If you've given birth at a hospital in the past few years, you likely know all about "rooming in" — the benefits of keeping your newborn at your side instead of sending them off to a traditional baby nursery. Soon, however, what was once a preferable choice for new parents will become the only option available to them . . . for better or for worse.
In an attempt to encourage on-demand breastfeeding, which ultimately aids in bonding between infant and mother, approximately 355 hospitals in the US have adopted this "baby friendly" initiative, which removes the nursery room from the facility entirely. By the end of next year, it's estimated that 530 hospitals will follow this protocol — which means that roughly one in four births will be affected.
In theory, it's a positive trend, especially for those who want their babies close by at all times after birth.
"The research is abundant, and it shows the benefits of keeping a mom and baby together in a room really creates an environment that's the healthiest for the baby and the healthiest for the mothers," Lori Pugsley, nursing director at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Today.
But not all parents are on board. For some, following a long, painful labor, the need to get just a few hours of sleep seems crucial. For others who already have toddlers at home, before they even give birth, they are likely mentally and physically exhausted, and the aid of a nursery can help them bounce back faster.
One such mom, Christiane Boezio, who already had a toddler at home, was denied her request to have a nurse take her newborn to the nursery following 48 hours of labor: "I explained, 'I really need to get some sleep for my mental sanity,' and she wouldn't take the baby."
What do you think: should mothers have the choice to send their babies to the nursery, or do the benefits of having a fully breastfed newborn outweigh a woman's need for postpartum rest?