Once you have delivered your baby there are many benefits to keeping him/her with you as much as possible.
Rooming in with your baby is thought to improve your breast feeding success and general parenting skills. Having your baby with you more will help you to get to know your baby, including the types of cries they have and what they mean.
Babies that stay with their mothers from birth have the best chance of a positive mother-baby bond through the increased touching and interaction that generally occurs with mothers and their newborns. For this reason it is thought that babes tend to sleep better when they room in. (Of course, some may debate this point!) Having your baby with you at all times assists you both to learn a routine of feeding and sleeping.
From a hospital perspective, rooming in decreases the risk of cross infection and increases security for your babe – your baby is with you at all times.
Regardless of the benefits, there may be times when mothers are separated from their babes due to the immediate health needs of either the mother or the baby. If your baby has needed some time in the Special Care Nursery, has been looked after in the Night Settling Room or you have needed to be in the Adult ICU there are two tasks that should always be attended to on return of your babe:
1) Identification bands should always be checked against mother’s to ensure and confirm they are who we think they are; and
2) Hands should always be washed before a babe is picked up from the cot to prevent any cross infection.