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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 get to know and care for your baby, before you go home and beyond. Below are some things to keep in mind as you develop that relationship. You may also want to consider taking our Newborn Care class

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

We Will Help You Learn to Care for Your Newborn

Both you and your husband or 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.


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