The Joeyband allows c-section moms hands-free skin-to-skin time with baby
Every pregnant woman imagines what it will be like to hold their baby close right after birth. But for c-section moms, that skin-to-skin bonding time doesn’t always get to happen. Luckily, a pair of sisters has invented something to help.
Canadian sisters Ashley Wade and Hayley Mullins realized that some c-section moms were missing out on the close bonding time they wanted right after delivery. So they created the Joeyband — a stretchable linen wrap that secures the baby to your chest so you can enjoy skin-to-skin time hands free.
The benefits of skin-to-skin contact with your baby right after the birth are well documented. Babies who have skin-to-skin time are found to be calmer, cry less and stay warmer than babies who are swaddled or placed in a crib. Skin-to-skin time can even help regulate a newborn’s blood sugar levels and assist mom and baby bonding. But even when a c-section is planned, getting that skin-to-skin time doesn’t always happen. Sometimes mom’s arms are strapped down during the procedure so she can’t hold the baby to her chest after birth. Or the hospital doesn’t have the extra staff that’s usually required to assist a c-section mom who wants skin-to-skin time right after the birth.
The band can be set up with mom as part of the c-section prep. Once baby is delivered, they can be placed on mom’s chest and the wrap can be secured. This way mom and baby can stay together while she’s stitched up. They can even head into recovery using the Joeyband, since it helps the baby stay secure.
Many moms experience body shakes right after having a c-section, which is one reason why some hospitals are hesitant to let a c-section mom have skin-to-skin time right after surgery. The fear of dropping your baby is real, but this product helps prevent that from happening.
In fact, Mullins tells Scary Mommy it was an accident with her then two-week-old daughter Marnie that inspired the Joeyband. “Two weeks to the day she was born, she was asleep on my chest. I took my hands off of her for a moment, and she startled and fell to the floor,” she recalls. “My husband and I panicked, and went to the hospital (all the while, thinking someone was going to take her away from us!). The doctor said, ‘It happens all the time.'” It was then that Mullins started looking something to secure her baby during skin-to-skin time that didn’t have straps or clips. When she couldn’t find anything, she set out to make it herself.
The Joeyband isn’t weight bearing, so it’s not a replacement for a baby carrier. It’s designed to be worn when a parent is sitting or laying down. But since there’s no messing with buckles or straps it’s perfect to use right after a c-section. You can even use it while cuddling a baby in the NICU without getting tangled in their lead wires. Or use it when you’re home from the hospital and just want to eat some damn toast on the couch but the baby won’t let you put them down.
According to Mullins, right now there are around 100 hospitals worldwide who are using Joeybands or in the process of getting them in-house. You can check with the maternity department of your hospital to see if they have them or are willing to purchase them, or you can buy one online for yourself.
The lack of control associated with c-sections can be scary for a lot of women. Talking to your OB about using something like the Joeyband to make sure you’ll get the skin-to-skin time you want after delivery is an easy way to retain some control during a c-section.