Couplet Care/Rooming In
For years, it has been a frequent request from new Moms that they not be separated from their newborns. South Shore Hospital is listening and now offering this wonderful way for new families to bond. The team of experts within our maternal services division is excited to provide family-centered care, known as Couplet Care to the patients who deliver their babies here.
Dozens of hospitals around the country are offering this contemporary and thoughtful approach to caring for both Mother and baby. We acknowledge that a birthing experience is a major life event for a mother and family and current research has shown that outcomes are best when mothers and infants stay together.
What exactly is Couplet Care?
Couplet care is an evidence-based best practice in maternity care that promotes family bonding, supports successful breastfeeding and ultimately increases patient satisfaction. The process of caring for mothers and babies together while rooming in together allows for consistent newborn and postpartum education for you and your partner in order to be better prepared to care for yourself and newborn upon discharge.
Mom and baby remain together throughout their hospital stay, cared for as a pair in the same room after birth, with nursing care provided by the same nurse or nursing team. In addition to forming an instant family unit immediately after birth, communication between health care providers, including obstetricians and pediatricians is further enhanced.
Our goal is to minimize separation between you and your baby, while making you feel comfortable and confident caring for your new baby when you go home.
Benefits of Couplet Care/Rooming In?
Rooming in with your newborn baby is the latest recommendation from leading pediatric and obstetric foundations. The benefits of couplet care and rooming in are countless, including better feeding success and adequate time to learn your baby’s individual cues and needs while still having support from your nurse.
Your baby benefits tremendously by being in a familiar, calm and quiet environment, where he or she recognizes Mom’s voice, heartbeat and smell. Your baby will cry less, sleep longer and deeper near you, as opposed to a bright noisy nursery, reducing stress for your baby. Along with decreased risk of infection due to less exposure to other newborns and staff, rooming in allows more skin to skin time with Mom and Dad, which promotes feeding success, better weight gain, and a more stable temperature for your baby.
Benefits to Mom include more opportunity to bond with your baby while gaining confidence in baby care and greater feeding success—whether breast or bottle. Also, in addition to decreasing a Mother’s anxiety when separated from her baby, Mothers tend to sleep better with baby nearby and report feeling more confident when going home.
Does this mean South Shore Hospital’s newborn nursery will be closing?
No, the nursery will still be available to provide care for those babies requiring closer observation and some procedures such as circumcision. While there may occasionally be a need to send a baby to the nursery for a short period of time, all babies are returned to the mother and/or partner for feeding.
A Mother’s Testimonial:
“Having my baby room in with me was an amazing experience. I felt very in tune with all of her cues and it decreased my anxiety by having her with me at all times. I loved never having to be separated from her. Having the nurses and doctors provide care for my baby right in front of me made me feel very comfortable and confident in the care she was receiving. I was always in the loop with what was going on and the information was direct because I was able to talk face to face and get all of my questions answered with my baby right in front of me. I felt it helpful to have my baby in the room because I was able to pick up on her feeding cues before she got to the point of complete frustration. It was a very calm and relaxing experience.” ~ Grace McGonigle
Crenshaw, J. Care Practice #6: No Separation of Mothers and Baby, With Unlimited Opportunities for Breastfeeding. Journal of Perinatal Education, 16, 39-43. Retrieved, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948089/
Lowe, N. (2007). Highlights of Listening to Mothers II Survey. JOGNN. 36 (1), 1-2.
Mullen, K., Conrad, L., Hoadley, G., Iannone, D. (2007). Family-Centered Maternity Care: One Hospital’s Quest for Excellence. Nursing for Women’s Health. 11(3), 282-290.