Passavant's leading-edge practices for newborns, including waiting to bathe and “rooming in”—a model in which babies remain alongside their mothers rather than staying in a nursery—promotes emotional and physical well-being.
The hours following the birth of a baby are precious ones. At Passavant Area Hospital, moms are encouraged to make the most of those hours, bonding with their infant and establishing contact to give their baby the best start in life.
Passavant employee Malory Jefferson delivered her two sons at the hospital: Rowan, who was born in August 2017, and Waylon, who will turn 4 in January.
When Waylon was born, Malory underwent an unplanned cesarean section after almost 24 hours of labor. “It was tough,” she admitted. But she said support from her care providers kept her positive during the experience.
“The doctors were amazing,” she said. “They talked me through everything.”
In the years since Waylon’s birth, Passavant put into action several policies aimed at improving the well-being of mothers and babies.
When Rowan was born, he and Malory benefited from those policies. Although Rowan was also delivered via c-section, “He was with me in the room the entire time,” Malory said, noting he spent hours lying on her chest as they bonded through skin-to-skin contact. Breastfeeding was also established quickly after birth.
“He was so peaceful,” Malory said, looking back on Rowan’s earliest hours.
Simone Parlier, BSN, RNC-OB, said skin-to-skin contact is an important way to stabilize the baby’s temperature and blood sugar levels, encourage breastfeeding success and create a bond between mother and baby.
During their hospital stay, “we encourage moms and babies to stay together in the same room 24 hours a day,” Parlier said. She noted that “rooming in”—a model in which babies remain alongside their mothers rather than staying in a nursery—can help moms begin to pick up on the baby’s feeding cues and promote bonding.
Meanwhile, the baby’s first bath is delayed for at least 24 hours, allowing him or her to benefit from longer exposure to vernix, the creamy substance that covers babies at birth. Vernix is believed to help an infant conserve energy, maintain a steady body temperature and begin breastfeeding more effectively.
Parlier said the family-centered approach helps new parents feel comfortable caring for their babies before they go home together.
Malory, who began her career at Passavant in the medical records department, now works as a CNA in the intensive care unit. She intends to continue her nursing education in the coming years.
She recommends Passavant to expectant mothers for its personalized, compassionate care.
“It doesn’t matter that Passavant is a smaller hospital,” Malory said. “They go above and beyond for moms and babies.”