Published Apr 3, 2002
I am wondering what other places are doing about co-sleeping. You post-partum nurses out there: Do you let moms sleep with their babies in bed with them? Do you have an official policy on this or is it done nurse by nurse? Do you work in a post-partum setting or a LDRP setting? Do you do exclusive rooming in? How many births do you do a month?
We generally encourage rooming in, unless mom had a c-section and no one is staying the night (this is a pp setting). Moms can make the decision of allowing the baby to sleep in bed with them or not. I don't think it's any of our business, since I have never heard of a mother smothering her infant in the middle of the night, and I am not going to be watching her when she goes home in a day or 2 and does it anyways.
pebbles, BSN, RN
We had a neo-natal code blue at our hospital when a mom fell asleep while her baby was in the bed with her. I think she was breastfeeding and nodded off. I never heard whether the baby survived, but what a horrible thing to happen.
I agree with fergus, I can't police thes patients once they go home. Unfortunately, my hospital policy dictates that I inform the patients of the risk associated with this behavior, and chart either compliance or noncompliance with my request to remove the baby from the bed.
But the crack head in the next room will take her baby home
No official policy at our hospital on this, but generally discouraged after a baby fell out of mom's bed last year. Luckily the baby was not hurt.
My guess would be most beds that mom's sleep in at home are not twin sized?
KRVRN, BSN, RN
One time we had a young dad that took his baby to lie with him on the futon in the hospital room. The baby had been crying and he wanted to cuddle the baby and let mom sleep. As of 6PM-ish the baby was in the crib and the parents were awake, per the aide that passed the dinner tray. At 8PM-ish the nurse went in to assess and found mom asleep in bed, and dad asleep on the futon with nothing but the baby's very-black lower body sticking out from under the dad's body.
The baby had to be coded and unfortunately, regained a HR. Approximately a month later, he was deaf, presumably blind, and unable to handle his own secretions or maintain his own airway. His larynx was parlayzed and he had no gag reflex. Would have to have a g-tube and be trached. Never really moved or wiggled and was beginning to get contractures despite ROM. Wouldn't respond to noise or light stimuli. Responded to heavy touch with posturing. Poor little guy.
The parents were only 17 and 18. Young, but determined to do right by their new baby. Mom's history was sad... her own mother was a drug addict that died of AIDS, father was in prison or something. She had been in foster care, etc... this boyfriend was the best thing she'd ever had besides this new baby. And now he was unintentionally responsible for this outcome.
They took the baby off the vent soon after New Year's day...what a sad Christmas that must have been.
I believe our policy is such that the baby should NOT sleep with the parents.
I don't like the idea of babies in the bed as our hospital beds are not like those at home, and I have walked in on more that one mom with a pillow inadvertantly over the face...Our new side rail policy is such, with the new restraint laws, that really there is no side rail . We have no official policy other than to encourage rooming in, and they feel that having a csec should be no problem with or without a person there ( having had 3 I disaggree)...Still, if anything were to happen with an infant who was somehow compromised due to the inadvertant negligence of a parent who elected to put the baby to bed with her, you KNOW it would be the hospital and the assigned nurse who would somehow inevitably be found at fault. I am all for the child IN the crib in the room , but NOT in bed for extended periods overnight. What they do at home is their business...
Even if policy said it was OK, I would not allow a parent to have their babies in their bed with them. Too high a risk of suffocation. We teach them not to do it unless they have a safety approved sleep shield, which is new on the market. (We could have all been rich thinking up that one, as most of us had). We delivered 7296 babies in 2001 and have LDR rooms with a separate Postpartum floor. We have rooming-in.
What's a sleep shield?
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