After Delivery

You will likely be in a private room and your partner or one support person can stay overnight. Staying overnight is a good opportunity for your partner or support person to help you get to know your baby.

Identifying your Baby


Right after birth, matching identification bands are put on your baby, your partner or support person and you. The bands include the following information:

  • the baby’s gender and hospital identification number
  • the mother’s name and hospital identification number
  • date and time of birth
The mother’s and baby’s name will be the same as the name on the mother’s health card. The identification bands must be worn until you take your baby home.




Medications your Baby Needs for Good Health


The nurse will give your baby two medications within the first hour after birth. During birth, your baby’s eyes may be exposed to bacteria that could cause an infection. An antibiotic called erythromycin is put into each of your baby’s eyes to prevent him or her from getting an eye infection. Your baby will also need Vitamin K to prevent bleeding problems. Vitamin K is given as a needle in your baby’s thigh.




Caring for your Baby's Umbilical Cord


Your baby’s umbilical cord should fall off by two weeks of age. Keep your baby’s cord clean and dry. You do not need to put alcohol or other creams or lotions on your baby’s cord. Research has shown that a baby’s cord will fall off quicker just by keeping it clean and dry.




Testing your Baby's Hearing


Babies are able to hear at birth. Good hearing is needed for babies to learn how to talk and understand language. Hearing loss can delay or prevent babies from learning these skills. All newborns in Ontario can have their hearing screened. When hearing loss is found early, the baby can get help and support right away. This gives the baby the best chance to develop normal language skills. With your permission, your baby can have his or her hearing screened before you leave the hospital. The hearing screen is comfortable and safe for your baby. It takes a few minutes to do while your baby is sleeping in a quiet place. A nurse places a tiny probe just inside your baby’s ear canal. A machine measures the response to soft sounds. You will know the results right away. If there is fluid or vernix (which is the protective layer that looks like cream on your baby’s skin) in the ears the hearing results may not be accurate. Your baby will then need further assessment to determine if there is hearing loss. Most babies who need further assessment are found to have normal hearing.




Feeding your Baby


As recommended by the World Health Organization, breastmilk is the best food for your baby and is the only food they need for the first 6 months. Breastmilk helps your baby grow in the best possible way. Babies do not need a lot of milk at once – they need a little milk often, at least 8 -12 feeds per 24 hours in the early months.

On occasion babies may require a supplement – your health care team will work with you to develop a plan on what is best for your baby. We will support you and your baby in feeding your baby whether it is breast milk or formula fed. *Please refer to our resources for more information about prenatal colostrum collection prior to delivery for supplementation.

Babies stomachs stretch gradually over the first week or two. Skin to skin contact is important as it helps stabilize your baby’s temperature, heart rate and breathing. It also reduces your baby’s stress hormones.




How to tell when your Baby is ready to Feed


In the first 24 hours after birth, you may find your baby is sleepy and that you need to wake him or her to feed every 1.5 to 3 hours. In the next 24 hours your baby will be more awake and want to be fed more often. Spend as much time as you can with your baby to get to know him or her. You will learn to recognize the signs that your baby is hungry and ready to feed. Here are some signs that your baby is hungry and ready to feed:
• Your baby’s eyes move rapidly behind closed eyelids
• Your baby may try to lick or suck at whatever is close to his or her face
• Your baby may turn his or her head from side to side
• Your baby may bring his or her arms closer to his or her face
• Your baby’s hands may rub or even scratch his or her face
Crying may be one of the last signs that your baby is getting ready to feed. When you are nursing your baby, positioning is key. You should be in a comfortable position with your back well supported and your shoulders relaxed. Your baby’s position should be “tummy to mummy”, nose to nipple and their bottom tucked in. Remember to always bring baby to breast and not breast to baby.





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Visiting Hours

*TEMPORARILY AFFECTED BY COVID-19*

Obstetrical patients being admitted for labour and delivery are allowed a maximum of TWO partners in care. We ask that you avoid coming "in and out" during your visit. The hospital provides meals to patients and during the pandemic we are also offering a meal to support persons accompanying obstetric patients. Plan to pack snacks and drinks as the cafeteria hours are limited.