Postpartum Care

Care for Mom and Baby


The first few hours of caring for your new baby come with many questions. The warm and welcoming maternity team at South Shore Hospital is here to support your growing family through every step.

Read the FAQs below so you'll feel more prepared and less stressed when your baby arrives. 

Your First Days With Your Baby

Valet parking is available at the McKim Family Main Entrance weekdays from 9 AM-9 PM. A parking garage and parking lots are available on our campus with ample handicapped parking.

See this campus map to view parking locations.

Each maternity floor room has a bed for the patient, a chair that pulls out into a sleeper chair for the support person, and a crib for the newborn. Every room has a private bathroom with a toilet, sink, shower, and a hair dryer.

We supply all linens for the beds for the patient, the support person, and the newborn. The bathrooms have towels, face cloths and hospital gowns for the mother. Every patient also receives a postpartum bag with supplies for post-delivery needs such as pads, underwear, and ice packs. We also supply peri bottles for cleansing post-delivery.

There is a crib for each baby, with a drawer full of supplies including crib sheets, newborn t-shirts, receiving blankets, Pampers diapers, and dry cloths that can be wet for cleaning the newborn. We provide infant shampoo/wash for the first bath which happens 12-24 hours after birth. A soft bristle hairbrush that parents can bring home is also provided for the bath. 

We have formula if you are choosing to bottle feed or supplement. We also provide donor breast milk for mothers that may need a bridge of supplementation while waiting for their breast milk to come in. We have donor milk available for purchase upon discharge.

Your birthing bag should only include snacks, electronics and chargers, comfort items, and toiletries. Do not bring extra clothes or baby items to the birthing unit. Leave your maternity bag in the car with the car seat until you are moved to the maternity unit. 

Your maternity bag should include:

  • More snacks for late night cluster feeding or caring for fussy babies. Hunger sometimes hits hard when you are awake all night. (Daytime meals will be provided by our dietary team.)
  • Comfy clothes and sleepwear
  • Toiletries, personal care items, and a hairdryer
  • Baby clothes and blankets
  • Car seat for discharge

During labor, only two support people are allowed at the bedside. Large groups cannot be accommodated, including in the waiting areas. Please wait to invite additional family to meet the baby until after the baby arrives and during approved visiting hours.

On the maternity floor, one support person is allowed to spend the night. Visiting hours end at 8 PM, so only the designated overnight support person is allowed in the room after that time.

The designated support person is allowed to come and go as needed. During visiting hours, the support person can use the McKim Family Main Entrance. Outside of visiting hours, they must exit and enter through the Emergency Department Entrance because it is the only open door. 

We strongly encourage rooming-in and couplet care as an excellent way to bond with your baby. It is strongly recommended by pediatric and obstetric organizations.

Our goal is to minimize the separation between the mother and baby. It allows the parents to feel confident and ready to care for their newborn upon discharge.

If the parents are worried about getting sleep, we can assist them in getting rest. We educate all parents that mothers who room in with their babies actually get more sleep and are able to sleep more deeply with the newborn at the bedside.

Limiting visitors and distractions during your stay allows for as much rest as possible.

The standard recovery time after delivery is 1-3 hours. As soon as the mother is appropriate to transfer to the maternity postpartum unit, she will transfer with her baby and support person to their maternity room.

All other support people will need to wait outside in the waiting room for at least an hour during this transfer period.

Most mothers with vaginal deliveries stay 1-2 days, and C-section patients stay 3-4 days. With our ERAC (Early Recovery After C-section) protocol, most patients leave around day 3. ERAC patients have their pain better controlled, earlier ambulation post-surgery, and feel well overall.

Patients can request a visiting nurse or a home visit from a registered nurse, through your discharge nurse. This is covered by insurance if you choose to go home early, or if certain postpartum needs qualify you or your baby.

Following the birth of your baby, they will receive a Vitamin K injection and Erythromycin ointment to the eyes, as recommended by pediatricians.

In the maternity unit, your baby will receive the “Can You Hear This Nursery Rhyme” Universal Hearing Newborn Screening.

They will also get a Metabolic Screening, per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

During your hospital stay, per the Center for Disease Control, your baby will receive a Hepatitis B vaccine.

Your baby will also receive a bilirubin blood test to check for Jaundice.

Your newborn will receive a Critical Congenital Hearts Defect, or CCHD, screen, too.

All patients who intend to breastfeed will need to get a prescription for a breast pump from their obstetrical provider before delivery. Then, they must contact their insurance provider to learn about the covered equipment and where to get it.

It is highly encouraged for patients planning to breastfeed to obtain their pump prior to delivery.

Each patient is provided with a folder called “Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care.” Inside that booklet is a wealth of education and information that is very beneficial for home use.

You will also find a handout called WebMD TV which is our newborn channel that runs videos 24/7. The handout also offers a QR code to scan in order to watch the videos while at home. These videos cover going home with your baby, newborn care, breast feeding tips, taking care of mom, and what to expect in the hospital.

If the patient intends on breastfeeding, one of our lactation consultants will see them during their stay. All of the nurses are also trained in the skill set of breastfeeding and can help with feedings. Also, there are lactation support groups at the hospital three times a week that are open to new nursing mothers, including after discharge. 

Our booklets have handouts about recommended vaccinations and routine newborn screenings, too.

South Shore Hospital is Southeastern Massachusetts’ only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)—staffed 24 hours a day by on-site, board-certified neonatologists who are dually affiliated with both South Shore Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital to care for ill or premature infants.

Mothers whose baby goes to the NICU stay in the maternity ward and can visit their infant in the NICU at any time. South Shore Health's Family Integrated Care model gets parents as involved in their baby's care as possible, with ongoing education, communication, and Kangaroo care. 

The night before patients are scheduled to go home, we encourage support partners to start packing up the bags.

First thing in the morning, we ask partners to take stuff out to the car to make a faster, soother process. They should bring in the car seat at this time. Discharge usually happens before 11 AM. On day of discharge, the postpartum patient will be seen by an OB provider and the infant will be seen by an in-house pediatrician. From there, the nurse gathers discharge instructions, and your new family can go home.

It is strongly recommended to find a pediatrician before delivering your newborn. Most newborns are required to be seen in the pediatrician's office 1-2 days after discharge.

Most postpartum women are seen in their OB office six weeks post-delivery as long as there were no complications during the pregnancy or with delivery.

Our birth registrar comes around to each room before discharge to finalize the birth certificate. The parents will then receive a proof of life certificate which can be used for parents to place their newborn on their insurance.

It may also be needed for the mother and support person to be able to receive parental leave. 

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