portrait of mother and newborn baby resting after childbirth in hospital roomRooming-in is a popular new trend for parents. After delivery the newborns stay in the same room as their mother instead of going off to a nursery to sleep. This gives the family a chance to interact and get to know each other. Rooming-in helps in the areas of bonding, caring for the newborn and learning his or her feeding cues. Experts are getting behind this trend as there are a number of benefits to infants staying with their mothers after birth.
Benefits of Rooming-in versus nursery care

Practice for parents – Rooming-in offers the perfect opportunity for families to learn how to feed and soothe their newborns with support from trained labor and delivery nurses. Parents will learn how to care for their baby sooner and go home with more confidence.
Happier baby – Rooming-in babies are usually more content because they are comforted by familiar voices, touches and smiles instead of multiple caregivers in a nursery setting.
Less crying – Rooming-in infants cry less and get on a sleep-wake cycle more easily. Babies in larger nurseries are away from their mothers and are sometimes soothed electronically by tape recordings. Research has shown that keeping the baby with its mother is the best way to establish a routine.
Less jaundice – Rooming-in babies generally get less jaundice, probably because they get more breast milk.
Less weight lost – Newborns can learn how to latch and breastfeed faster and gain weight sooner while rooming-in.
More Sleep – Studies have shown that mothers actually get more sleep when their baby is with them in the room. Moms have a peace of mind being able to keep an eye on their baby.
Postpartum depression – Rooming-in mothers, in most circumstances, have a lower incidence of “baby blues” and postpartum depression.
What to expect while rooming-in
• For the first few hours after birth the mother will be encouraged to keep her diapered baby directly against her skin. Skin-to-skin contact is important to comfort and bond with the new baby. It will also help regulate the baby’s temperature, heart rate, blood sugar and reduces overall stress for the baby and mother.
• The staff will work with the mother to latch and breastfeed, if she chooses to do so.
• For safety reasons, the newborn should be placed in the crib next to the mother’s bed while she is sleeping.
• Visitors should be limited for at least the first few hours after delivery. The parents will need to give all of their attention to the new baby. If there are visitors, always ask them to wash their hand thoroughly. Additionally, every visitor, including children, should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in order to prevent passing colds or infections. These are readily available throughout all hospitals.
• The newborn may need to go to the nursery for a short period of time to:
o Have a circumcision (if the parents choose to for their son).
o If special tests or examinations are medically necessary.
o If the mother is not feeling well or needs medical attention the staff will take care of the baby in the nursery.
The Labor and Delivery Unit at OakBend Medical Center offers rooming-in options for families throughout the greater Houston area. They will not take away your baby unless it is medically necessary. Their family-centered maternity staff will be available to monitor and care for your newborn while you are resting. Dads are welcome to stay the night and are encouraged to participate in the care of the newborn. OakBend Medical Center is committed to making your birthing experience a truly joyful and memorable one. If you have any questions of if there is anything they can do, please give them a call at 281-341-3085.