East Jefferson General Hospital is nationally recognized by Baby Friendly USA for promoting evidence-based maternity care practices facilitating maternal-infant bonding and breastfeeding. EJGH provides mothers and their babies with support by skilled nurses for practices such as early skin to skin contact, rooming-in, cue-based feedings, breastfeeding, and others.
Early skin-to-skin contact
Skin-to-skin contact promotes maternal-infant bonding, an important foundation for future relationships. At EJGH, skin-to-skin contact and care begins immediately after birth (or as early as mother and baby are ready), lasting for the first hour (or longer), including the first breastfeeding. This contact allows mother and baby to share touch, hearing, smell, taste, and warmth. Skin-to skin contact calms an infant, for increased feelings of safety and lowered stress hormones. Benefits of skin-to-skin care continue beyond the first day, throughout the early weeks.
Practicing skin-to-skin may also help your baby:
- Remain calm and cry less
- Regulate body temperature more easily
- Maintain normal heart rates, respiratory rates, blood pressures and blood sugar levels
- Achieve a better, more effective latch
- Breastfeed exclusively and breastfeed longer
- Indicate when he is ready to feed
Dads can also provide benefits to baby through skin-to-skin contact. Babies know the sound of his voice which will help him to feel calm, safe and loved.
Rooming-in on a 24-hour basis
Rooming-in allows mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day—a practice known to provide physical, and psychological benefits for mother and child. Skilled nursing staff is available to support mothers and babies during rooming-in.
Benefits for mothers:
- Easier breastfeeding, as mothers make and provide more milk
- More likely to breastfeed exclusively and for longer durations
- Same quality of sleep as mothers whose babies sleep in a hospital nursery
Benefits for babies:
- Cry less than babies kept in the nursery
- More likely to gain weight faster
- Sleep quietly between feedings and are soothed more easily
Mothers are encouraged to enjoy time rooming-in, as mothers and their babies develop their new relationship.
“Cuddle Time” at EJGH recognizes needs and requests of new mothers (and their babies) by providing uninterrupted time each day from 2-4pm to promote bonding, breastfeeding, rest and healing. Interruptions are limited to those requested by the patient or medically necessary. Research confirms that daily rest time for new families promotes healing, maternal-infant bonding, improved breastfeeding, and improved infant growth and development.