Published Aug 2, 2004
I have a question about how long hospitals keep baby's in the nursery after they are born. I'm asking this because my friend just had a baby girl this weekend. She had her via C-cection at about 2:00 in the afternoon. She didn't get to see her baby until about 6:15 at night. I was suprised, because when I had my son 2 years ago, they gave him right to me and let me hold him for about 1/2 hour to hour before they took him to do tests and stuff. But then they brought him right back within probably 1-2 hours at the MOST. I had my son natural, so is it because of the c-cection they kept her longer? I just thought that wasn't very good, because baby's need to be with their mother. My friend also said she wanted to breast feed, and when the nurses brought the baby back, they said they gave her some formula. I don't understand why they would do this? My friend was in recovery for about an hour, and then she was in her room for about 2 hours before they gave the baby to her. It didn't make any since to me and I was wondering if this was normal, or if this hospital just doesn't know what they are doing. Thanks!!!
Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN
All hospitals are different. After a cesarean the baby goes to the nurse for vitals/apgars, eye antiobiotic, Vit K injection, footprints, etc., and then to Dad and out to see family. To the nursery for weight, length, maybe a bath if the temp is stable enough. Then back to Dad in the post-partum room.
Unless there is a problem with mom or baby, at my hospital they room-in asap. No one staffs the nursery anyway.
For a normal vag delivery, baby goes to mom's chest or to Dad if mom requests.
p.s. The term "Dad" can be interchanged with significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, mom, grandma . . etc. :)
KRVRN, BSN, RN
Without knowing any of your friend's medical history or circumstances with the baby there's no way for anyone here to interpret what happened and why. It is common for the baby to go to the nursery for measurements and such but was there a problem with the baby? Did it have to have blood drawn? Trouble breathing? Low blood sugar?
jeepgirl, LPN, NP
or was baby's temp low? might have had to go under the heaters a bit
Actually, my friend ended up getting gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, so I think they did have to test the baby for diabetes. Maybe that's why they kept her there so long.
If the mom had gestational diabetes then it is important to start feeding right away so the blood sugar doesn't drop. It can drop very quickly. If it does then they would have to start an IV.........
BeenThereDoneThat74, MSN, RN
The hospital where I delivered my daughter made me wait 8 hrs to see her (after I saw her in recovery). Uncomplicated normal term vaginal delivery- 26 yrs old. They say they need to 'monitor the baby' for the 1st 8 hrs. I didn't mind too much, since I had been up all night and delivered at 6:30 am.
The last hospital I worked we kept all babies until min. of 2 hours of age. After a C-section sometimes mom couldn't hold the baby immediately, instead it would to down to the nursery. All babies got a blood sugar 30-60 min of age. When a mom is gest diab. the baby is at much higher risk of low blood sugar. If the blood sugar was low they would give glucose water or formula. Then recheck the sugar in 1 hour. If it was still low, we would call the doc.If the temp was low we couldn't give a bath right away. If it didn't come up after the bath it stayed under a radiant warmer for an extended period. There is also always the airway/ breathing factor. Maybe the baby had some lasting cyanosis. It could have needed to be on a sat monitor, or needed extended blowby and suctioning after birth. Both of those would cause you to keep the baby in the nsy longer than expected.
I am sorry I rambled on for so long. There are so many reasons a baby cannot go straight out to mom afterwards. It is sometimes frusterating to explain things to so many family members. Then tere is always the mom factor. She could have still been completely snowed or bleeding postpartum. Remember there are 2 patients to take into consideration.
I can't venture a guess as to the specifics of the op's friend's situation, but where I work, babies only go to the nursery after birth (vaginal or c/s) if there's a problem. A nurse recieves the baby in the OR, after it's ooh'd and ahh'd over by mom, dad usually accompanies the nurse and baby back to the patient's room. Weights, measurements, assesments, baths, blood sugars if they are called for, are all done in the patient's room. The pt is usually recovered in the room as well (if she had general or complications she'll go to PACU), so breastfeeding can be initiated as soon as mom is up for it. It's interesting how so many hospitals all do it so differently.
Well, all hospitals do it differently, but that situation was still inexcusable. If a mom wants to breastfeed the baby, unless the mom or baby was in distress, then the baby should have been with the mom - nursing - within an hour or two. Also, although many nurses are not aware of it, the mother could sue if her baby is given formula without her permission. (Expecially if she had informed the staff of her intent to breastfeed.) If needed, a nursery nurse should have accompanied the baby to be with mom. This type of sabatoge of breastfeeding is one of the reasons America has such a low breastfeeding rate and such a high incidence of obesity, high cholesterol, and other problems caused by formula feeding.
Mimi2RN, ASN, RN
Nurseries are always so well staffed that a nurse can leave her other patients and spend time with a mom in PACU. We now have an Admit nurse who attends high risk deliveries and c/s. This has made our lives so much easier, because we don't have to leave our patients, hoping that they get what they need while we are otherwise occupied.
Seems to me that an IDM baby did need to be monitored closely. If that first sugar was low, it's a good job the baby did get formula as they can bottom out really fast. If mom was awake and alert, ready to sit up and nurse, that's fine, but many women post c/s are pretty much exhausted (I see the night shift mommies). They've often been in labor for hours, and don't want to move when it's all over. It's hard to get a baby latched on when mom is laying on a gurney, and she's not able to do anything herself.
Most of our c/s babies are recovered in PACU, so we do get them to mom asap. They only go into the nursery if they are not ready to be turned over to mom/baby care when mom goes to her room. An unstable sugar baby would stay with us for about 4 hours, giving it time to show us if it can behave, or if it needs an IV.
I have the same questions. However, if they kept the baby just because it is "their policy", then it was inappropriate. Especially the formula feeding without moms consent.
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