After delivery, your baby is immediately given to you, if possible. The doctor and nurse check your baby while he or she is resting on your abdomen or in your arms. The skin-to-skin contact helps keep the baby warm and promotes bonding. To help you and your baby get acquainted and make it easier for you to begin breast-feeding, we wait until the end of the first hour before performing routine infant care. If you desire, your baby can share your room during your stay. We will help you learn to feed and care for your baby. Your support person may stay with you throughout your visit and even spend the night with you.
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 your support person photograph or videotape your baby. Prior to your baby's discharge, a photo will be taken of your baby at no cost to you. If desired, you may bring your favorite apparel to dress your baby for the photo. You will be provided 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.
Throughout your stay with us, we prepare you to go home with your new baby. Your stay with us is full of learning opportunities. Written and electronic media are also available to meet you and your family's educational needs. Before you and your baby go home, orders from your doctor and your baby's doctor are needed. Your baby will need a blood test, required by the state, that screens for certain conditions, including phenylketonuria (PKU), hypothyroidism, galactosemia and hemoglobinopathies. Sometimes a repeat test is needed. Your baby's doctor will tell you when and where you need to take your baby for the blood test.
Other things that need to be completed before you leave are:
Registering Your Baby's Birth
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 Virginia state registrar within 7 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.
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.