You’ve just delivered your new baby at Baptist Health. Now what happens?
Your Hospital Stay
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 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 hospital’s security plan.
Dedication to Safety for Baby
As an extra layer of safety for newborns and added peace of mind for new mothers, sleep sacks have replaced traditional baby blankets at Baptist Health’s hospitals. A HALO Sleep Sack will be provided for all newborns.
Sleep sacks, which are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, are wearable blankets with built-in safety measures to prevent suffocation. Education on safe sleep practices will also be provided to parents prior to discharge. Learn more about HALO Sleep Sacks.
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.
- This is 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.
Visitors at each facility will need to check in at the labor and delivery desk or speak with nursing staff in order to visit. Some facilities will require photo ID and visitors will receive a visitor sticker.
Bonding and Breastfeeding
We know breastfeeding can be difficult. Our entire nursing staff is trained to provide education to mothers and partners on best practices for successful breastfeeding. Certified lactation counselors are available to add extra support for moms with additional questions. Under certain circumstances, supplemental donor breast milk is available for babies in need. If your infant is in the NICU, a bedside breast pump will be provided so that you can continue to produce milk for your baby.
Not sure if you want to breastfeed? We offer virtual breastfeeding classes, as well as childbirth classes, to educate and prepare you for this experience.
Our food services team takes pride in offering wonderful meal options for our new moms. Please share any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have with one of our team members so he or she can properly prepare your meals during your stay.
You are welcome to bring nonperishable snacks for yourself and partner to enjoy during your hospital stay.
During COVID-19 visitor restrictions, your partner will be allowed to request a guest tray from our cafeteria or have food delivered to designated entrances on the first floor of the hospital. Your partner will not be permitted to leave to go get food outside of the hospital and return to the unit. Ask your nurse for details.