BOSTON (CBS) – Maternity wards are moving away from using nurseries, instead having babies “room-in” to help create that special bond. But some mothers say they need time to recover after the birth, and want the option of sending the baby to the nursery.
Jessica Cushman of Brockton just delivered her first baby, but it wasn’t easy.
“We were a week late and so we were induced,” says Jessica.
Baby Charlotte was born 40 hours ago but she hasn’t left her mother’s room once, not even for a second, since she was born. It’s a growing trend among hospitals to keep babies in the rooms with their mothers after birth. It’s called “rooming in” and midwife Marie Henderson says Massachusetts General Hospital has been doing it for the past 10 years.
“The nursery that we recall 25 years ago where the babies were lined up for visiting hours, those days are gone,” says Henderson.
That doesn’t mean nurseries are going away for good, says Henderson, but they’re being reinvented. And it was moms, she says, who asked for the change.
“They did not want us taking their baby to the nursery to be weighed, to the nursery for the pediatrician to do the exam, to the nursery for the hearing exam,” says Henderson.
“They said, ‘What are you doing?’ And we listened,” Henderson adds.
Instead, the nurses do everything at the bedside with the parents.
“We did the bath last night at the bedside,” says Jessica. “The changing, the swaddling, helping with the breastfeeding.”
Some expectant mothers say they want to be able to send their newborn to a nursery to get some rest or catch up on some sleep. Henderson says that is always an option but she says research shows mothers tend to get more sleep if the baby stays in the room.
Jessica wouldn’t have it any other way.
“You have them in your belly for 9 months or 10 months and they’re with you all the time and then you go through all that labor and you deliver them. You don’t want them to leave,” Jessica said. “You want them with you all the time. At least I do,” she adds tearfully.