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Rooming-in Before you take your baby home

Mothers with babies who have spent time in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) are encouraged to room-in for 24 hours prior to being discharged from hospital. This will assist you to build your confidence in caring for your baby, while still having support, if needed, from nursing staff. 

Why do I need to room-in?

Rooming-in allows you to become familiar with your baby’s feeding cues and to ensure your baby can take all suck feeds without tiring and still gain weight. 
You will also have the opportunity to bath your baby, learn settling techniques, administer medications if required, and make decisions for you and your baby in a supported environment.

How does rooming-in work?

You will provide all care for your baby while you room-in together. 
A nurse from NCCU will be allocated to look after you and will provide you with a phone number so they can be contacted at any time should you need assistance. Your nurse may be based on a different floor to the one you are rooming-in on. 
The usual length of stay is one night; a second night may be offered if required. We ask you to be ready to start rooming-in at 10 am on the specified day. Discharge will be at 10 am the following morning. 

When can I room-in?

The decision to room in will be made in consultation with you, the nursing staff and your baby’s doctor. Usually your baby is ready to room-in when they:

  • take all suck feeds during the day
  • wake for suck feeds overnight
  • have gained weight on all suck feeds.

Where do I room-in?

The postnatal floors, located on levels 8, 10, 11 and 12 accommodate those parents needing to room-in with their baby.

Can my partner or support person stay?

Your partner or support person is welcome to stay. For security reasons you, and you partner, will be required to wear a hospital bracelet for identification.

Will meals be provided?

You will be provided with written information about meals, as part of the ‘Rooming-in’ service, separate to this leaflet. The primary carer is entitled to all meals at no cost. Partner meals are available at a cost. Both you and your partner’s meals will be delivered to your room on a tray. You will be provided with a menu for meal selection and you can ring and order room service.

Can I leave my room?

It is recommended that you spend as much time as possible with your baby so that you may learn about caring for your baby. 
Do not leave your baby unattended in the rooming-in room. You must have a family member available to take care of your baby if you need to leave your room (for any reason) as your baby should not leave the postnatal area unless treatment or investigations are required in another area of the hospital. 

Please ask your nurse for a copy of Mater’s brochure: Your baby’s safety and security—information for parents which explains ways that both you and the hospital can keep your baby safe.

What if I need help urgently?

If you need urgent assistance, an emergency call button is located on the wall behind the bed. 
For any other assistance, the nurse allocated to care for your baby can be contacted by using the room phone – the nurse will give you the extension number to dial.

Will my baby still be seen by a doctor?

Your baby may be seen by their paediatrician; this is usually each morning but will depend on each doctor’s schedule. 
Your baby will require a discharge check by their paediatrician prior to leaving the hospital and follow-up appointments will be discussed at that time. This is usually arranged prior to rooming in. 

If you wish to see a doctor while rooming in, ask your nurse to arrange this.

What do I need to bring with me?

  • Toiletries and clothes for yourself
  • Baby clothes, including warm hats, booties and singlets (the rooms are colder than the nursery)
  • Baby wraps
  • Nappies and wipes
  • Breast pump kit, if you need to express— there are breast pumps available on the rooming-in floors for your use
  • A hard-sided cooler with frozen ice bricks so that you can take home any expressed breast milk stored in our fridge or freezer (we encourage you to arrange this before rooming-in).

What are the visiting hours?

Visiting hours are 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 8 pm each day.

Quiet time is 1 pm to 3 pm.

Please adhere to the visiting hours on each floor.

Can I use my mobile phone?

You may use your mobile phone, in your room. Mobile phones must not be used in the corridors as this may disturb other patients.

What time will I go home?

On the day you are going home, your nurse will have you and your baby ready for discharge by 10 am. 
Make sure you have all your belongings with you including any expressed breast milk.
Once you are ready to leave the hospital, your partner or support person collecting you can drive the car and park at the pick-up/drop off zone at the front of Mater Mothers Hospital, (Level 5 entrance).  

Rights and Responsibilities

Please read the Mater's brochure Patient Charter that will be provided to you as part of the information pack located on your bedside locker.

2020 Mater Misericordiae Ltd. ACN 096 708 922

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-430088
Last modified 24/6/2020.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 19/6/2020
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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