- Babies cry less and are easier to calm
- Moms get more rest
- Ability to respond to baby's feeding cues
- Make more breast milk, faster
- Ability to ensure the care you want for baby (e.g. no pacifiers, bottles, tests, etc.)
- No fear of baby switching
Rooming in can be done in a variety of ways. A lot of women choose to have full rooming in, where the baby stays with you the entire time. Even if you choose this, you will still have care from the nursery; they will simply do the vast majority of the tests and procedures at your bedside. Some places offer partial rooming in, where you can send the baby back to the nursery at night (specifying if you want to awakened for nighttime feedings or not), and with you during the day.
Many women say that the reason they choose to not have full-time rooming in was that they wished to rest while in the hospital. Let me give you some advice; it isn't going to happen! For the most part, you are bombarded with visitors, phone calls, hourly checks (at first), routine lab draws at 4 a.m. (because your practitioner needs the results before they arrive at 7 a.m.), nurses waking you up to take your sleeping pills, and techs turning on lights in the middle of the night to check your pulse, temperature and blood pressure. In addition to this, studies show that moms who room in actually get more sleep than those who send the baby back to the nursery.
Also, babies actually warm best skin-to-skin with either Mom or Dad; if you want, hospitals can place a warmer over both. This prevents babies from spending time under electronic warmers with other babies. Pediatricians are usually willing to do exams in the rooms; if not, Mom, Dad, or someone else can go with the baby to ensure his/her safety. These are easily overcome with your birth plan.
If your baby requires treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), you will not be able to room in in a typical fashion. Many NICUs are going to cubicles, where you will have a cot with your baby, thus making it more of a rooming-in situation. This is also handy after you have left the hospital and need to return to care for your baby.
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