After birth, skin-to-skin contact helps keep your baby warm and promotes bonding and breastfeeding. The doctor and nurse check your baby while he or she is resting on your abdomen or in your arms. To help you and your baby get acquainted and make it easier for you to begin breastfeeding, we wait until the end of the first hour before performing routine infant care. Unless your baby has medical problems, he or she will share your room and the same nurse will care for both of you. Keeping you and your baby together helps you get to know each other, get a good start with breastfeeding, and helps your baby get used to day and night sleep cycles. Our healthcare team is here to help you get comfortable with caring for a new baby and yourself, so that you are ready to go home as a new family.



All nurses have been trained in breastfeeding assistance. If you need additional assistance, a lactation consultant is available.

Pictures of your baby

If you want pictures of your baby, you may bring a camera and have our support person photograph or videotape your baby. Prior to going home, a photo will be taken of your baby at no cost to you and you may bring a favorite baby outfit to dress for the photo. You will be given information about the Web Nursery, where you can access services related to your baby’s photo. This includes the ability for friends and family to view your baby’s photo and/or write a personal note, and the ability for you to print birth announcements and photos.


Going home

Throughout your stay with us, we are getting you ready to go home with your new baby. There are lots of things to learn. The nurse caring for you and your baby will teach you about baby care and your care at home, but printed material is also available to help meet your educational needs. Before you and your baby go home, both your doctor and your baby’s doctor must tell us it is OK. Your baby will also need a blood test, required by the state, that screens for certain problems,including phenylketonuria (PKU), hypothyroidism, galactosemia and hemoglobinopathies. Sometimes a repeat test is needed. A hearing screen will also be done. Your baby’s doctor will tell you if and when you need to take your baby for any further blood or hearing tests.

Other things that need to be completed before you leave are:

  • Birth registration
  • Baby picture
  • Plans to visit your doctor and baby's doctor
  • Instructions on care of mother and baby
  • Car seat

Registering Your Baby's Birth

Birth Certificate

Your baby's birth certificate is an important legal document that will be used by your child throughout his or her life. State law requires that a Certificate of Birth be filed with the Tennessee state registrar within 5 days after the birth, so it is helpful if you complete a birth registration worksheet that will be given to you in the hospital.

If you are not married but both you and the father would like to have the father's name and information added to your baby's birth certificate, this can be done by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. Both you and the father need to sign the form and have the signatures notarized at the time of birth certificate completion. Both parents are required to present a means of identification. If either parent is under the age of 18, a parent/guardian must also present identification and provide a signature at the time of birth certificate completion.

After your baby's birth certificate has been completed, the hospital will send it to the state registrar's office, where the birth will be legally registered. While you are in the hospital, we will provide verbal and written information about how you can obtain an official, certified copy of this certification from the state registrar.

If changes or corrections need to be made after the state registrar has processed the certificate, there may be a fee to make the changes. Later changes may require a court order.

Social Security Number

While in the hospital, you may also begin the process of obtaining a Social Security number for your child through the state offices of Vital Records and Social Security. It may take up to 17 weeks to receive a Social Security card for your baby after filing.