Women and Infant Services

Mom and Baby

Congratulations: You have safely brought your baby into the world! Now it's time to recover from labor and delivery in our Mother Baby Unit (MBU). All postpartum/MBU nurses at St. Mary Medical Center are educated and trained to care for both you and your baby. This is particularly important, as you will be rooming-in with your newborn. New mothers generally stay in MBU for 24 to 48 hours after a vaginal delivery and 72 hours after a cesarean section. Upon discharge, your nurse will provide information about how to care for yourself and your baby when you go home.

During the postpartum period, your nurse will reserve time especially for you to answer questions about caring for your newborn and for yourself. Your nurse cares for several other new mothers and babies as well, so it is important that you take advantage of the time she has set aside for you. Individual basic newborn care will be done at the bedside. The nurses taking care of you and your baby will review feeding, diapering, and safety.

Interactive TV: While in the hospital, additional infant care education is available 24 hours a day on the St. Mary Interactive TV. It features free and continuous programming on newborn care, maternal recovery from childbirth, and various family topics. We have a video library that you may use while you are here and also provide printed materials for you to take home. We encourage you to watch the following education videos before you are discharged:

  • Mother and New Baby Care – English
  • Mother and New Baby Care - Spanish
  • Breastfeeding techniques that work
  • Formula and Bottle feeding
  • One Foot at a time

Baby Friendly® Designation: St. Mary Medical Center is proud to be a designated Baby Friendly® Hospital. Awarded by Baby Friendly USA, the coveted designation recognizes the hospital’s efforts in 10 key areas, including breastfeeding, rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact, all designed to increase breastfeeding success rates.

Achieving the Baby Friendly® designation required collaboration with community leaders, physicians and staff, all with an eye towards healthier babies. Research shows breastfeeding benefits babies by lowering the risk for diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ear infections, obesity, allergies, asthma and pediatric cancers. Breastfeeding mothers are at a decreased risk for female cancers, osteoporosis and postpartum depression.

The Baby Friendly® initiative encourages breastfeeding to heighten health among babies and mothers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complimentary foods are introduced for one year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.

Lactation Consultants: All nurses who will care for you received 20 hours of lactation education. Certified lactation consultants support breastfeeding mothers inside the hospital’s mother baby unit. Our lactation consultants are feeding specialists, so they can help you with all your infant feeding needs, even if you decide not to breastfeed. A lactation consultant will schedule an appointment for you after discharge, if you will need or desire additional support with breastfeeding.

Pacifiers and artificial nipples can interfere with feeding cues and make it more difficult for babies to attach to the breast. It is recommended breastfeeding mothers avoid artificial nipples and pacifiers until breastfeeding is easy.

Pediatrician Visit for Newborn: Within 24 hours of birth, your newborn will have a thorough examination by a physician. Please inform the physician about helpful family medical history. Feel free to ask about any concerns you may have. You can search for a St. Mary affiliated pediatrician here.

Hepatitis B Vaccine: At St. Mary Medical Center, we follow the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for the health of your baby. The CDC recommends that your baby receive a Hepatitis B vaccine. Mom will be asked to sign a consent form for this first birth dose of Hepatitis B vaccine. This series of vaccines is given to prevent a virus that causes serious liver disease. Other doses of the vaccine will be given at your baby’s follow-up appointments. The first dose is essential to prevent accidental exposure at birth. An immunization record will also be given to mom upon baby’s discharge, which documents the Hepatitis B injection. This immunization record will be an important document to take with you to pediatrician appointments and for future immunizations.

Infant Security: To assure your newborn's safety and security, birth identification bands will be placed on you and your infant immediately after birth. Never leave your baby unattended. Never let anyone take your baby away from your room unless they are wearing a hospital ID.

Newborn Screening Program: California law requires that all newborns be screened for early indicators of a number of disorders. The tests provide one of the earliest opportunities to detect disease before symptoms appear. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the disabilities associated with these disorders. Only a few drops of blood, taken from a baby's heel, are required to conduct the screening. A detailed brochure about the program is available on the maternity unit. If you would like to receive information about the program in advance of your admission, talk with your baby's doctor or call the California Newborn Screening Program at (510) 412-1502.

California law also requires that we perform a hearing-screening test on every baby born at the hospital. The test is done while babies are asleep, takes about 15 minutes, and is painless. A hearing screener will give detailed information about the screening to you when you are in the hospital.

California also requires hospitals to screen every baby for Cardiac Heart Disease before discharge. This test is also done while babies are asleep and can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes and is painless.

Birth Certificate Services: We provide birth certificate services onsite to allow for easy completion of important documents. We suggest you review the Certificate of Live Birth Worksheet. This worksheet is provided during your hospital stay. Completion of the worksheet is required prior to discharge. The Certificate of Live Birth Worksheet is required for the county to issue your newborn with a birth certificate and Social Security Number.

Newborn Photos: We offer photo packages to new families through Mom365. This is in addition to the security photo taken of your baby once you arrive in the MBU. Your baby’s photo is usually taken on day two after delivery. Your photographer will inform you when she/he will be ready to photograph your baby but is flexible knowing that babies need to eat and have their diapers changed often. We ask that you please dress your baby before your photo session and be ready when the photographer arrives for your photo shoot. Instant viewing of your photo session is made available with a custom online slide show posted to the Mom365 website (protected with a unique password), thus enabling distant friends and family members the opportunity to share the experience. Online viewing and ordering is offered for two weeks to anyone you choose to share your password; immediate in-hospital purchasing is also available.

Visitors in the Mother Baby Unit: Fathers/partners may visit 24 hours a day. For all other guests, we recommend that they visit during visiting hours to allow our patients adequate rest. Siblings may visit their new sibling as long as they are free from illness (i.e. cold and flu) and have adult supervision. All visitors other than siblings must be over the age of 16. The father of your baby, or a support person, is welcome to stay overnight with you at the hospital. Partners: 24 hours a day

· Family and friends are welcome to visit from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

· Children (under age 16) are not allowed to visit.

· In addition to the mother, only one person (18 or older) may stay over.

· Children under the age of 12 must always be accompanied by an adult.

· No one with a cold, fever or sore throat should visit.

· A person who has been exposed to a communicable disease, such as chicken pox, may not visit.

· We encourage handwashing each time someone enters and leaves the room. It is necessary to help prevent the spread of germs and protect the new mom and baby.

Car Seats: You must have a car seat for your infant before you can leave St. Mary Medical Center. Please make sure you know how to operate your baby’s car seat. While we do not require a car seat certificate from the police, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment at your local police department to make sure your car seat is fitted properly. For safety reasons, car seats more than six years old should not be used.

Help after discharge: The Mommy and Me clinic provides a follow-up appointment within one to two days after discharge to ensure a healthy transition after having a baby. To speak with a certified lactation consultant regarding questions or concerns with breastfeeding or to make a follow-up appointment, please call (760) 217-5971.

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