Area EMS staff get skin-to-skin training

Babies often born on way to hospital

When babies are ready to come out, they come out whether the mother is in a hospital, an ambulance, a car, or wherever they are.

It can be dangerous if the babies aren't born in a hospital so two registered nurses from Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls are educating EMS staff on what to do when a baby is born outside a hospital.

Gina Hirt and Pamela Johnston teach Skin-to-Skin which means that as soon as the baby is born it should be put on its mother's chest.

"Mom's core temperature helps keep the baby warm which helps them transition better after they're born," Hirt said.

Johnston said the baby's temperature is important because if it drops even one degree it can lead to a drop in blood sugar and worse, "Anytime a baby's temperature goes down even one degree below 97.7 it increases their oxygen needs by 10 percent."

The baby could have trouble breathing which could lead to respiratory issues. So EMS workers who know Skin-to-Skin can give peace of mind to already frazzled parents.

"It makes mom feel better and they know it will help the baby breathe better," Johnston added.

And it doesn't mean only moms can do Skin-to-Skin.

"Dads can actually do Skin-to-Skin," Hirt said. "So if a mom's not feeling good in that situation after delivery and dad's around or there's another family member they can do Skin-to-Skin during transport, too."

The nurses have already taught Skin-to-Skin to more than 275 area EMS workers and they want to reach more.

"They can actually see what to do and they know the steps and place. This whole Skin-to-Skin has actually been easier for them to help transition that baby," Hirt said.

EMS workers who are interested in learning the method can reach out to Hirt and Johnston at Community Memorial Hospital.

The hospital is part of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Birth Center. It is a proud partner of the TODAY'S TMJ4 Community Baby Shower which is Friday, January 19th.

11 area organizations receive items donated to the Shower such as diapers, baby food, toys, books, and new clothes.

Items can be dropped off at any area Sentry store or at TODAY'S TMJ4 at 720 E Capitol Drive in Milwaukee.

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