Rooming in with your newborn

mom-and-newbornMany hospitals offer the option of keeping your newborn in the baby nursery while you’re in the hospital or letting your little one room in with you. Rooming in is becoming more popular these days. As always, there are pros and cons for each.

Rooming in allows you to have closer contact with your baby, respond to her needs quickly, breastfeed more often which can increase your milk supply faster. In many hospitals, family-centered care applies, which means that the same nurses are caring for both mom and baby, which can improve communication on health questions and foster better breastfeeding techniques and success. This can help mom feel more prepared when she leaves to go home. While this helps some women relax, other moms report that, with everyone coming in to check on her and the baby, they feel like they’re never able to rest with the baby there 24/7.

Traditional hospital nurseries offer centralized care under a nurse’s watchful eye. Tests, a bath, comforting of crying babies are performed in the nursery. Babies are brought to mom at feeding time. The best benefit touted of this model is allowing mom to get more rest… but the fact of the matter is that between phone calls, visitors, mom’s medical checks and tests, most new mothers are not really getting significant recuperative sleep.

Is there a best of both worlds? Some hospitals offer, or moms ask for, rooming in during the day and then having baby sleep in the nursery for several hours during the night. This would work for a nice nap time, too. Whether you choose this option or any other, the trick to rebuilding your strength and bonding with your baby is to sleep when your newborn sleeps. Exhaustion doesn’t help anyone.

What did you do with your newborn? Would you do the same thing with your next baby? What tips do you have for moms who are about to deliver?

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