Research shows that babies who stay in the same room as their mothers adjust better, and new moms rest and recover better. We keep your baby with you as much as possible throughout your stay, so you can bond and learn to recognize your baby’s needs.
As your new baby’s immune system develops, hand-washing is an important way to prevent infection. Protect your newborn by asking visitors to wash their hands before touching your baby. If anyone is sick — even mildly — ask them not to visit until they are feeling better.
Your baby’s security is important to us. Never leave your baby unattended. If you need to be away from your baby for any reason, let your nurse know so we can make sure your little one is safely cared for.
After your baby is born, you, your baby, and your partner will receive matching wrist bands. A wireless radio frequency band will be placed on your baby’s ankle to make sure he or she remains in the mother-baby unit, which is also equipped with security cameras.
Your baby will stay with you in your room unless there is a medical reason for your newborn to be in the NICU.
All Kaiser Permanente employees wear badges with their name, title, and photograph. Hospital employees with privileges to care for newborns have a yellow identification badge. Only allow staff with this yellow badge to take your baby from your room for any reason.
If you’re ever uncomfortable with the person who is asking to take your baby from you, use your nurse call button to ask for an additional staff member to confirm the request.
All newborns undergo painless cardiac and hearing screening tests. The hearing test is performed by a newborn hearing screening technician and the cardiac test, which looks at your baby’s heart health, will be performed by your nurse. These tests will be done in the postpartum unit before you go home.
Breast milk is nature’s perfect first food, and breastfeeding can enhance the bond between you and your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding through the first year of life. Learn more about breastfeedingExternal Link
Support for successful breastfeeding:
- We encourage skin-to-skin contact, which triggers healthy baby behaviors. It helps your little one stay warm on their own, breathe on their own, and learn to nurse.
- All of our labor and delivery and postpartum nurses are trained breastfeeding specialists. We also have a team of internationally board-certified lactation consultants at our hospitals and outpatient breastfeeding clinics.
- Every mom and newborn baby will be scheduled to see a lactation consultant within a few days of going home from the hospital This visit is an opportunity to feed your baby with the lactation consultant there to help, get tips about breastfeeding, pumping, and/or bottle feeding. There will also be an opportunity to weigh and examine your baby and ask any questions you may have about newborn care.
- 24-hour breastfeeding advice line: 503-571-6605
- Our breastfeeding support group will help you learn about breastfeeding positions, milk supply, preventing and managing pain, pumping, milk storage, and working while breastfeeding.
Leaving the hospital
After you have your baby, you’ll be seen daily by a midwife or obstetrician who will care for you during recovery and help determine when you’re ready to go home. The length of your hospital stay will depend on a variety of factors.
If you have a vaginal birth, you may be ready to go home when your baby is 1 day old. If you have a cesarean birth, you may need to stay 1 or 2 days longer.
You’ll be given a ‘pathway home’ tool in your room which lists all the things that need to happen before you’re discharged. On the day you leave the hospital, we’ll try to complete the discharge process in the morning so you can get home and settled in for that first night on your own with baby.
When you’re ready to leave, your support person should bring the car up to the front of the hospital where you may have entered in labor. A staff member will wheel you and your baby downstairs after you’ve gone through our secure checkout.
Oregon and Washington law requires that you take your baby home in a car seat. Our staff is not licensed to assist or direct you with car seat usage or installation, so we encourage you to take an Infant Safety and CPR program before your baby is born. It also helps to have your car seat installed a few weeks before your baby is due.
If your baby was born before 37 weeks, we’ll conduct a car seat challenge test. This test is done before you’re discharged and checks your baby’s breathing while in the car seat. It does not check the proper installation of your car seat.
Car seat installation resources
Always read and follow the car seat instructions, as well as your vehicle seat belt instructions. You can find guidelines for safe car seat installationExternal Link online. You can also call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK (1-866-732-8243), or go to seatcheck.orgExternal Link to find a seat-inspection location certified by the National Transportation Safety Board.