The Evolution of a Rooming-In Program

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AS the concept of rooming-in of the newborn with its mother has gradually become accepted as a desirable adjunct to obstetric and pediatric care, experience with a rooming-in program has revealed both shortcomings and unanticipated advantages, which have made necessary a modification of methods, of attitudes, and of facilities to implement and to improve the total care of the obstetric patient. Though rooming-in was originally tried in order to reduce the personnel requirements in large central nurseries, and to reduce the incidence of infection spread within the nurseries, it soon became apparent that the mothers who had rooming-in privileges were more calm and confident upon leaving the hospital and were better prepared to accept the full responsibility of caring for their infants, especially if they were their first.

However, it also was recognized that not all babies are in such satisfactory condition that they can be placed at the mother’s bedside soon after birth, and that this plan is not beneficial or acceptable to all new mothers. Some infants will always require the care that is available only in a professionally staffed general nursery or, in some cases, a premature nursery. Most new mothers are not physically or psychologically ready to start the rooming-in process from the moment of birth. Primipara usually need several days to restore the energy expended during labor. Many multipara derive more benefit from the additional rest while in the hospital than from having the baby near them at times other than feeding periods. By continuously. . .



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