During the First Few Hours
After you've had a chance to hold and bond with your baby, we will:
- Put identification and security bands on your baby. We want parents and their new baby to be safe while staying with us, so we use a four-part ID system. The baby gets two bands, one arm band and one leg band; the mother gets one arm band; the fourth band is given to the person the mother designates in the delivery room, usually the father or support person. Only someone with proper identification can transport your baby to or from the Nursery.
- Give medications.
- Vitamin K: This is important for blood clotting and newborns do not produce enough until they are about a week old. It is a single injection and is given within the first hour of birth.
- Erythromycin ointment: During the birth, either vaginal or cesarean, the baby comes in contact with bacteria that may cause eye infections. This is given early for the prevention of eye infections.
- Hepatitis B vaccine: Newborns receive the first of three doses in the hospital. This will ensure that you baby will be protected as early as possible from getting liver disease. It is important to give early because many people do not know they are infected until they develop symptoms later in life. The virus can spread to others through blood and body fluids and through casual contact (sharing washcloths, toothbrushes, razors). Babies can also get the virus during pregnancy if the mother carries the virus.
- Weigh and measure your baby.
- Move you and your baby to a private postpartum room. The best place for your baby is with you while you are in the hospital. Studies show this is a good way to get to know your newborn. Keeping your baby in your room prepares you better for going home. You will learn about your infant's unique personality. You will pick up feeding cues sooner. Many mothers even find they sleep better when their infants are in the same room.