STHS welcomes the opportunity to care for you and your new baby during this special time. We know you have certain wishes about the care of your baby, and it is our goal to make your stay a memorable one.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
The staff at STHS is in touch with your baby’s needs and promotes enhanced bonding between mother and baby at birth as well as throughout your baby’s first days of life.
As members of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, we support improvement efforts to provide safe, quality and family-centered care. Our nurses use best practices to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes and experiences.
MOTHER, INFANT BONDING
We encourage skin-to-skin contact at birth, early breastfeeding initiation and delayed baths for newborns. This has been shown to have positive effects for mother and baby by regulating and stabilizing temperature and cardio-respiratory functions, improving the first breastfeeding experience and enhancing maternal and infant bonding.
Some mothers desire to have their baby “room-in” with them, which allows you to have closer contact with your baby, respond to his/her needs more quickly, breastfeed more frequently and help you feel better prepared for when you go home.
Other new mothers would like some uninterrupted sleep time or may need extra recovery time. Our newborn nursery is the place your baby will be cared for if he or she is not with you. You can rest assured knowing your baby will be taken care of by well-trained, highly competent nursery staff.
An art of breastfeeding class explains the benefits of breastfeeding as well as common concerns of the early breastfeeding period, or you can join our certified lactation consultant for questions and answers at our breastfeeding support group at the St. Tammany Health System Parenting Center.
STHS also offers a variety of other classes to help prepare you for childbirth and raising the newest addition to you family, including prepared childbirth classes, New Family Center tours, Boot Camp for New Dads and others. Click here for a complete list of our classes and programs geared toward expectant and new parents.
SAFE SLEEP CHAMPION
St. Tammany Health System has been named a Louisiana Safe Sleep Champion Hospital for leading its staff to promote a safe sleeping environment for newborns. The hospital has developed new evidence-based policies following the program’s guidelines to boost awareness among patients and caregivers of what a safe sleep environment for babies looks like.
The hospital’s policies include hospital nurses addressing the sleep environment with new mothers preparing to return home after delivery. Classes for parents-to-be include components on safe sleep practices, while brochures given to new parents include illustrations of what a safe sleep environment should look like.
WHAT TO BRING TO THE HOSPITAL
The nursery staff recommends you bring an outfit and light weight blanket for taking you baby home on the day of discharge. While your baby is a patient with us, we will provide supplies to meet baby’s nutritional needs, as well as, diapers, wipes, cotton shirts, light weight blankets and samples of baby bath/lotion.
You may dress your new baby in his or her own personal clothing throughout the hospital stay - and don't forget the special outfit you may want to dress baby in should you decide to take advantage of our professional photography services.
A professional photographer from Mom365 will visit with you and offer to set up an appointment for a private customized in-hospital photography session of your newborn and any family you'd like to have in the photo. We recommend scheduling the appointment for the day before your release to avoid rushing through the session or delaying time at home with your new baby.
BIRTH CERTIFICATES AND SOCIAL SECURITY CARDS
A representative from STHS's health information staff will visit during your stay to help you complete forms to apply for baby’s birth certificate and social security number. If you are not legally married and would like to have baby’s father’s name on the birth certificate, you will need to arrange for him to be present to sign necessary paper work. You will receive a temporary birth certificate that you will need to keep until the state mails you a permanent one.
CAR SEAT SAFETY
Child safety seats are required in every state, including Louisiana, to provide your new baby and child the best protection possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants and toddlers should ride in rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat's manufacturer.
Remember to bring your baby’s safety seat - including the base - when you come to the hospital to have your baby. It is recommended to have the safety seat checked for correct installation sometimes during the last two months of your pregnancy, and the STHS Parenting Center can help. Inspections are held from 9-11 a.m. the second Thursday or each month at the Parenting Center, 1505 N. Florida St., Suite B, Covington. Appointments should be made by calling (985) 898-4435.
Troop L, 2600 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, also offers free inspections from 3-6 p.m. every Tuesday. Walk-ins are accepted every day but are subject to extended waiting periods or rescheduling based on personnel available. For appointments, contact Trooper Patrick Dunn at Patrick.Dunn@la.gov or Trooper Dustin Dwight at Dustin.Dwight@la.gov or call (985) 893-6250.
All babies born at STHS are screened at least 24 hours after birth by a blood test from the heel even if they look healthy because some medical conditions cannot be seen by just looking at the baby. The blood sample is sent to a newborn screening lab, and the results of those tests will be sent to your baby’s doctor. Screenings include:
- Jaundice, a common condition in newborn babies, usually appears within a few days of birth and makes a baby's skin look yellow. Most cases are mild and do not require treatment. Before discharge, a nurse will press a special device on your baby’s chest or forehead to determine if he or she is at risk for jaundice.
- Hearing loss is the most common birth defect, occurring at a rate of 1 to 3 in every 1,000 births. STHS participates in the Louisiana Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program to ensure all infants who are deaf or hard of hearing can achieve their maximum potential through early screening, detection and intervention. A health care professional who is trained to check for hearing loss will see your baby prior to discharge home to evaluate his or her hearing.
- All newborns at STHS will be tested before discharge to screen for a potential congenital heart defect. The test, which is performed using a machine called a pulse oximeter with sensors placed on your baby’s skin, is painless and takes only a few minutes.