At Whittier Hospital Medical Center, we are dedicated to meeting the needs
of the mother, infant, and the entire family. It is a partnership that
honors the strengths, culture, traditions and expertise that everyone
brings to the relationship.
Launched worldwide in 1992, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a
joint project of WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF. The goal
of the initiative is to recognize hospitals and maternity centers that
show their commitment to providing a positive environment for breastfeeding
mother by fulfilling rigorous standards. Whittier Hospital Medical Center
is working towards achieving this prestigious designation.
Couplet Care is a model of care where the mother and infant are cared for
together, by the same nurse, in the mother's room. This model of care
- Learning of infant feeding cues
- Parenting skills
- Promotion of family attachment and bonding
Rooming-in means the newborn baby stays with the mother in the mother's
room throughout the hospital stay unless medically contraindicated.
Advantages of Couplet Care and Rooming-In
- Baby sleeps better being with mother
- Infant stress hormones are minimized
- Breast milk comes in sooner
- Infant feeds more often
- Increased rate of exclusive breastfeeding
- Facilitates nurse-patient teaching
- Helps improve new mother's ability to recognize infant feeding cues/hunger
Babies who are delivered vaginally will be kept with their mothers up to
two hours in Labor & Delivery. The infant will be immediately placed
in skin-to-skin contact with mother and encouraged to breastfeed. Mom
and baby will be taken to postpartum, unless medically contraindicated.
Babies delivered by cesarean section will be placed in skin-to-skin contact
with the mother for a short period of time before moving mom to the recovery
room. The baby will be transported by the nurse to the nursery and kept
there until the mother is fully recovered. The father or significant other
is also encouraged to provide skin-to-skin contact with the infant. Rooming-In
will start when the mother is fully recovered and transferred to the postpartum
room and the infant is stable. The goal is to reunite mother and infant
as soon as the mother is medically stable and has returned to her room.
Cesarean sections may be performed in the operating room suite in Labor
and Delivery, or in the main operating room suite in Perioperative Services.
Infants Separated from Mothers
If mother and infant are separated for medical reasons, such as phototherapy,
mother or father can provide skin-to-skin contact. The mother may breastfeed
in the Nursery if medically stable. Maternal/infant skin-to-skin contact
will be started as soon as they are reunited and documented in the medical record.
Evidence-based research has shown that breast milk provides the best nutrition
for infant feeding and is also beneficial for mom. This is the standard
of care at Whittier Hospital Medical Center. Mothers will be taught to
use a breast pump and hand expression within 6 hours of separation from
her baby. The colostrum, or breast milk, obtained by expression will be
given to the baby unless contraindicated. Mothers will be encouraged to
begin pumping as soon as it is medically feasible and will be taught to
pump at least 8 times in 24 hours and document on a pumping log. If the
infant requires a higher level of care, the infant will be transferred
to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at another facility. The father
or significant other may bring the stored breastmilk to the infant until
the mother is discharged. Education and printed information regarding
handling and storage of breast milk will be provided.
For more information, please call 562.945.3561 ext. 8450, 1773, 1774 or
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org