Rush is pleased to be part of the international trend toward creating “baby friendly” facilities. Part of being baby friendly means supporting exclusive breastfeeding and creating an environment that encourages bonding with your baby.
We understand breastfeeding can be a challenge, which is why we’re here to help moms and their babies on this journey. Our nurses and lactation consultants are trained to assist new moms and babies with breastfeeding. Ultimately, whether you choose to breastfeed or not is your choice. We are here to support you bonding with your baby whatever your decision.
Skin to Skin During the “Golden Hour”
The “golden hour” is the time immediately after delivery when the baby is dried off and placed directly on mom’s chest with the baby’s skin against mom’s skin, which is called “skin to skin.” Spending this first hour right against mom’s skin makes it much easier for the baby to adapt to the outside world. During this time the mom will be the only one holding the baby. The nurse may check the baby’s vital signs while the mom holds the baby in skin to skin. Visitors can come to see the mom and baby a few hours later.
Skin to skin promotes mother and baby bonding, stabilizes the mom’s blood pressure and bleeding, regulates the baby’s temperature and blood sugar, stabilizes the baby’s heart rhythm and breathing, supports the baby’s brain function and immune system development, and encourages breastfeeding soon after birth.
We support skin-to-skin contact for babies as soon as possible after delivery. Even after c-section deliveries, the dad can start holding the baby in skin to skin until the mother is ready and able.
Even after the first hour, skin to skin remains beneficial and should be continued by moms or dads during the baby’s first month of life.
Infants who are exclusively breastfed have a lower risk of ear infections, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, meningitis, atopic dermatitis, diarrhea, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, allergies, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
Mothers who breastfeed decrease their own risk for diabetes, postpartum depression, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also decreases vaginal bleeding and helps the uterus shrink down to normal size more quickly after giving birth.
Because breastfed infants get sick less often than formula fed infants, breastfeeding moms miss fewer days of work. Fewer missed days of work, fewer doctor’s visits for illnesses, and avoiding the high cost of formula feeding mean saving money, too.
We also practice rooming in for healthy newborns at Rush. Rooming in means that moms and babies will stay together 24 hours a day. You may find it helpful to have someone stay overnight with you to provide additional support and comfort.
Here are a few of the advantages to having your baby room in with you:
- It facilitates bonding between moms and babies.
- You have more opportunities to learn your new baby’s hunger cues; this is especially beneficial for breastfeeding mothers and babies.
- It helps prepare you for your new life with baby after you leave the hospital; any questions you have about managing your care and your baby’s care after you leave the hospital can be answered by your nurse before you are discharged.
Rush’s new labor and delivery rooms and the Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are scheduled to open later this year. The new facilities are designed to make sure pregnant moms-to-be have a healthy, soothing environment during labor and delivery, and our tiniest patients get the care they need at the moment they enter the world.