After Childbirth

After Childbirth Education - Baptist Health Arkansas

Life with your baby is filled with new concerns and challenges, and at Baptist Health we help you meet them head on. Find out how you can keep your baby as healthy and happy as possible through breastfeeding support, tips on finding the right pediatrician and more. 

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Recovering from Childbirth at Baptist Health

When you have finished recovering from childbirth, you will move to the mother-baby unit. All of our staff complete extensive training to provide evidence-based maternity care practice and provide all mothers with the information, confidence and skills to support infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.

A comprehensive system of hospital infant security is in place to ensure the safety and security of all infants in our unit. The nursing staff will educate parents about the electronic surveillance system and the entire security plan in place to prevent infant abduction.

As part of the admission process, you will be asked for information for your baby’s birth certificate. The birth certificate is an important, permanent legal document that will be used by your child throughout life, sometimes to authenticate other legal documents. After the birth certificate has been completed, Baptist Health will send it to the State Health Department Division of Vital Records to be registered.

You will be given a form you can mail with your fee to request a legal copy of your baby’s certificate. Please wait approximately two weeks before mailing this form to allow the State Health Department Division of Vital Records time to file the birth. If you don’t receive the birth certificate, please call the Division of Vital Records at (501) 661-2336. The Social Security card will be applied for automatically with the registration of your baby’s birth. You should receive this card by mail within 10 weeks.

Your baby will have these screenings before you leave the hospital:

Every infant delivered at Baptist Health has a non-invasive and painless hearing screening prior to discharge. A small cable with a rubber tip will be placed in each ear followed by small clicks that will be sent through the cable to see if each ear can hear the sound.

Infants that are unable to “pass” this exam will be referred to an audiologist in infant testing. If an infant does not pass the initial screening in the hospital, it does not mean the infant cannot hear. Certain factors such as gestational age or fluid in the ear can affect early test results.

This test will be done when the baby is 24-48 hours old. A small amount of blood is taken from a vein in the baby’s hand or heel. The blood is then sent to the State Department of Health who will notify you and your doctor if there are any problems.

A bilirubin test is done if your baby has yellow skin or eyes. The test measures the amount of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a waste product that occurs naturally in your baby when red blood cells are broken down. A small amount of blood is taken from a vein in the hand or heel and sent to our lab. Results are known in 2-3 hours. High bilirubin levels may be treated with phototherapy.

This test measures the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood using a machine called a pulse oximeter, with sensors placed on the baby’s skin. The test is painless and takes only a few minutes. Low levels of oxygen in the blood can be a sign of critical congenital heart disease.

The first few days following your baby’s arrival are a time for the family to get better acquainted with its newest member. We want you to have the opportunity for family bonding in the Labor and Delivery room, but we also encourage other family members to visit, if requested by the parents. You may be asked to limit the number of young visitors under the age of 12 or anyone who exhibits signs of illness such as coughing, sneezing or running fever.

Baptist Health-Little Rock

Visitors must check in at the labor and delivery desk, present a photo ID and receive a visitor sticker.

Baptist Health-North Little Rock

Visitors must pick up the phone outside labor and delivery, ask for the patient they wish to visit by name and preferably verify the room number to enter the unit.

Baptist Health-Stuttgart

Visitors must press the button outside labor and delivery, then tell the nursing staff the name of the patient they are visiting. 

Baptist Health-Arkadelphia

Visitors must press the button outside labor and delivery, then tell the nursing staff the name of the patient they are visiting. 

Baptist Health-Conway

Visitors must check in at the labor and delivery desk, present a photo ID and receive a visitor sticker.

Baptist Health-Fort Smith

Visitors must check in at the labor and delivery desk, then tell the nursing staff the name of the patient they are visiting.

Baptist Health advocates for breastfeeding as the best feeding method for infants. Our staff is here to make sure you receive education and assistance with breastfeeding your new baby to give you the confidence to care for your baby at home.

Every new mom deserves breastfeeding support from International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) postpartum, even when you get home. Staffed by IBCLC Registered Nurses, Expressly For You at Baptist Health is Arkansas’ breastfeeding place for resources, advice and even accessories for purchase or rental. Learn more about breastfeeding support available at Baptist Health.

Going Home & Postpartum Care

The first few days after having your baby are a time for rest and recovery, both physically and emotionally. Your doctor will talk with you about things you will experience as your body starts to recover such as vaginal discharge, swollen legs and feet and menstrual-like cramping.

You will also experience many emotional changes. Postpartum blues may occur a few days or even a few weeks or months after delivery and last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. Postpartum depression can range from feeling “down” to being easily upset and inexplicably sad. Other symptoms might include a significant lack of energy, anxiety attacks, headaches, lack of appetite, insomnia, confusion, worrying about your physical appearance and a negative attitude toward your partner. If you experience any of these signs, discuss them with your physician.

The care you receive at Baptist Health doesn’t end when you leave the hospital. Our dedicated nurses will call after you have settled in at home to make sure everything is going well and answer any questions you have.

Choosing a pediatrician is an important step for first-time parents. You may choose to seek recommendations from family and friends, or you may want to interview a few pediatricians.

The pediatricians at Baptist Health welcome you to make appointments to ask questions and get to know them prior to making a decision. Read an interview with a Baptist Health pediatrician or our blog on 5 things to consider when choosing a pediatrician for more information.

Keep Exploring More Pregnancy Resources ​

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