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Building the Bonds of Motherhood

East Jefferson General Hospital now stands among the leading hospitals in America in promoting rooming-in, skin-to-skin contact and other programs designed to strengthen the immediate bonds between mother and child.

Recent studies have shown strong benefits to both the mother and the baby if they spend time with one another and touching rather than housing the baby in a nursery and allowing them to "visit" with mommy occasionally throughout the day.

That is why you will find our new baby nursery either mostly, or entirely empty. Those babies are where they belong, and want to be...with mommy!

Early skin-to-skin contact

Early skin-to-skin contact begins immediately after birth and should last for at least the first hour or until the baby breastfeeds. Skin-to-skin is when the newborn baby is placed directly onto the mother's bare chest. This contact allows mother and baby to exchange touch, smell and warmth. It also calms the baby and helps him to feel safe. The benefits of skin-to-skin continue after birth and throughout the early weeks of your baby's life.

Practicing skin-to-skin may also help your baby:

• Remain calm and cry less

• Regulate his body temperature more easily

• Maintain a normal heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and blood sugar level

• Breastfeed exclusively and breastfeed longer

• Achieve a better, more effective latch

• Indicate when he is ready to feed

Dads can also provide benefits to baby through skin-to-skin contact. Babies know the sound of his voice which will help him to feel calm, safe and loved.

Rooming-in on a 24-hour basis

Rooming-in allows mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day—a practice that has been shown in recent years to have many physical and psychological benefits for mother and child. For one, rooming-in makes breastfeeding easier. Studies indicate that mothers make more milk, faster and are more likely to breastfeed exclusively and for longer than mothers who are separated from their babies or who send their babies to the nursery at night.

Babies also benefit from rooming-in. Typically, they cry less than babies who are kept in the nursery. Babies who stay with their mothers are also more likely to gain weight faster, sleep quietly between feedings and soothe more easily.

Research shows that mothers who have their babies in their room get the same amount and quality of sleep as mothers who send their babies to the nursery. Statistics also show that breastfeeding moms get more and better sleep than formula feeding moms. A mother's rest is more often disturbed by visitors than by her baby, so try to limit distractions. Enjoy this time as you and your baby learn and get to know one another.


Additional Resources:

Whose Choice? Advocating Birthing Practices According to Baby's Biological Needs
The Journal of Perinatal Education, 2013 

 

 


We view pregnancy as having two patients, the mother and the baby. Caring for a patient with a high risk pregnancy involves a careful balance between an optimal delivery date that ensures fetal maturation and the health of the mother.

 

 

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