Mother Baby Care
After your baby is born, you will be taken to the Mother-Baby Care Unit for the rest of your recovery and stay. The nursing staff will teach you about baby care, self care after you have your baby, breast or bottle-feeding, and they can answer any questions you may have. The Mother-Baby Care Unit has private rooms with private bathrooms for you and your newest addition. The design of the unit and the private rooms was purposefully created to ensure a comfortable home-like experience, where you could bond with your new baby.
We have been at the forefront in the United States of implementing changes in newborn standard of care by promoting and practicing skin-to-skin (Kangaroo) care immediately after your baby is born and as often as possible throughout the post-partum period.
Skin-to-skin contact (typically the infant lying prone on the mother or father’s chest) is encouraged by the World Health Organization, American Association of Pediatrics, and Centers for Disease Control as it has many benefits including improved cardio-respiratory stability, breastfeeding rates, glucose stabilization, temperature regulation and parent-infant bonding.
In our Maternal and Infant inpatient services, skin-to-skin contact is promoted and utilized in infants from the delivery room to the newborn nursery, as well as for infants intubated in the neonatal intensive care unit. View more information in the skin-to-skin handout. Learn more by reading our skin-to-skin handout.
Many other services are available to support babies and parents during their stay. Additional fees may apply and some services may be billed separately.
- Nutrition Support
- Manipulative Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy (OMT)
- Pastoral Care
- Physical Therapy
- Social Work
The most important item for the trip home is a proper child safety seat (car seat). If you don’t have access to a car seat, contact the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety at (207) 626-3848 or visit the State of Maine website. If you think you might be eligible based on income, you should contact them within one month of your due date.
Ensure that your car seat is a safe ride for your baby by installing your car seat early and having it inspected (FOR FREE!) at a car seat inspection station. To find a station near you, visit the Buckle Up Maine web site.
We advise that you bring your infant car seat into the hospital as soon as you are transferred to the Mother Baby Unit so that the nursing staff can teach you how to correctly secure your infant. If special health concerns rule out a standard restraint, a Child Passenger Safety Technician will do an assessment and may recommend a different seat, such as a car bed, to meet your baby’s needs. Call (207) 662-1572 to contact the Child Passenger Safety Program at Maine Medical Center.
The usual length of stay is one-two days after a vaginal delivery and two-three days after a Cesarean birth. If there is a medical need, some insurance companies will allow an extra day depending on your policy. Check with your insurance company before your admission/delivery to ask what your policy covers.
On your last day, we aim to have you ready to go home 11:00 AM. Please make plans for your ride home before you come to the hospital. We ask that your infant car seat is brought into the hospital as soon as you and your baby are brought to Mother Baby Unit so that your nurse can teach you how to correctly use it.
Preparing you for going home is done throughout your stay. Your partner and other people that will be helping to care for you and your baby are encouraged to be a part of this ongoing education. Keep a list of questions for your nurse or doctor so you are sure all of your questions are answered before you go home.
We’ll work with you to schedule follow-up appointments with your pediatrician, a lactation consultant, or visiting nurse.
Support Once You Are Home
Visiting Nurse Home Visits
The State of Maine has a grant that funds home visits to all mothers and babies. If you are interested in receiving a visit, your Mother Baby nurse can send in a referral for you. MaineFamilies provides free visits to all first time parents regardless of age or income. They are experienced educators, trained in the latest positive parenting techniques. They can help you:
- Assess your child's growth and social, emotional and intellectual development.
- Learn more about age-appropriate skills and activities.
- Establish a loving relationship with your child.
- Make your home a baby-safe environment.
- Cope with common challenges, like teething, sleep and discipline.
- If you are interested in a visit, ask your Mother Baby nurse to send a referral in for you or visit the MaineFamilies website.
Postpartum and Infant Check-ups
Your doctor or midwife will talk to you about having a check-up within a few weeks after the baby’s birth. Your baby will see the doctor after discharge for a check-up and weight check. You will be given an immunization schedule based on American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.
Postpartum Support Groups and Classes
We offers a variety of support groups and classes to help parents thrive in their new role as parents.
Learning Resource Center
The MaineHealth Learning Resource Center is a valuable resource for parents offering information on a variety of topics. You can even have questions answered by certified Health Educators through the “Ask a Health Educator” tool.