Importance of Breastfeeding
The cells, hormones and antibodies in breast milk help to fight disease. Infants who are breastfed have lower rates of gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, asthma, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some research also shows a lower rate of type 1 diabetes, childhood leukemia, SIDS and certain skin rashes in breastfed infants.
Breastfeeding has advantages for mothers as well. For example, there are no formulas to buy or prepare and no bottles to wash. Breastfeeding can save quite a bit of money as formula is very expensive. Mothers benefit from the closeness of the baby and have a release of oxytocin. This hormone helps milk flow and calms the mother. Breastfeeding is linked to lower rates of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression in women.
Your early milk, called colostrum, comes in small amounts to match your infant’s tummy size. It is rich in nutrients and antibodies.
By the third to fifth day, the colostrum changes to mature milk. This milk changes to meet the growing needs of the baby. It has just the right amounts of fat, sugar, water and protein. Since human breast milk is made for human babies, it is much easier to digest than formula that is made from cow’s milk.
We encourage and support exclusive breastfeeding. Our nurses are trained to provide breastfeeding assistance during your stay. At the same time, we commit to supporting each individual parent’s feeding decisions for their baby.
New Parent Resource Center
The New Parent Resource Center is your source for all your pregnancy and new parent educational needs, offered in a warm, supportive atmosphere.
We have a variety of classes to help you prepare for your special day along with ongoing education and support once your baby has arrived. The classes are taught by RNs with experience in maternity, who are also certified childbirth or postnatal educators. We strongly encourage women and their partners to take any of the following classes to meet your needs:
- Prepared Childbirth
- Natural Childbirth
- Prenatal Yoga
- Sibling Class
- Baby & Me
- Babysitting 101
- Breastfeeding Support Groups
- Community Speaker Forum
- Postpartum Emotional Wellness Support Group
Lactation Consultation & Supplies
We offer free, private consultations by appointment for the first year of life for those who deliver at CMH. We have International Board Certified Lactation Consultants on staff and we also offer the following things to support breastfeeding:
- Breast pumps for sale or rent
- Breast pump replacement parts
- Breastfeeding supplies
- Breastfeeding bras
Please call 805/948-BABY for more information or to make an appointment.
Birth certificate registration and attainment of a Social Security number for your baby is done while you are in the hospital. Please be prepared by filling out the birth certificate worksheet and the newborn automatic number assignment form as soon as possible after delivery. The necessary forms will be provided to you at the hospital.
When the mother and father of the baby are not legally married to each other, paternity papers can be filled out and signed by both parents. A government issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) is required to sign the papers. The paternity forms are available through the birth clerk in the hospital.
When paternity papers are signed, the father may add his name to the birth certificate as the father of the baby. This does not affect the baby’s last name – the baby could have the father’s last name regardless of whether or not the father has signed the paternity papers.
Choosing Your Baby’s Doctor
It is extremely important to select a pediatrician or family practice physician early on in your pregnancy to care for your baby after delivery. You will need to identify your pediatrician choice upon admission to the hospital.
What to Expect in the Hospital
Community Memorial Hospital is renowned for the excellent services we provide for mothers and infants. We recognize that each woman’s delivery choices may differ; therefore, every effort is made to accommodate your individual needs and desires.
Labor & Delivery
If you think you are in labor, call your doctor or midwife and follow his/her instructions. If you are instructed to come to the hospital between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., enter the hospital through the emergency department, where you will be checked in and receive your conditions of admission. At all other times, please come directly to the Labor and Delivery department on the third floor of the Ocean Tower.
A nurse will examine you and utilize the external electronic fetal monitor to evaluate your baby’s heart rate and the status of your labor. The nurse will consult with your physician to determine whether or not you will be admitted. Please do not be disappointed if you are not admitted; it is very common for women to experience symptoms of labor, yet not be ready to deliver.
The staff’s focus in Labor and Delivery is to ensure safe care for you and your baby during labor, birth and the immediate recovery period.
Personalized comfort measures are available to help you cope with the pain and discomfort of labor and contractions: Breathing techniques, relaxation, visualization, use of a focal point, therapeutic heat, therapeutic cold, position changes, walking/movement, use of a birth ball, low lighting, music, massage and therapeutic touch, aromatherapy (no smoke/flames or diffusers) and hydrotherapy (shower or tub) can all be quite helpful. Family members are encouraged to support the laboring mother with therapeutic touch and massage if she desires.
Continuous labor support is extremely beneficial, and we encourage you to bring a support person, and consider bringing a doula with you to the hospital. If they would like, mothers can view the birth with a mirror and can bring in aromatherapy from home (no smoking or flames, please.)
Intravenous pain medications and epidural anesthesia are also available, according to your physician’s or midwife’s recommendations.
