St. Jude's Mother Baby Unit
We offer the perfect setting for one of life’s best moments. By combining
beautiful, private rooms with today’s newest approaches to helping
newborns thrive, we offer mom, dad and baby the ideal surroundings to
get to know each other. Here are some suggestions to make these first
days a little easier and get you started toward “happily ever after.”
- Having your baby with you—called “rooming in”—gives
you the opportunity to become more comfortable and confident in your ability
to care for your newborn before going home. Studies show that moms do
not get more sleep when their baby stays in the nursery at night—in
fact, just the opposite. Mothers are typically able to rest and sleep
better knowing their newborn is nearby.
- Try not to spend a lot of time watching the clock. Instead, watch your
baby. Newborns aren’t ruled by the clock, so the timing and length
of their feedings as well as their naps will vary. This is normal. In
time, you will find a routine that works for both of you, but schedules
aren’t helpful right now.
- Breastfeeding offers a long list of advantages—both physical and
emotional—to mom and baby. But for most women, it is a learned art
that requires both practice and patience. Our experienced lactation experts
and nursing staff can offer a wealth of information, advice and hands-on
guidance. Ask questions, get help and take advantage of the expertise
- Don’t worry that you are holding your baby too much. This is a time
of transition as your baby is used to being “held” 24 hours
a day before birth. Babies especially enjoy skin-to-skin contact, which
helps regulate the newborn’s temperature and creates critical sensory
- Get to know your baby’s behaviors and what they mean. The more time
you spend with your infant the sooner you will recognize when your baby
wants to interact with you and when they would rather sleep, when they
are stressed, in need of quiet time, and when they are hungry. Babies
have amazing abilities to communicate their feelings. Use these first
days to begin learning your baby’s cues.
- Babies recognize their parents on several levels. They know your voice,
your smell and your heartbeat—and will often turn to the familiar
sound of your voice. A baby’s vision is best at about 8 to 12 inches,
just the distance from a baby being held in a mother’s arms to her face.
- Limit the amount of company you have these first few days. Too much company
can stress both parents and baby. This is a getting-to-know-each-other
time. Others can get to know your baby later. If you need help with “traffic
control,” your nurse would be happy to help. Remember that your
baby’s need to eat is more important than your company’s desire
to see and hold the baby.
- It’s OK to put your baby’s needs—and yours—ahead
of others right now. This is a time to be protective so you can learn
to care for your baby and yourself before going home. Even after you’re
home, let chores and activities go for a few days while you focus on resting
- If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, ask for help. We’re happy
to answer questions or offer assistance anytime you need us. Specially
trained to provide the information, guidance and skills you need, our
staff is here to ensure you and your baby’s success.
Experience the Babymoon
At many hospitals, the hour after a baby’s birth is filled with routine
tests, procedures and lots of family and friends anxious to meet the new
arrival. With all the interruptions, mom, dad and baby spend little time together.
Yet recent research shows just the opposite should happen: a newborn gains
a long list of benefits—physically and emotionally—if allowed
to successfully bond with mom and dad during the first critical hour of
life. Bringing these well-documented advantages to each baby—as
well as key benefits to the new parents—is why St. Jude Medical
Center designed its popular “Babymoon.” Newborns are placed
skin-to-skin with their mothers—and all interruptions are kept outside
while mom, baby and dad get to know each other.
“This uninterrupted beginning is an amazing and very memorable time
for families,” explains Dawn Price, MSN, RN, Director of Maternity
Services. “By taking advantage of this critical period of time,
we not only strengthen and nurture the newborn’s development, but
the development of this new family.”
As the baby lies on or next to the mom, the skin-to-skin contact helps
regulate the newborn’s breathing and body temperature, as well as
creates critical sensory awakenings. In addition, the close, undisturbed
contact produces hormonal changes in the mom, promoting physical recovery
and emotional well-being. The “Babymoon” also facilitates
successful breastfeeding and deepens the bond between parents and baby.