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Family-Centered Maternity Care

SKin to SkinIt was not so long ago that Dads held their newborns while wearing yellow gowns, and babies were whisked off to the nursery before visiting hours began. Grandparents only saw the new baby through glass windows, and brothers and sisters waited anxiously at home for the return of Mom and their new sibling. Only parents were allowed to hold the baby in the hospital.

With the introduction of Family-Centered Maternity Care, Women’s Hospital focuses on the needs of the mother, infant and family. The same nurse provides care and teaches parenting skills as bonding between the infant and family begins. Studies have shown that an infant who stays in the room with his or her mother will cry less, startle less frequently and stay warm and stable. Breast milk often “comes in” sooner.

For the average mother, the hospital stay is 48 hours following a vaginal birth and 72 hours after a Cesarean delivery. This hospitalization marks the transition to parenting at home. For first-time mothers, it is a chance to practice hands-on baby care with a group of medical experts close by for assistance when needed. No matter how many books you read before delivery, you learn from direct care of your little one. With each diaper change or feeding, you become more confident as a parent. Nurses are part of the support team.

The birth of a baby represents the birth of a family. The postpartum period is a time when we help you to learn about your new arrival and support you as a family. The goal is for you and your family to leave the hospital more confident and comfortable with the care of your newborn.