Recovery & Newborn Care
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After the birth of your baby, you will be able to hold him or her immediately, as long as there are no health concerns that require immediate medical attention.
Although your baby can be returned to the nursery at any time, we recommend that you keep him or her with you as much as possible. Newborns are comforted by familiar voices, touches and smells.
Upon admission, let your doctor and nurse know that you plan to breastfeed.
The first 1-2 hours of your baby’s life are the most important for breastfeeding, as the sucking instinct is strong during this period. Ask to breastfeed as soon as possible after delivery.
Many times, our labor and delivery nurses assist moms with the first breastfeeding. Every labor and delivery nurse is trained to support breastfeeding moms.
To further assist you with breastfeeding, certified lactation consultants are available daily at Mercy Hospital and Sisters of Charity Hospital. Our lactation consultants see each patient before discharge.
Our postpartum rooms are private rooms, limited to one family. This privacy allows you to breastfeed comfortably, without distractions. Ask visitors to step out of your room at feeding time so that you can be free of distractions.
We recommend that breastfeeding moms keep their babies in their rooms overnight. This is called “rooming-in.” When you room-in, you can feed your baby breast milk exclusively; this is especially important at night, when the hormone that makes milk (prolactin) is higher. Rooming-in is the best choice for breastfeeding success.
If you choose not to breastfeed, Similac or Enfamil formula is provided.
Upon admission, your baby's physician will order a particular formula. If you would like to bring a formula that is not stocked at our hospitals, your pediatrician will need to approve the new formula.
At Mercy Hospital of Buffalo or Sisters of Charity Hospital, newborn photos are taken by Our365.
View Baby Photos (Password Required)
View photos of babies born at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo or Sisters of Charity Hospital and leave a note of congratulations for the proud parents.
To access the photos, please click on the logo of the hospital in which the baby was born:
Please note that a password is required to protect patient privacy.
Your baby’s first checkup begins in the hospital, when we check for any health concerns. These screenings can discover health conditions soon after birth and can help save a baby’s life or prevent serious problems.
Within 24 hours of birth, your baby will have a physical exam that checks his or her appearance and bodily functions. Vital signs, such as baby’s temperature, pulse and breathing rate, will be taken, and any signs of illness or birth defects will be investigated.
Blood Sugar Screening
If your child is at risk for low blood sugar, blood is obtained from a prick to the heel and is monitored for up to 24 hours, in most cases.
Jaundice is when a baby has a high level of bilirubin in the blood. Levels of bilirubin are measured through a non-invasive, painless test.
If your newborn has a high reading, the reading will be confirmed with a blood test.
For most babies, jaundice does not require treatment and will disappear within 1 to 2 weeks.
New York State Newborn Screening
New York State requires that newborns are tested for over 30 congenital conditions, including Krabbe disease, cystic fibrosis, and HIV. The test is performed using just five drops of blood that are obtained from pricking the baby’s heel.
The sample is obtained prior to baby’s discharge, and your test results will be sent to your physician.
A painless and comfortable hearing test is performed to check that your baby is able to hear sound.
Congential Heart Disease Screening
Heart conditions can affect the shape of the heart, how the heart works, or both. If left untreated, some forms of congenital heart disease can cause serious problems.
We can detect certain types of heart disease through pulse oximetry, a safe and painless test that wraps a sensor around the hand and foot and measures the oxygen level in the blood.
Your newborn will be given medications and vaccines, some of which are required by law. Those that are not required by law are strongly recommended for your baby’s continued health.
Antibiotic Eye Ointment
Bacteria in the birth canal can cause newborns to develop eye infections that can result in blindness. To prevent eye infections, your baby will receive an antibiotic eye ointment, as required by New York State law.
Vitamin K Injection
When babies are born, they lack sufficient vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.
A vitamin K injection prevents vitamin K deficiency bleeding and is recommended for all babies.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that damages the liver over time and has no cure. People with lifelong hepatitis B usually do not experience any outward symptoms and may not know that they have the disease.
All newborns should receive the first shot of the hepatitis B vaccine before leaving the hospital. This reduces the risk of getting the disease from mom or family members who do not know that they are affected.
Three to four doses of the vaccine are required:
- The first dose at birth (within 12 hours)
- A second dose at 1 through 3 months
- A third dose at 6 through 18 months of age
We will ask for your consent to administer a birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine is strongly recommended.
If you are taking prescription pain killers, your newborn may be born physically dependent and will require treatment for symptoms. Your newborn will be monitored by our staff for a minimum of five days for signs of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
55-95% of infants whose mothers have an addiction will experience some type of withdrawal.
Signs of withdrawal can be mistaken for a "fussy baby," but without monitoring, the baby is at risk for serious complications.
Typically, the average length of stay for a baby experiencing withdrawal is 18 days, but it can be as long as two months, especially if the baby's symptoms worsen and medication is needed to help them through this period safely.
As we monitor your baby, we will:
- Provide you with information on how to care for your baby during difficult times
- Help with feeding to encourage growth and well-being, either in frequent feedings or possibly with special formula. We will encourage breastfeeding when possible.
- Monitor baby's skin and use crèmes to stop or limit skin ulcers or abrasion
- Use medicine when needed
Recovering from an Addiction to Pain Killers
If you're experiencing an addiction to pain killers, our Substance Treatment and Recovery (STAR) program can help. Click here for more information.