After Your Baby’s Delivery
During your stay, we encourage you to “room in” with your baby in the Mother-Baby Unit. You and your baby will be seen daily by your obstetrician and pediatrician. Mother-baby nurses care for you and your baby until you return home. Our nurses provide compassionate care tailored to your family’s needs.
For parents whose children are in our NICU, Tiny Miracles Foundation provides personal support, matches new parents with mentors, and manages a resource room and website to provide more information.
Your baby's safety is our priority
We make sure your baby is never left unattended in your room. You may transport him or her in a rolling bassinet to and from the nursery along with your chosen labor partner or hospital staff. We never carry babies in the hallways. For added security, our staff enforces the following:
- Baby’s Name – We admit your baby under your name (e.g. Baby Boy Jones). Your baby’s legal surname will be determined by what you place on your birth certificate worksheet we’ll help you complete during your stay
- ID Bands – Your nurse will complete a set of four identical ID bands during your recovery period in labor and delivery. For security, we imprint the same number on each band which includes your name, your baby’s medical record number, the date and time of birth, and your baby’s gender Please note: Two of the bands will be placed on your baby’s ankles, one on your wrist, and the third on the person of your choice
- Footprints – Your delivery room nurse will take a print of your index finger and your baby’s feet to place in our medical record. We’ll give you a copy as a keepsake and would be happy to take extra prints for any baby book you bring
Tests we perform on newborns after birth:
- Congenital Heart Disease Testing – Using a non-invasive test to measure how much oxygen is in your baby's blood which tells us whether he or she was born with a heart disease
- Metabolic Screening – Taking a sample of your baby's blood on his second day. The state of CT screens all infants for more than 40 rare metabolic and genetic disorders, including cystic fibrosis Early detection can help prevent severe and irreversible health problems. We will send the sample to the state laboratory and later to your pediatrician
- Jaundice – Jaundice is a yellow pigment in the skin. Jaundice occurs during the process of normal red blood cell breakdown. While some jaundice is normal, a high level can be harmful. We detect it by placing a monitor on your baby’s forehead for a few seconds. If the reading is higher than normal, we’ll take a blood sample to send to the hospital laboratory
- “Heelstick” Blood Test – Taking a sample of blood from the baby’s heel to check for low blood sugar when indicated
- Hearing Screening Test – CT requires all infants to be tested for hearing problems. The test is simple and non-invasive. In some cases, infants with normal hearing do not pass and may need to be further tested. Testing may include a cheek swab for cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Vaccines and other treatments for your baby:
- Erythromycin Eye Ointment – Per CT state law, we give this appropriate dosage of antibiotics to all babies up until the end of the first hour in the delivery room to prevent the transmission of gonorrhea and/or chlamydia. Possible effects include slight redness and puffy eyelids. If you’re allergic to erythromycin, your baby may still get the antibiotic
- Hepatitis B – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all newborns get the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine within the first 24 hours of life, and then go on to complete a 3-dose series
- Vaccines and Testing for Moms – Our Infectious Disease department strongly recommends the following vaccines: Tdap, Influenza and Rubella. Your complete blood count will also be taken, as well as RPR, a state-required screening test for syphilis
- Vitamin K Injection – We highly recommend your baby get this injection. It will protect your baby from getting a severe, potentially fatal bleeding disorder that can develop in the newborn period. Maternal vitamin K supplementation and breastfeeding is not enough
Please note: If you don't want your baby to have any of these shots or treatments, we encourage you to contact your pediatrician before delivery and then let the nursery know when your baby is admitted. In some instances, you may be required to sign a refusal form.
Umbilical Cord Cutting and Circumcision
Cutting your baby’s umbilical cord does not cause any pain whatsoever. Either your obstetrician or a labor and delivery nurse will ask you if you'd like to participate in cutting the cord unless you're having a cesarean birth. Our standard practice is to cut the umbilical cord one minute after birth to allow more blood from the placenta to reach your baby. If your baby requires emergency treatment immediately, we may not be able to delay cutting the cord.
We perform circumcisions in both our nursery and in the NICU. A pediatrician will discuss the risks and benefits of circumcision. Should you choose to circumcise your child, you'll need to sign a consent form. Circumcision can be painful at first, but studies have shown that your baby's pain can be lessened by swaddling his or her upper body, giving him or her a pacifier with sugar water, or by administering an injection of numbing medication.