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Maternal Child Unit (post-delivery)

Modified Patient and Visitor Guidelines

For the safety of our patients, staff and community, Howard County General Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is modifying our patient and visitor guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mother and baby

Once your baby is born, you will both move to our Maternal-Child Unit, designed for the special needs of new mothers and their babies. This usually happens approximately two hours after your baby is born. Our family-centered approach supports the bonding of mothers and babies through "rooming-in," allowing you and your newborn to get to know each other. Because skin-to-skin contact and feeding on cue are so important to developing that special bond between mother and baby and for breastfeeding success, your baby will remain with you throughout your stay. We also offer separate in-room accommodations for fathers or support persons and encourage them to be a part of your care.

Newborn Assessment
Your newborn's health is important to us. During the first few hours after your baby's birth, specially trained caregivers perform a thorough examination, called a Newborn Assessment. Your baby will be examined from head to toe. We will monitor your baby's temperature and check vital signs such as heart and respiratory rates.

Learning to Care for your Newborn
Our nurses, formally trained in mother/baby care and breastfeeding, will support you in caring for your newborn. They will provide education on feeding, bathing and diaper changes. They will also teach you how to use a bulb syringe when your baby's nose is congested. If you have chosen circumcision for your baby, they will teach you how to care for your baby after this procedure. You'll have an opportunity to ask questions about your baby so that you are better prepared once you return home. Pediatricians and neonatologists provide care as needed while you are in the hospital. Lactation consultants also support mothers with breastfeeding.

As long as you and your baby are healthy, our goal is for mother and baby to remain in the same room throughout your hospital stay. Your baby's pediatrician and nurses will perform examinations and minor procedures on your baby in the room, providing you with the opportunity to be a part of all aspects of your child's care. This may include daily weigh-ins, blood tests, hearing screenings, or assessment and monitoring. Providing in-room care also provides you with the opportunity to learn how to soothe and calm your baby through touch, skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding following any procedures or exams. In some instances, the physician may need to perform a procedure that may require your infant to go to the nursery for a short period of time.

Length of Stay
The average hospital stay after having a baby is one to two days for a vaginal delivery, or three to four days for cesarean delivery. With arrangements for follow-up care and good support at home, you may be able to go home 24 hours after a vaginal birth. When released from the hospital, all mothers receive instructions about follow-up care at your doctor's office. We discharge patients from the hospital by 11:00 a.m. when possible. We ask parents to have a car seat in the room on the day you leave the hospital.

Private Rooms & Security
Each private room is equipped with a shower and other amenities to provide a home-like setting. For your little one's safety, HCGH has a security system which you will learn about upon admission to the hospital.

Breastfeeding Support
HCGH is committed to promoting breastfeeding as part of our commitment to maternal and newborn care. Breastfeeding your baby is the best way to provide your child a healthy start to life. New mothers can get answers to questions about nursing during their hospital stay, through our free breastfeeding support group at the Wellness Center, and have access to our lactation consultants (breastfeeding experts) who can provide additional breastfeeding support, and help identify and solve problems to ensure successful breastfeeding. For more information please call 410-740-7830. Read about taking your baby home.

Visitor Guidelines

*  Our visitor guidelines have been modified due to the pandemic.  View latest
  • Fathers or designated companion may visit any time (provided they wear numbered/maternity issued baby bracelet as an identifier).
  • Grandparents, siblings and others may visit between 9 a.m.–9 p.m.(exceptions made only by charge nurse or manager)
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied/supervised at all times by an adult who is not the patient.
  • Visitors should be in good health and wear protective materials when necessary.
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