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Maternity Services
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Learning to Care for Your Newborn

You may experience many emotions once your baby is born... it's exciting and celebratory, but it can also be overwhelming. The staff at Yale-New Haven Hospital is dedicated to helping you to get to know and care for your baby, before you go home and beyond. Below are some things to keep in mind as you begin that relationship.

Learning to Care for Your Newborn

Delivering at the Saint Raphael Campus?

Please review this information specific to the Yale-New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus.



Your Postpartum Room

Shortly after birth, you and your newborn will be brought to your room on the 10th or 11th floor of Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. Our postpartum rooms are semi-private or private depending on the number of new moms in the hospital. During your stay, you and your family will enjoy:

  • Indirect lighting, quiet halls and beautiful views
  • Room service dining — phone in orders from a restaurant-style menu with tasty, cooked-to-order meals
  • A relaxing shower right in your room
  • Free cable television, radio and wireless internet access and local telephone calls

Safety

Keeping you and your baby safe is an important priority. To help ensure your safety at all times, Yale-New Haven Hospital has put in place strict security measures that include the following:

  • Immediately after birth, you, your baby, and your support person will receive matching identification bracelets. Please verify that the names are correctly spelled and that the numbers match.
  • Whenever your baby is given to you or your support person, the bracelet number is verified.
  • Your baby must always be transported in a crib. No one should ever carry your baby in his/her arms in the hallway.
  • If you want to take a shower or an undisturbed nap, you can take your baby to the nursery or ask a nurse to transport him/her for you.
  • Do not give your baby to anyone without proper identification. The nursing staff in the maternity area have unique identification badges. Your nurse will point this out to you.
  • Question any person inquiring about your infant. Alert the nurses immediately if you have questions or feel uncomfortable with anyone in your room.
  • Your baby will wear a special transponder as part of our electronic security system. The staff will identify this for you.
  • In an effort to protect your privacy, the nursing staff will not discuss personal information with anyone who phones. While this may be frustrating to your family and friends, they must only hear information from you or your support person.
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital does not release any information to newspapers regarding the birth of your infant. Please consider the risk you may be taking if you permit a birth announcement to be published.

We encourage you to hold and snuggle with your baby as much as possible. It has many health benefits, for both of you. However, it's important that you not do this when you feel tired. There have been instances when a parent has fallen asleep while holding his or her baby, and the baby has fallen from the parent's arms. Therefore, whenever you begin to feel tired, simply place your baby in his or her crib.

Rooming In

When you give birth at Yale-New Haven Hospital, nurses will care for you and your baby together. Most of the day, your baby will remain at your bedside. This is known as "rooming in." This time spent together helps you to be more comfortable in caring for your baby's needs. You'll more quickly learn your baby's cues and get to understand what he or she wants. Many new moms also sleep better when their baby is in the room. Research has shown that rooming in also has these benefits:

  • Being close to mom makes it easier for babies to get used to life outside the womb.
  • When babies feel their mom's warmth, hear her heart beat and smell her, they feel safe.
  • Babies get to know their mom by using their senses. They are able to tell the difference between their mother's smell and that of another woman by the time they are one to two days old.
  • Baby's attachment instinct is highest during the first days of life. Early attachment has a positive effect on baby's brain development.
  • Rooming in helps babies regulate their body rhythms. This includes heart rate, body temperature and sleep cycle.

If you decide not to have your baby sleep in your room, he or she will sleep in the nursery. Your baby can be brought back for night feedings if you wish, especially if you are breastfeeding.

At Yale-New Haven Hospital, we embrace Patient- and Family-Centered Care, which describes how we partner with patients and families to ensure that the best interest of patients is the foundation of our care.

Learn more about Patient- and Family-Centered Care »


We'll Help You Learn to Care for Your Newborn

We know that the skills to care for your newborn aren't something you're born with. We'll ask you to fill out a "teaching sheet" so we can determine where you could use some help or advice.

Both you and your husband or partner is encouraged to participate in your baby's care. Your nurse will help you to practice taking care of your baby, teach you about formula feeding or breastfeeding, diapering, or circumcision care, and answer any questions you have.

We also invite you to:

  • Attend one of our Learning About Baby (LAB) classes available on the unit
  • Read educational booklets, including "The Joy of Parenthood," which you will receive upon admission
  • Watch our newborn television channel
 

Baby Photos

Professional third-party photographers are available for in-room newborn photo sessions. If you are interested in having portrait photos of your baby taken, ask your nurse for more information.

Visitors

We suggest that, once your baby is born, only close family members visit for limited periods during your stay in the hospital. You will need time to rest and learn to care for your new baby. It may be more comfortable for you and your baby to receive visitors once you go home.

Anyone with a fever, cold, sore throat or other symptoms of an infectious disease should not visit, nor should you have visitors who may have been exposed to a communicable disease such as chicken pox. Also, please ask your visitors to wash their hands before holding your baby.

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