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We are committed to helping you get to know and care for your baby before you go home. When it's time to leave the hospital, we'll provide you with additional information to help answer many of your questions. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you go home.

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While You Are Here

Your Postpartum Room

Shortly after birth, you and your newborn will be brought to a postpartum room on the 8th floor of the west pavilion or the 4th floor of the east pavilion of Yale New Haven Hospital. Our postpartum rooms private. During your stay, you and your family will enjoy:

  • Quiet halls and beautiful views
  • Room service dining — Available between 7 am - 7 pm and is available to you and your care partner. Boxed lunches are available after hours. Please allow 40 - 60 minutes for delivery.
  • A relaxing shower right in your room
  • Free cable television, radio and wireless internet access and local telephone calls


Keeping you and your baby safe is our 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 spelled correctly 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.
  • 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, in person or over the telephone or anyone without your permission. 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. Whenever you begin to feel tired, simply place your baby in his or her crib.

  • If you are alone and unable to carry your baby to the crib, please call for assistance.

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 helps you 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 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.

In special circumstances, your baby can be brought to the nursery. 

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

Caring For Your Newborn

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

We also invite you to:

  • Read educational booklets, including "Understanding Postpartum Health & Baby Care", which you will receive upon admission
  • Access the associated web application with videos, tools, and other additional resources


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.

Please see our current Visitor Guidelines

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.

Leaving the Hospital

Your physician or nurse will inform you of your discharge time. We strive to discharge all patients who are medically ready for discharge by 11 am. We will not rush a discharge - the goal is a safe, timely discharge for all patients.

You will receive instructions about post-hospital care. If you have questions about your diet, medication, activities or other matters, please be sure to ask.

Car Seats and Clothing

Make sure you and your baby have a comfortable, seasonally-appropriate outfit to wear home. Also, your baby must ride home in an approved infant car seat. It is often helpful to have the car seat installed prior to coming to the  hospital. Yale New Haven Hospital will install your car seat at no charge, courtesy of our Injury and Prevention Program. Call today at 203-200-KIDS (5437) to make an appointment. 

Learn more about car seat safety and how to spot counterfeit car seats here.

Day of Discharge Parking

For questions about parking, current parking garage or valet parking rates at the York Street Campus, call Parking and Transportation at 203-688-2623, weekdays 7:30 am - 4 pm.

Please note: the main entrance to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (1 Park Street) is temporarily closed. Maternity patients and visitors should use the Smilow Cancer Hospital entrance, 35 Park Street. See our Children's Hospital Entrance Change Parking and Location Instructions for more details.

Newborn Screenings and Procedures

Jaundice (Bilirubin)

We provide comprehensive screening for jaundice (yellow pigment). Identifying babies early and reliably provides a high level of safety for newborns. In the procedure, a monitor is placed on your baby's forehead for a few seconds. The procedure is accurate, safe, quick and painless. This gives a reading, and if high, a blood test for bilirubin is done. Some jaundice is normal, but a high level can be harmful.

Vitamin K Injection

The Vitamin K injection is administered in your baby's thigh muscle in the first 4 hours after birth. It protects against a bleeding disorder in the first weeks of life until your baby can make his/her own vitamin K.

Cystic Fibrosis Screening

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease affecting a child's mucus and sweat glands. Early diagnosis can improve care and quality of life. A small amount of blood is tested for a protein (IRT) that is increased in cystic fibrosis. A DNA test is also done on the same blood. If this is abnormal, your provider will be notified and will refer your baby for a sweat test.

Erythromycin Eye Ointment Application

An ointment is applied to both baby's eyes in the first hour after birth and protects against a serious eye infection.

Hearing Screening

This is a non-invasive test for early detection of hearing loss. It takes about 5 minutes. If your baby does not pass the test, a referral will be made for further testing after discharge.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

The first injection of the Hepatitis B vaccine is administered in your baby's thigh muscle in the first 4 hours after birth. The vaccine protects your baby right from birth against a serious viral infection of the liver. Hepatitis B can be fatal or result in your baby becoming a carrier for life.

In addition, the state of Connecticut mandates certain tests and procedures be performed on all newborns before discharge from the hospital. For more information, visit the State of Connecticut's Department of Public Health.

Metabolic Screening

Within 24 hours after birth a small amount of blood is taken from your baby's heel. It is sent to the State Laboratory to screen for multiple rare metabolic disorders. Your baby's provider will be notified of an abnormal result.

Once You Are Home

Get Some Sleep

When you first come home, you may wish to just be alone with your new family. Accept offers of help, but leave enough time to rest. "Sleep when the baby sleeps" is also a good rule to follow.

See safe sleep guidelines for baby here

Know What's Normal

Many people have normal discomfort after giving birth. Below are common things you may experience:

  • After pains: These slightly crampy pains in your uterus last a few days. Those who breastfeed may notice these pains coincide with feedings.
  • Episiotomy or tear: If you had an episiotomy or tear, this area will be very sensitive when you first come home. Your doctor or midwife may recommend a cream or medication.
  • Hemorrhoids: Because of pushing during labor, hemorrhoids may now be a problem. Drink lots of fluids and eat enough fruits and fiber to keep your stools soft.
  • Breast discomfort: Whether you are breastfeeding or not, your breasts will become tender and enlarged as your milk comes in a few days after delivery. Breastfeeding frequently will relieve the discomfort. Even for those who are not breastfeeding, wearing a supportive bra—even when you sleep—will help.

Below are common things that are normal for newborns in the first days home:

  • Sleep: Newborns sleep a lot,16 or more hours total in a day. You may wish for your baby to start sleeping through the night right away, but he/she needs to eat frequently and will likely want to sleep more during the day rather than at night.
  • Feedings: Breastfeeding babies will need to feed 8 or more times in a 24-hour period. They naturally will want to feed more frequently between 3 pm and 3 am than at any other times. Formula-feeding babies usually eat at least 6 times in 24 hours.
  • Diaper changes: Your baby's urination will increase each day, to the point when he/she will have 6-8 wet diapers per day. His or her stool will change color, from black/green, meconium, to brown or yellow stools. Especially in the first weeks of life, your baby's diaper will frequently contain stool.

And What's Not

Call your healthcare provider, physician's office or midwife immediately if you experience:

  • Fever
  • Increase in vaginal discharge
  • Increase in vaginal bleeding
  • Intense pain or cramping
  • Feelings of depression
  • Damaged nipples from breastfeeding
  • Engorged/hard breasts that do not soften when breastfeeding
  • Red parts of your breasts that are warm to the touch or painful

Call your baby's pediatrician or healthcare provider if you see:

  • Sleepiness that leads to fewer than 8 feedings in 24 hours (if breastfeeding); or fewer than 6 feedings in 24 hours (if formula feeding)
  • Fussiness or crying that lasts for long periods of time
  • Frequent spitting up
  • Less frequent urination or defecation than during the hospital stay
  • Yellow or orange color to the baby's skin or whites of the eyes

Schedule a Postpartum Visit for Yourself

You will need to see your health care provider about six weeks after the delivery of your baby or sooner if you had complications. During this visit, your doctor or midwife will check your weight, blood pressure, size of the uterus, any stitches or discharge you may have and your general health. It's a good time to ask questions and discuss birth control options with your health care provider too.

Schedule a Pediatric Visit for Your Baby

Your baby will need to be seen by a healthcare provider within days of going home. During this visit, your baby's healthcare provider will check the baby's weight and talk with you about your baby's feedings. This is a great time to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have.

Yale School of Medicine

Yale New Haven Health is proud to be affiliated with the prestigious Yale University and its highly ranked Yale School of Medicine.