Rooming In vs. Nursery Care

Rooming In vs. Nursery Care | Twin Cities Moms Blog

When I had my first baby two and a half years ago, I was bound and determined that he would stay with me in my hospital room after he was born. I coached my husband beforehand, telling him to make sure they didn’t take my baby away, mostly because of those horror baby switching stories I’d heard about. I also wanted as much skin to skin contact immediately following birth, and I wanted to breastfeed as soon as possible.

My worries were soon put to rest when the nurses reassured me that they encouraged rooming in and would support and help me keep my baby by my side as much as I wanted.

I endured the first night with him in my room, but by the time the sun came up in the morning, I was even more exhausted than when I went to bed. Not only was my body completely worn out from giving birth, but my hormones and emotions were all over the place. Being a new mom made me feel paranoid and worried that something would happen to my baby, so I basically stayed up all night staring at him and making sure he was still breathing.

Despite my weary state, I kept him in my room all day, and loved being able to hold him as much as I wanted. Then we had some friends stop by who already had kids, and she mentioned that she had sent her babies to the nursery at night. Hearing her say that was so encouraging. For some reason, I felt guilty for wanting to send him there because rooming in seemed to be so popular.

After talking it through, my husband and I decided that we’d send our precious bundle to the nursery overnight, so we could get some rest before going home the next day. The nurses were happy to do this, and didn’t make me feel like less of a mom because of it. They brought him to me every three hours so I could breastfeed him, but besides that, I was able to get some much needed rest.

We were discharged the following day, and I was extremely thankful we decided to get a little extra shut eye before going home, where we wouldn’t have extra help in the middle of the night.

When I had my twins a year and a half later, we had just moved to Minnesota and the hospital I delivered at didn’t have an option for nursery care. All the babies roomed in, unless they were delivered before 36 weeks. I didn’t know this until we got there, but someone was watching out for me. I delivered at 35 weeks and 6 days, meaning my babies spent their time in the nursery. I was so grateful. I would visit them every three hours to breastfeed them, and they kept to that schedule beautifully when we went home two days after they were born.Rooming In vs. Nursery Care | Twin Cities Moms Blog

I’m expecting my fourth baby in September. I absolutely loved the hospital I delivered my twins at, but I’m nervous that nursery care won’t be an option assuming I deliver at full term.

More and more hospitals are moving to rooming in only, or are strongly encouraging their staff to push back when a mom wants to send her baby to the nursery. I’ve read countless articles about the benefits of rooming in, but I still feel that every mother should have a choice in the matter. From my experience, I don’t think it should be mandatory. As moms, we know what’s best for us and our babies. Some of us will do better when our babies are with us during those first 48 hours, and others of us will do better when we’re given the option to get a little rest.

What are your thoughts on this hot topic? Do you think hospitals should continue to offer nursery care as an option or do you think rooming in should be the only way to go? 

Amber is a 28 year old stay-at-home mom to four kids under three years old! She is passionate about encouraging moms in the everyday moments. When we're filled up we're able to love on our families like crazy and be the best moms we can be!

39 COMMENTS

  1. I think this is less “baby friendly” and more “mom unfriendly.” After a traumatic emergency CS and rough timing that prevented my husband from being present a lot of the time in the first three days, I was desperate and the nursery saved me. The nurses were wonderful and helped alleviate the inevitable guilt of sending my new baby away. They’d bring her to me every three hours to eat and in those three hours, I’ve never slept so hard or so soundly. It was a huge contribution to my recovery and mental well-being and gave me a great boost in starting out my new life as a mom. I feel sad and almost angry at the thought of a woman not having the option to choose what works best for her physical and mental health during these fragile days.

  2. I know this is an old post, but I need help. I have no other option but to go to a “baby friendly” hospital. I was told I will not have an option to send the baby to a nursery as they do not even have one anymore. I have to have a repeat c section, and I do not recover well. I am so distressed about the whole situation. And I mean clincally depressed about it. Sometime tell me it will be ok. Please.

    • Amanda, you will be okay if you have a nurse call button and aren’t afraid to use it frequently every time you need to pick the baby up, put it down, or change it, etc., but I’d recommend you get someone in the room with you overnight to help you if they don’t have a nursery.
      I had a c section and made the mistake of not using the call button as much as I should have. On the first or second night, after my family had gone home, I tried to be brave and get the baby back into his cot by myself instead of calling for the nurse. I couldn’t lift him while lying at an incline and couldn’t get out of the hospital bed while holding him. He was slipping, and thank god the nurse came in at that moment to give me my medicine and was able to put him into his cot. It was terrifying. You need someone there, but that someone can be a responsive nurse. Talk to the hospital ahead of time to see if the nurses can come to the rooms quickly when the call button is pushed to help you move the baby when needed. Whatever you do, don’t try to be a hero about it–bug them, bug them, bug them for help whenever you need it, for the safety of your baby.

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