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.
Bonding With Your Newborn
The first hour after your baby’s birth is known as the "Golden Hour." During this time, we encourage healthy newborns to spend time skin-to-skin on mom or dad's chest. The diapered baby is placed directly on the parent's skin, and both are covered with a warm blanket. This contact encourages bonding, improves your baby's immune system and regulates his or her temperature after birth. If you’re breastfeeding, it also improves your baby's ability to latch for the initial feeding.
Although your baby can return to the nursery at any time, we suggest that healthy moms of healthy newborns spend 23 hours per day with their baby in their room, when possible. This practice can improve your knowledge of your baby's feeding cues and help you get to know your newborn.
If you are feeling sleepy and need to rest, the baby needs to be in the bassinet next to your bed. It is not safe for the baby to sleep in your bed, as he or she may roll and fall of the bed. We want safe sleep for both mom and baby.
Please visit How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained to get the latest information regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics' Safe Sleep guidelines.
The ABC's of Safe Sleep Brochure
- ABC's of Safe Sleep (English)
- El ABC del Sueño Seguro (Spanish)
- 安全睡眠的基础 (Chinese Simplified)
- ABC yo nan Dòmi san Danje (Haitian Creole)
- L'ABC del Sonno Sicuro (Italian)
- 안전한 수면의 ABC (Korean)
- Азбука безопасного сна (Russian)
Your Baby's Healthcare
- Many women begin searching for a pediatrician during the second trimester. It is important that you choose your pediatrician before you give birth, as he or she will be called when you deliver
- Breastfeeding Support
- Breastfeeding is the best thing that you can do for you and your baby. Learn about breastfeeding resources available to you at Catholic Health.
- Newborn Tests & Vaccinations
- Your baby’s first checkup begins in the hospital, when we check for any health concerns. Your newborn will be given medications and vaccines, some of which are required by law.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Units
- Babies who are critically-ill or who are born prematurely may be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
- Prescription Drug Withdrawal
- If you are taking prescription pain killers, your newborn may be born physically dependent and will require treatment for symptoms.
- Home Care Visits
- If your baby requires extra care, you may feel nervous or confused. Our home care nurses are here to help. They can guide you in keeping your newborn safe and healthy.