautiful bond that we share. This experience was so many things to me, but mostly just beautiful.