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Mother Baby Care

After your baby is born, you will be moved to the mother-baby care unit for the rest of your recovery and stay. This unit offers private rooms and bathrooms in a comfortable home-like environment where you can bond with your new baby. Our expert care team will be there to answer your questions and guide you on baby care, self care, breast/bottle-feeding and more.

We want you to have as much contact with your baby as possible, which is why we practice “rooming-in”, when mother and baby stay together in the same room. Rooming-in has many physical and emotional benefits for mother and baby. You will grow more comfortable with your baby’s needs by the time you go home together and will be more confident in your ability to care for your baby.
We offer in-room private consultations with lactation specialists to all interested patients as well as various services before and after your stay. Learn more here.
Some babies need special monitoring or procedures that require him or her to stay in the newborn nursery under the continuous care of a nurse. Our newborn observation area staffed by a newborn care nurse is where tests and procedures such as circumcision, newborn hearing screening, and metabolic screening take place. It can also be used while mothers are sleeping, showering, or at any other time you need someone to watch your baby. You and the person you choose to wear the newborn identification ID band are allowed in the newborn nursery at anytime. Other visitors must be accompanied by you or your partner.
We practice “couplet care” in the Family Birth Center unless your baby needs the care of a specialized nurse such as in the NOPA, NICU, or CCN. This means that the same nurse that is assigned to care for you, also cares for your baby. This is important because it allows the nurse to strengthen the bond between mother and infant. Studies have shown that couplet care also increases maternal satisfaction with care as well as staff satisfaction.

We have been at the forefront in the United States of implementing changes in newborn standard of care by promoting and practicing skin-to-skin (Kangaroo) care immediately after your baby is born and as often as possible throughout the post-partum period.

Skin-to-skin contact (typically the infant lying prone on the mother or father’s chest) is encouraged by the World Health Organization, American Association of Pediatrics, and Centers for Disease Control as it has many benefits including improved cardio-respiratory stability, breastfeeding rates, glucose stabilization, temperature regulation and parent-infant bonding.

In our Maternal and Infant inpatient services, skin-to-skin contact is promoted and utilized in infants from the delivery room to the newborn nursery, as well as for infants intubated in the neonatal intensive care unit. View more information in the skin-to-skin handout. Learn more by reading our skin-to-skin handout

Many other services are available to support babies and parents during their stay. Additional fees may apply and some services may be billed separately.

  • Nutrition Support
  • Manipulative Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy (OMT)
  • Pastoral Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Social Work
We contract with Bella Baby to capture baby's first photograph with a natural, artistic style. They will visit you during your stay and you can have them take photos of baby. All photos in the online nursery are password protected. You can log in to view the pictures or share your login with friends and family. Log in to Bella Baby Photography online nursery.

The most important item for the trip home is a proper child safety seat (car seat). If you don’t have access to a car seat, contact the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety at (207) 626-3848 or visit the State of Maine website. If you think you might be eligible based on income, you should contact them within one month of your due date.

Ensure that your car seat is a safe ride for your baby by installing your car seat early and having it inspected (FOR FREE!) at a car seat inspection station. To find a station near you, visit the Buckle Up Maine web site.

We advise that you bring your infant car seat into the hospital as soon as you are transferred to the Mother Baby Unit so that the nursing staff can teach you how to correctly secure your infant. If special health concerns rule out a standard restraint, a Child Passenger Safety Technician will do an assessment and may recommend a different seat, such as a car bed, to meet your baby’s needs. Call (207) 662-1572 to contact the Child Passenger Safety Program at Maine Medical Center.

Going Home 

The usual length of stay is one-two days after a vaginal delivery and two-three days after a Cesarean birth. If there is a medical need, some insurance companies will allow an extra day depending on your policy. Check with your insurance company before your admission/delivery to ask what your policy covers.

On your last day, we aim to have you ready to go home 11:00 AM. Please make plans for your ride home before you come to the hospital. We ask that your infant car seat is brought into the hospital as soon as you and your baby are brought to Mother Baby Unit so that your nurse can teach you how to correctly use it.

Preparing you for going home is done throughout your stay. Your partner and other people that will be helping to care for you and your baby are encouraged to be a part of this ongoing education. Keep a list of questions for your nurse or doctor so you are sure all of your questions are answered before you go home.

We’ll work with you to schedule follow-up appointments with your pediatrician, a lactation consultant, or visiting nurse.

Support Once You Are Home

Visiting Nurse Home Visits

The State of Maine has a grant that funds home visits to all mothers and babies. If you are interested in receiving a visit, your Mother Baby nurse can send in a referral for you. MaineFamilies provides free visits to all first time parents regardless of age or income. They are experienced educators, trained in the latest positive parenting techniques. They can help you:

  • Assess your child's growth and social, emotional and intellectual development.
  • Learn more about age-appropriate skills and activities.
  • Establish a loving relationship with your child.
  • Make your home a baby-safe environment.
  • Cope with common challenges, like teething, sleep and discipline.
  • If you are interested in a visit, ask your Mother Baby nurse to send a referral in for you or visit the MaineFamilies website

Postpartum and Infant Check-ups

Your doctor or midwife will talk to you about having a check-up within a few weeks after the baby’s birth. Your baby will see the doctor after discharge for a check-up and weight check.  You will be given an immunization schedule based on American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.

Postpartum Support Groups and Classes

We offers a variety of support groups and classes to help parents thrive in their new role as parents.

Learning Resource Center

The MaineHealth Learning Resource Center is a valuable resource for parents offering information on a variety of topics. You can even have questions answered by certified Health Educators through the “Ask a Health Educator” tool