In the early 1940’s a new concept of maternity care appeared in American hospitals. As a solution to create a more fulfilling postpartum experience, newborns were placed in the same room as the Mother. Today evidenced based research supports the many advantages for this model of care and “rooming-in” is encouraged by hospitals and embraced by expectant Mothers.
One of the major reasons for rooming-in is to establish a strong attachment bond with your baby. During the first days of life a baby’s attachment instinct is at its peak. A secure attachment creates trust and has an effect on the physical, intellectual, emotional and social aspects of your child’s development. Studies show being responsive to your infant’s needs does not “spoil” your baby but rather helps him grow into a more independent child.
An important method for bonding is skin-to-skin contact. This keeps your baby warm and helps ease the transition to life outside the womb. By the time a baby is one to two days old he can recognize his mother’s smell from other women. Placing baby on your chest allows him to hear your heart beat, smell your scent and feel safe.
Babies who room-in have a higher success rate with breastfeeding. When your baby is close it’s easier to keep up with the demands of breastfeeding. You are able to pick up on his feeding cues and readily provide comfort. Frequent feedings helps establish an ample supply of milk.
Data reveals babies who room-in cry less. You may get more restful sleep knowing you can quickly offer comfort and soothing when needed. You have a chance to recognize and learn to respond to your baby’s gestures and sounds, this is all part of the bonding process.
Your hospital stay provides an opportunity to observe how your baby is bathed, handled, changed and swaddled. Nurses ensure you get the help you need to develop these skills and encourage the natural bonding process.
The average hospital stay for normal vaginal delivery is 1-2 days. So, where’s the best place for your baby to sleep when he comes home? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends newborns sleep in the same room as their parents, but not in the same bed because of suffocation risks. Bassinets and Moses Baskets require a small footprint and are a means of keeping your baby close if your room can’t accommodate a full sized crib.
Rooming-in gives you a glimpse into the future and hopefully instills you with the confidence you’ll need to nurture your baby in an environment where he feels safe and secure.
Written by Debbie, Owner of AbsolutelyOrganicBaby.com