Postpartum Care For You and Your Baby
We encourage you to spend as much time as possible with your newborn by keeping them in the room with you.
Our hospital offers the Golden Hour period, which is time for special bonding between you and your baby during the first hour of life. We encourage skin-to-skin contact during the Golden Hour. Your nurse will be available to help with your new baby and answer any questions you may have.
- You will receive regular visits by your obstetrician. Many mothers find it helpful to prepare a list of questions to ask, including options for birth control.
- Prior to your discharge from the hospital, your nurse will give you home care instructions and follow-up appointment information.
Newborn Security Measures
The safety and protection of your baby are of the utmost importance to us. The following measures have been put into place to help keep your baby safe.
Our staff will review these with you when your baby arrives.
As soon as your baby is born, a nurse will place identifying bands on his/her wrist and ankle. The mother and her support person are also given bracelets that match those placed on the baby’s wrist and ankle.
Each time your baby is moved from or returned to your room, the identification bands will be checked to make sure they match. Please do not remove any of these bands. They are important for your baby’s safety during the hospital stay. These bands are checked again prior to discharge.
- When your baby is born, a sensor is attached to his/her ankle or umbilical cord. This device sets off an alarm if your baby is moved near any of the exits, stairs or elevators in our area.
- The Labor & Delivery and the Postpartum areas are always on “lockdown” mode. To enter these areas, visitors must identify themselves and the door must be unlocked by the staff inside.
- Check for an official hospital ID badge. Release your infant only to staff members wearing the appropriate name tags. During your hospital tour, you will be told how to identify these badges. Otherwise, the baby should not leave your room. Security cameras are located at elevators, stairways and exits for your baby’s safety.
- If you have concerns about who is trying to transport your baby, contact your nurse or go with your baby.
- If your baby leaves your room for any reason, he/she must be in a crib. No infants are to be carried in the hallways by staff, parents or guests.
While in your room, keep your baby in sight at all times. Whether you are taking a nap or just going to shower, ask a family member to watch the baby for you or call a nurse.
Safety At Home
For information about how to prepare your home for your new arrival, visit the website for National Safe Kids Campaign at safekids.com.
Your baby’s heart rate, breathing and color will be checked often during the first couple of hours after birth. Weight, height and footprints will be taken.
Your baby’s temperature and vital signs will be monitored closely and, once your baby is warm, he or she will be given a bath. We will provide state-mandated hearing and newborn screening.
If your baby needs special care or treatment, our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is staffed by highly skilled nurses and equipment to care for your newborn. Neonatologists and neonatal practitioners are also readily available. The NICU multidisciplinary team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and embraces a family-centered approach to patient care. During your baby’s stay, we will work closely with you in planning developmentally appropriate care based upon the needs of your baby and family.
Many pediatricians will perform circumcisions during your son’s initial hospitalization. If you wish for your son to be circumcised before you are discharged from the hospital, please discuss this when you select a pediatrician.
The following details need to be taken care of once you and your baby are ready for discharge. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask your nurse.
- We encourage you to plan to be discharged by 11 a.m.
- Your physician must write your discharge orders before you can go home.
- Your baby’s physician must write your baby’s discharge orders before your baby can go home.
- Your discharge instructions will include information on follow-up appointments and prescriptions. Please plan for your discharge immediately after instructions are given.
- Arrange transportation in advance to avoid delays.
- Notify your nurse when you and your baby are dressed and ready to leave the hospital.
- Please check your room carefully for personal belongings before leaving the hospital.
- You will need to sign the baby’s identification form.
- You will be escorted in a wheelchair, or you can walk to your vehicle with a staff member or volunteer if you prefer.
- Your baby will be transported out in his or her car seat.
- You must have an infant car seat securely placed in your vehicle. Due to the variety of car seats available, the nursing staff will depend on you to secure your infant in the car seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You may receive a follow-up phone call and/or a patient satisfaction survey from our hospital. We are very interested in finding out if your doctors and nurses always communicated well with you, if the hospital was always clean and quiet at night during your stay, if your pain was managed well and if your needs were met quickly. Please let us know if there are any areas we can improve upon and/or if you would like to recognize any of your caregivers.
Postpartum Medical Conditions
“Baby Blues”: Are you experiencing mood swings or feeling sad? Do you just start crying and don’t know why? You may be experiencing “baby blues”—an emotional response associated with hormonal changes, typically occurring within the first few weeks after delivery. “Baby blues” are very common and usually fade quickly.
Postpartum Depression: Are you feeling worthless and guilty? Do you fear you will hurt your baby, yourself or someone else? Perhaps you have withdrawn from your family, your eating and sleeping patterns have changed, or you are no longer interested in caring for your baby.
You may be experiencing postpartum depression—a serious medical condition that can develop within the first few months after delivery and last as long as a year. Moms suffering from postpartum depression may also experience reduced libido, fatigue, sadness and anxiety. Studies show hormonal changes are the likely cause. Most women recover with the help of support groups and counseling. For assistance, call your medical provider.
Birth Certificate Information
After the birth of your baby, a representative from the Birth Registrar’s Office will visit with you to obtain the information necessary to complete the birth certificate. Your baby will need to be named in order to prevent a delay in the process.
A birth certificate is a legal document, which by law, must be completed and submitted to the State Bureau of Vital Statistics. This certificate is required for registering your child for school, proof of citizenship, obtaining a social security card, etc. It is important to provide complete and accurate information, as errors are difficult and expensive to correct after the certificate is filed.
You will receive a complimentary hospital birth certificate during your stay. Please note this is not the official, legal birth certificate. You will need to purchase the official birth certificate from the Department of Health Services. During your hospital stay, you will receive a form explaining how to purchase a birth certificate.
Our hospital will request a Social Security number for your baby if you choose to receive one. The card will be mailed to the address provided on the birth certificate. A Certification of Birth Facts can be provided upon request for insurance purposes.
Nursing for Women’s Health
March of Dimes
National Library of Medicine