Postpartum: Mother/Baby Care

Recovery after Vaginal Birth 
Learning About Your Baby
Postpartum Medication
Infant Security
Quiet Time
Newborn Screening Program
Infant Nutrition
Going Home
Car Seats
Home Visit

Recovery after Vaginal Birth 


Your baby will stay with you in your room if your delivery is uncomplicated and your newborn is stable during the immediate recovery period after birth. Please do not have family members visit until at least two hours after your baby is born. You and your partner will need this private time to bond with your baby.

Rooming with your infant enables you to observe and recognize his or her needs and you can begin learning about infant care. Our nurses will help you learn to care for your newborn. Women who have chosen to breastfeed can depend on our lactation specialists for assistance and support.

The first hour is a busy time for your newborn. If you plan to breastfeed, your first feeding may occur during this time. The nurse will also weigh your baby, monitor his or her temperature and vital signs, and administer antibiotic ointment to his or her eyes to prevent infection. Your infant will also be given a vitamin injection to help with blood clotting.

Learning About Your Baby

During the postpartum period, your nurse will reserve time especially for you to answer questions about caring for your newborn and for yourself. Your nurse cares for several other new mothers and babies as well, so it is important that you take advantage of the time she has set aside for you.

Individual basic newborn care will be done at the bedside. The nurses taking care of you and your baby will review diapering, bathing and safety.

While in the hospital, additional infant care education is available 24 hours a day on the Newborn Channel, our in-house patient education television channel. It features free and continuous programming on newborn care, maternal recovery from childbirth, and various family topics. We have a video library that you may use while you are here and also provide printed materials to you to take home.

In addition to the education we provide during your hospital stay, the Childbirth Education Department offers an Infant Care class you may take during your pregnancy.

Postpartum Medication

Your doctor may order additional medications, which will be administered by your nurse. Your nurse will help answer any questions you may have, and you should let him or her know if they are not having the desired effect.

Within 24 hours of birth and prior to discharge, your newborn will have a thorough examination by a physician. Please inform the physician about helpful family medical history. Feel free to ask about any concerns you may have.

If your baby's doctor is not a Newton-Wellesley physician, the Newton-Wellesley physician who examines your baby in the Hospital will give you information to share with your pediatrician or family physician to assure a smooth transition. While you are in the Hospital, you will receive information about when your baby should next see his or her doctor.

Infant Security

To assure your newborn's safety and security, birth identification bands will be placed on you and your infant immediately after birth. Never leave your baby unattended. Never let anyone take your baby away from your room unless they are wearing a hospital ID.

Quiet Time

The maternity unit has created a break in visiting hours called "Quiet Time."  These quiet hours are seven days a week from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Please inform your visitors to come before or after these hours. The only interruptions at your bedside during this time are for essential patient care.

Quiet hours are designed to provide you with the much needed rest and privacy you deserve during your short stay. Having this quiet time will help decrease your fatigue, increasing bonding time with your child and allow you to become familiar with your baby’s feeding cues. 

Newborn Screening Program

Massachusetts law requires that all newborns be screened for early indicators of a number of disorders. The tests provide one of the earliest opportunities to detect disease before symptoms appear. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the disabilities associated with these disorders. Only a few drops of blood, taken from a baby's heel, are required to conduct the screening. A detailed brochure about the program is available on the maternity unit. If you would like to receive information about the program in advance of your admission, talk with your baby's doctor or call the Massachusetts Newborn Screening Program at (617) 983-6300.

Massachusetts law also requires that we perform a hearing-screening test on every baby born at the Hospital. The test is done while babies are asleep, takes about 15 minutes, and is painless. A nurse will give detailed information about the screening to you when you are in the Hospital.

Infant Nutrition

Deciding how you will meet your baby’s nutritional needs is one of the important decisions facing a new parent. We recommend that you discuss this issue in advance with your child’s physician.  We encourage breastfeeding for many reasons. A mother's milk contains a perfect nutritional balance of the fat, sugar, water, and protein needed for a baby's growth and development. Breast milk is often easier for a baby to digest, and it also contains antibodies that help infants’ bodies fight infection and disease as well as provide protection from bacteria and viruses.  All of our nurses can assist you in learning how to breastfeed.

For more information about breastfeeding and infant nutrition:
Breastfeeding.com
Laleche League, Newton, MA: 617-243-9424
Massachusetts Breatsfeeding Coalition
Nursing Mothers’ Council, Newton, MA: 617-244-5102

Going Home

Before you leave the Hospital, you will be seen by your obstetrician or midwife and your baby will be discharged by his or her physician. Your nurse must also verify your baby's identification with you, and remove the ID Bands. Once your care provider has approved your discharge from the Hospital, you should prepare yourself and your baby for the trip home.

Car Seats

You must have a car seat for your infant before you can leave Newton-Wellesley Hospital. While we do not require a car seat certificate from the police, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment at your local police department to make sure your car seat is fitted properly. For safety reasons, car seats over 6 years old should not be used. 

Home Visit

You may qualify to have a maternal/child health nurse from Newton-Wellesley Home Health visit you in your home within 48 hours after you leave the Hospital. Your visiting nurse will work with you one-on-one to help you learn about feeding, cord care, infant care, the postpartum experience or anything else you need help with. She will also evaluate you and your baby to be sure you are healthy.
 
If questions come up during the visit that need to be answered by your obstetrician, midwife, or pediatrician, your nurse will make the necessary calls for you and she will arrange for any follow up care with them.

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