At UnityPoint Health – Meriter, you won’t find a traditional nursery. Our goal is to keep your new baby with you during your stay through a practice called Rooming-In. This evidence-based practice is considered the gold standard for infant care. We do this for several important reasons:
1. Better Breastfeeding.
Being with your baby allows for a better breastfeeding experience. You can breastfeed more often, learn your baby’s hunger cues, increase milk production and get more practice with different techniques. This helps foster more questions and conversation with your nurse and lactation consultant.
2. Understand Your Baby.
Your baby has unique cues and ways of communicating his or her needs, whether baby is tired, stressed or hungry. The more quickly you learn to understand your baby, including in the overnight hours, the sooner your family will adjust to a new life together.
Your first few days with your baby are precious. We encourage you to spend as much time as possible holding baby skin-to-skin. This not only allows for bonding with baby, it helps baby regulate body temperature and stress, may improve brain development and healthy weight, may reduce postpartum depression and encourages breastfeeding and milk production.
4. Ready for Home.
We want to make sure you are prepared to take care of your infant when you go home. Keeping your baby with you gives you more time to practice news skills like swaddling, bathing and diaper changes in an environment where you can freely ask advice from your care team. You’ll be more confident in your abilities when you leave.
It may seem like you’ll get more rest if baby is in a nursery. However, some studies have shown you get the same amount of rest if baby shares your room, especially in the early days when baby wakes often to eat. Sharing a room will help your baby develop a more regular sleeping routine, which may lead to a better routine for the whole family.