If you are expecting to deliver soon you may have come across the term, Rooming in. This practice is a complete shift from the traditional procedure of the baby staying in the nursery and usually only reuniting with mom when they are hungry,
Rooming in is the practice of the mother, or person who delivered, and baby spending 24 hours a day together in the hospital for the duration of their stay. To adopt this at home simply have the crib or bassinet in the room near your bed, or temporarily move into the nursery.
There are a lot of benefits for the postpartum person and baby.
- When you and your baby are close, they tend to cry less often and soothe faster. This may be due to the fact the the closeness allows you to learn your baby’s cues faster so you can respond at early cues rather than late.
- You’ll actually get the same amount of sleep when practicing rooming in. Some research suggests a more restful sleep when you know your baby is close. You’ll be able to respond to their noises they make sooner, so you’ll be able to feed or change them before they become inconsolable.
- If you are interested in breastfeeding it’s been found that when rooming in is used more milk supply is established, which creates a less stressful breasting relationship. Again, this may be connected to you being able to recognize cues sooner rather than later.
- Rooming in may help stimulate Oxytocin, the Love hormone; although it does so much more! Oxytocin can be released when you touch or look at your baby. This can help your uterus contract after delivery, it also helps facilitate breastfeeding since it helps with milk ejection, and it also helps with feelings of closeness.
One huge benefit is also that you’ll be able to practice what it will be like once you bring your baby home, but you’ll have a care team to support and help you with any questions or concerns you have.
The biggest drawback to rooming in is it is very demanding considering you just went through labor for X amount of hours, or you may be recovering from a C-section (whether planned or unplanned). You will have help from the hospital staff and your own support system but if they are unavailable you will need to maneuver on your own.
To make the best decision for you and your baby talk to your OB, midwife, or doula; or consider visiting the hospital where you intend to deliver to see if they can offer any advice, and see how their experience has gone assisting mothers in the past.
Sources: Care practice #6