By: Sue Pedaline, Women’s Hospital’s VP, Nursing and Patient Care Services
At Women’s Hospital, we believe in the importance of family-centered maternity care. After all, when your baby is born, it’s life changing. That’s why it’s so important to support bonding opportunities for mom, baby and other family members. After birth, getting off the right start – with the support of compassionate, knowledgeable caregivers – can have a multitude of health benefits.
Long gone are the days when babies were whisked away to a nursery where families got their first glimpse through a glass window. Today, we understand the importance of one-on-one bonding. At Women’s Hospital, moms and babies are together nearly 24 hours a day, and family members of all ages are welcome. Every mom and newborn benefits from “rooming” together with the support of a mother and baby nurse. Studies have found that infants who share a room with their mom stay stable and warm and are less likely to cry and startle.
Immediately after birth, mom and newborn bonding begins with skin to skin cuddling. After birth, being skin to skin calms both mom and baby and encourages interaction. Also, it helps newborns regulate body temperature, heart rate and breathing, positively affects blood glucose levels, and boosts hormones that help milk flow while naturally promoting the baby to latch to the breast.
The benefits of breastfeeding are well-known for supporting the baby’s immune system and offering protection from various illnesses. But, did you know there are benefits for mom, too? Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression.
Beginning breastfeeding within the first hours of a baby’s life is a great way to get a healthy start. However, breastfeeding is new for both moms and babies, so it can be challenging. One of the easiest ways to make sure you get the breastfeeding support you desire is to choose a hospital with proven expertise. Women’s Hospital is one of only 90 U.S. hospitals selected to lead the way in a nationwide breastfeeding initiative. Our staff of fully certified lactation consultants provide one-on-one lactation support, both in the hospital and at home.
While moms and newborns are often only with us at Women’s Hospital for a short time, we understand the importance of those priceless first moments. That’s why we do all we can to deliver an exceptional experience for the families in our care.
Sue Pedaline, DNP, RNC, MS, is Vice President, Nursing and Patient Care Services, at Women’s Hospital, which has been named a Baby-Friendly birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA and honored with a North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation.
*Sponsored by Women’s Hospital