Discharge and Family Support
The providers at Altru’s Family Birthing Center are honored to be a part of your birth experience and excited to watch your new family flourish at home.
Your length of stay at the hospital before you head home with baby depends on several factors and will be a decision between you and your physician. During your stay, we will provide items necessary for the care of your baby, including:
- Formula, if needed
Upon discharge, you will need to have a going-home outfit and an appropriate car seat for your baby.
Going home with your new baby is an exciting time. It can also be a time filled with anxiety, questions and uncertainty. That is why we offer a wealth of support for parents.
During your first few days at home, one of our experienced nurses will contact you to answer any questions you may have or refer you to a resource that can help. You may want guidance about a variety of topics as you adjust to life with your little one, including:
- Pumping milk
- Understanding baby’s cry
The easiest way to remember how to create a safe sleep environment is to think of the ABCs of safe sleep. When you put your baby down for a nap, make sure he is:
- On his Back
- In a Crib
Keep these other key guidelines in mind when putting your baby to bed:
- Choose a firm sleep surface. Never place baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, sheepskins or other soft surfaces, such as couches or armchairs. Instead, place baby on a firm crib mattress.
- Do not use infant car seats, strollers, swings or slings for routine sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they pose a risk for airway obstruction.
- Do not share your bed with your baby. Your baby can sleep in the same room as parents/caregivers, but she should never share a bed, couch or armchair with adults or other children. If you bring the baby into bed to breastfeed, put her back in her crib when finished.
- Leave nothing in the crib with your baby. Keep soft objects, such as stuffed animals, blankets, pillows, quilts or crib bumpers out of the crib. To keep baby warm, consider using a sleep sack. These wearable blankets replace loose blankets in the crib that can cover your baby’s face and interfere with breathing. Sleep sacks are available for purchase in the Altru Alliance Gift Shop.
Our nurses can offer critical information about reducing your baby’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) with safe sleep habits. A sudden, unexplained death of an infant under 1 year of age, SIDS is a leading cause of death among infants ages 1 month to 1 year.
Research shows that placing infants on their backs to sleep significantly lowers SIDS risk. Stomach sleeping can increase the risk nearly two to 13 times, compared with babies who sleep on their backs.
Other factors that can increase your baby’s risk for SIDS include:
- Allowing him to sleep on soft surfaces, such as couches and soft mattresses
- Sharing a bed
- Smoking during or after pregnancy
Managing Postpartum Depression
Undergoing a significant change like having a new baby can cause uncomfortable feelings. But if you experience significant anxiety, loneliness or sadness for longer than two weeks after having your baby or if you are having a hard time connecting with your new addition, you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
Our team of nurses and physicians can help you manage postpartum depression with a tailored treatment plan, which may include medication and counseling.
Social Work Services
Experienced in the concerns and needs of today’s young families, Altru’s Family Birthing Center has licensed social workers who provide families with a variety of resources and information every day, including:
- Financial assistance
- Public Health Nursing follow-up program
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
These resources can help to eliminate stress and make the experience of welcoming a new baby wonderful.
Community Resources and Programs
To speak with someone at Altru’s Family Birthing Center, please call 701.780.5480 or 800.732.4277.