Throughout the labor and delivery period, and for the first couple of hours after your baby’s birth, you will be in a Labor and Delivery room. You will not be separated from your baby after delivery unless you or your baby need specialized care. Infants who remain with their mothers after birth make an easier transition to life both physically and emotionally. We will place your baby skin-to-skin with you. Some of the benefits to the mother include distraction from discomfort, more confidence in caring for her baby, less anxiety and strengthened attachment to her baby, which is believed to decrease the incidence of postpartum depression. Some of the benefits to the baby include improved ability to maintain temperature, decreased incidence of low blood sugar, less crying and increased success with breastfeeding, which can decrease the chance of the baby developing jaundice. Based on this information, the staff will assist you with the following after your baby is delivered:
- Your baby will be placed on your chest with a clean blanket, dried off and then remain skin-to-skin on your chest/abdomen until the first feeding is complete.
- We ask that any visitors present in the delivery room view the “new addition” for just a few minutes after delivery and then excuse themselves from the room so that the new mother and her husband/significant other can have some privacy, bond with their new baby, and provide skin-to-skin contact.
- After this time period, the baby will be weighed and measured and the new family will be transferred to the postpartum room together. Visitors can reunite with the family at this time.
- For patients having a cesarean section, skin-to-skin contact will be initiated in the operating room if it is determined to be safe to do so. Otherwise, it will be initiated as soon as possible.
Per hospital policy videotaping and devices that shoot motion video are not allowed during the delivery.
About two hours after delivery, you and your baby will be moved to the Mother-Baby Unit and begin your postpartum stay. Throughout your hospitalization the Mother-Baby staff will assist you in learning how to take care of yourself and your newborn.
All of our maternity nurses are trained to provide breastfeeding support and education and many of them are Certified in Lactation Education. We also have RN Certified Lactation Counselors/Educators dedicated to providing individualized assistance with any specific breastfeeding issues or needs.
Special memories of your baby’s entrance into the world can be captured by taking pictures or videos while you are in the Mother-Baby Unit, and by purchasing a newborn photo or souvenir birth certificate.
The Mother-Baby Unit provides daily bonding time between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. when mother and baby may rest and bond uninterrupted. Studies show that bonding time may decrease interruptions to the family, promote rest, increase both bonding and exclusive breastfeeding, and ultimately increase your satisfaction with the hospital birthing experience. During this time, hospital staff will not enter your room unless requested by you or medically necessary. Visitors will not be allowed, other than your banded significant other, unless specifically requested.
Check out time is typically 11 a.m. In preparation for leaving the hospital, please arrange for family or friends to take you and your baby home. You may experience a wide range of emotions, mood swings or physical discomforts, which are completely normal. To help you during this transition period, please arrange for extra help when you get home. It’s important to give yourself some recuperation time and to rely on your loved ones for help and support. If you are feeling increasingly anxious, sad, “blue” or depressed, please call your physician or midwife for further guidance.
Packing for the Hospital
The following list includes suggested items for you to pack for your hospital stay. It is a good idea to pack your suitcase early (36 weeks).
- Bathrobe, clothes to go home in and a nursing bra if desired
- Slippers or flip-flops that can be easily washed
- Shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush
- Baby items (clothes, blanket) for going home
- Camera – Per hospital policy videotaping and devices that shoot motion video are not allowed during the delivery.
- Infant car seat – It is important to get an infant car seat properly installed in your vehicle before your baby’s arrival; we recommend you call one of the following agencies to make an appointment to have your car seat installation checked thoroughly before you come to the hospital:
Hospital staff are unable to place infants in car seats or install the car seat in your vehicle.
What Not to Bring to the Hospital
Please do not bring valuables or credit cards to the hospital. We cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to personal property. You might want a few dollars for the gift shop or to purchase a souvenir birth certificate.
We encourage your birth support person to be with you throughout your stay. Our visiting hours for other friends and family are 6 a.m. – 9 p.m., except during bonding time, which is 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., daily. We ask that children under 14 do not visit unless they are the baby’s sibling.
Pre-Registration (English) ▶
Pre-Registration (Spanish) ▶
My Birth Plan (English) ▶
My Birth Plan (Spanish) ▶
Plan for Your Birth/Labor Pain Management Choices (English) ▶
Plan for Your Birth/Labor Pain Management Choices (Spanish) ▶
Birth Certificate Worksheet (English) ▶
Birth Certificate Worksheet (Spanish) ▶
Birth Certificate Order Form (English) ▶
Birth Certificate Order Form (Spanish) ▶
Bonding Time ▶
Breastfeeding Education (English) ▶
Breastfeeding Education (Spanish) ▶
Newborn Feeding Log ▶