Image courtesy of Allen Kramer
We always worry about our children. We wish for them to be happy, healthy and safe – no matter how old they are.
At Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, we’re also concerned about your safety, alongside the safety of your newborn and visitors. Before you deliver, here’s some important information to consider as you prepare for your stay with us.
We understand family members and friends want to share in your joy and be among the first to meet your new baby. Your family and friends are welcome to visit, but all adults over the age of 18 need to provide a valid government ID during check-in at the security desk to receive a wristband. This is for you and your baby’s safety. Meeting a new baby brother or sister is an exciting time for siblings, but all visitors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and cannot be left at the hospital without another adult present.
Safe travel is another important part of preparing for the arrival of a new baby. If you travel by any type of personal vehicle, you will need to have a car seat ready. If you’re using a car seat given to you by a friend or one you used for an older child, make sure it hasn’t expired. Yes – car seats do expire. You can usually find the expiration date on a tag on the car seat. If a car seat has been through any type of car wreck/collision, it’s not safe and should be replaced.
Car seats have minimum weight limits – most have a minimum of 5 pounds. However, if your baby comes early or is expected to have a low birth weight, you might need a car seat with a 4-pound weight minimum. Some babies will need to have a car seat test performed prior to discharge to ensure they are sitting and breathing properly for the ride home. If this test is needed, your doctor or nurse will provide further information.
Installing a car seat can be a headache, and instruction manuals often seem to be written in a different language. Thankfully, certified car seat technicians are trained to help educate you on properly installing and using your car seat. Safe Kids Greater Houston, a local coalition led by Texas Children’s Center for Childhood Injury Prevention, operates free car seat inspection stations through 20 locations across the Greater Houston area. These inspections are performed by appointment only, and slots fill quickly. If you’re expecting to deliver soon, book your appointment early! You can find more information here.
Safe sleep is also a priority at the hospital and at home. There is a lot of controversy on “co-sleeping” with baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends infants sleep in the parents’ bedroom for the first 6 to 12 months of life, but in their own crib/bassinet with a firm mattress and fitted sheet. The AAP discourages any kind of bumpers or soft bedding. Babies should always sleep on their backs. If you ever start to feel sleepy while holding your baby, place him/her in their crib.
Following delivery at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, your infant will sleep in a bassinet in your room. If you fall asleep while holding the baby, our staff will kindly wake you and assist in placing the baby in the bassinet. In addition, your infant must be placed in the bassinet when leaving the room for any reason, primarily for safety. If you anticipate any troubles with affording a safe place for your baby to sleep, try contacting Baby Box University. Once you complete their online training, you’re given a free “baby box.”
Your mental health is a priority to us, too. Studies show having a good support system of family and friends can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Loved ones want to help, but often need concrete ways to do so. Suggestions might include watching your baby for a few hours while you get some uninterrupted sleep, bringing over a cooked meal or helping out with laundry and housework. You might have a lot of new responsibilities, but this doesn’t mean you can’t do activities you enjoy. Ways to help improve your mood include going for a walk, watching a funny video, taking a hot shower or simply chatting with a friend. If you begin to have concerns with the way you’re feeling, contact a medical professional. The Women’s Place at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is staffed with psychiatrists and mental health professionals who specialize in women’s reproductive health. You can contact The Women’s Place at 832-826-5281.
Becoming a parent is exciting and wonderful, but can also make you feel nervous and fearful. Receiving appropriate information from professionals can help alleviate your worries. We offer a variety of classes and tours for patients and recommend registering for these classes early in your pregnancy. For more information, click here.
We look forward to taking care of you and your newborn baby! Our social work staff is always available and willing to assist you with support and resources.