Skin to Skin and Rooming In
The goal for all our deliveries is to provide "skin-to-skin" contact between mother (dad too!) and baby as soon as possible after the birth and for as long as the parents want! We also provide 24/7 full rooming in as our standard of care.
After most vaginal births, we place the baby immediately right on the mother's chest! Of course if there are any medical concerns or issues with the newborn such as breathing problems or meconium-stained amniotic fluid, then the baby may have to be attended to right away, which is done at the infant warming station located just a few feet away from the mother in the same room.
After vaginal delivery in the LDR, mom, dad and baby usually stay there for one to two hours more. During this time, the baby is evaluated for any difficulties it might have transitioning to being out of the womb. This evaluation phase is also used for bathing the baby, assessing the breathing and circulation, providing Vitamin K and antibiotic eye ointment and confirming that the baby has stable vital signs.
These activities are quite brief. Most of this time is for bonding and breastfeeding and for mom and dad to get to know their beautiful newborn.
Our expectation is that your baby will remain in the Maternity room with you until you are discharged home. This is not a "hard and fast rule" however. Huntington Hospital maintains a newborn nursery that is staffed 24 hours a day and at times when a mom really needs a break, she can ask for the baby to watched in the nursery.
After a Cesarean Section (C/S)
We wish we could follow all of the above procedures exactly the same for our Cesarean Birth parents but it is just not possible. We do try to get as close to the above as we can.
Right after the baby is delivered, he/she is shown to mom and dad and then is brought over to the Nurse at the newborn warming bed. The nurse evaluates the baby for breathing, circulation and stability, factors used to calculate the newborn Apgar Score. If all is well, the baby is wrapped in a blanket and handed to dad so he can hold his newborn while the C/S is finishing up. This might be within 5-10 minutes after the birth.
Soon, dad and baby are escorted across the O.R. hallway to the Recovery Room. As soon as the C/S is complete, mom is wheeled to the Recovery Room and connected to the vital signs monitors. Then mom and baby can begin their skin-to-skin and breastfeeding.
All of the above can occur as soon as 30 minutes from the baby's birth depending on how long the C/S took, and assuming the baby does not have any medical conditions that require additional care.