• What Happens After the Baby Arrives?

    Postpartum care for mother and child in the hospital

    Immediately following the birth

    Vital sign check

    After your delivery, your baby will be assessed by the nurse, who will check his or her heart rate, breathing and temperature.

    Footprints and photos

    Footprints will be taken for the baby’s official record and also for your baby book, if you wish. After weighing the baby, we’ll give you some time to take pictures.

    Ointment and a shot

    Your newborn will then receive eye ointment to reduce the risk of potential eye infections, as well as a vitamin K shot in the thigh to assist with blood clotting.

    Identification bands

    As part of the process, the nurse will place ID bands on each leg that match a band on your wrist. You may choose one other person to have a matching band. This band allows that person to bring the baby back and forth to the nursery and to be alone with the baby in your room.

    Possible nursery assessment

    It’s important to know that if your baby has any trouble breathing or other complications, we could have to take the child to the nursery for further assessment.

    Post-delivery transition

    During your baby’s transition period – usually about 1.5 hours following the birth – a nurse assigned to care for your infant will be at your bedside.

    Breastfeeding and bonding

    A certified lactation consultant will help with breastfeeding, if that’s what you prefer, and given time to bond with your baby.

    Further monitoring and assessment

    After that first feeding, the infant will be placed under a radiant warmer, where his or her temperature will be monitored, vital signs (temperature, pulse and breathing) will be read and a more thorough head-to-toe assessment of the baby will be done.

    Bath time for baby

    If your baby continues to stay warm, he or she will be bathed. After the bath, he or she will be given time to warm up, and if your preference is to bottle feed, you will do so at this time.

    Security band

    As an extra measure – and for your greater peace of mind – we’ll place a security band around your baby’s ankle. This will help further ensure you and your baby stay safe while you’re in the birthing unit.

    Postpartum care / couplet care

    After the transition period, you will be assisted to a new room for your postpartum care – also called couplet care. The term couplet refers to you and your baby.

    Why the different room?

    You’ll no longer need the carts, monitoring equipment and extra space that are necessary in the labor and delivery rooms. And the postpartum care room provides a more intimate setting to help you recover and you and your baby bond.

    Each postpartum room has comfortable furnishings and a private bathroom with a walk-in shower.

    What happens in couplet care?

    While here, our nursing staff will assist you in becoming a primary caretaker for your infant. You will have a nurse assigned each shift to care for both of you and help with any needs that might arise, such as learning to breastfeed.

    At this stage, we no longer take infants to the nursery to sleep through the night or day unless there is a medical condition that requires it. We might still take your child to the nursery when the pediatrician does an assessment, to weigh the baby or for routine procedures such as circumcision or lab work.

    Before you go home

    Birth certificate

    This process may vary from one hospital to another, but you can find some general information about birth certificates and Social Security numbers here.

    Other important information

    The nursing staff will also go over important information for you and your baby before you’re discharged.

    Please review any information you’re given and – most importantly – don’t hesitate to ask questions. Our nurses are here to help you get off to the best possible start with your precious little one.

    Care at home

    Postpartum care doesn't end when you leave the hospital. Here are some tips for caring your newborn at home.


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