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Learn about why mothers and newborns “room in” after delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Over the last decade, in an effort to provide best care for mothers, babies and families, care after delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital has evolved to support universal “rooming-in” for healthy mothers and babies. The major benefits of rooming-in include:
Massachusetts General Hospital is proud to have recently been designated a Baby-Friendly hospital, an initiative of the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Baby-Friendly status recognizes those hospitals that have adopted and adhere to a number of evidence-based best practices for newborns. One of these practices involves rooming-in. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has supported the Baby-Friendly effort and has been working to increase the number of Baby-Friendly hospitals throughout the country.
Learn more about breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly initiative
We are aware, however, that some women are concerned that they may not get needed rest if they don’t have an opportunity to send their newborn to the nursery for awhile. This is not necessarily true. Studies have shown that for most women, rooming-in actually increases the duration and quality of maternal sleep. Research also has indicated – and we have seen firsthand – that babies who room-in cry less and sleep deeper and longer. In fact, as rooming-in became more widely embraced over the past decade at Mass General, nurses noticed that the units were much quieter as babies were crying less.
Ultimately, our goal is to support the mother-infant pair while meeting the needs of both newborn and mother. Rooming-in is now the model of care at Mass General, but we recognize that each patient and family has specific needs and expectations. We do have a nursery available 24 hours a day. If a medical, emotional or other reason arises and the best decision for the family is to have the newborn be cared for in the nursery, we are able to accommodate that situation. We are committed to delivering individualized care to families based on their circumstances and desires to ensure that each family has a positive, nurturing and satisfying experience.
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