Post-pregnancy care and support in Florida
Meeting your baby for the first time is a moment a parent never forgets.
That's why HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals provide safe, comfortable environments where you can rest and enjoy getting to know your little one after birth. During your postpartum hospital stay, we continue to support you, helping you begin your recovery and gain confidence in caring for your newborn. Our goal is to provide you with the resources, information and care you need to transition home with ease.
Our postpartum care services
After your baby is born, we help you begin your recovery and learn to care for your new baby with confidence. To do this, we tailor our medical care to your needs, and we provide family-centered maternity support to foster the new relationship between you, your family and your new baby.
Our maternity teams support skin-to-skin contact, which involves you and your baby resting skin to skin. Skin-to-skin contact offers several benefits, including promoting bonding and regulating your baby’s temperature.
When medically appropriate, our care teams will place your baby on your chest immediately after labor and delivery. We encourage skin-to-skin contact throughout your hospital stay and even after going home.
Breastfeeding is a learned skill that takes practice from both mom and baby. This is why our hospitals have lactation specialists to support you and your baby in learning to breastfeed.
If you wish to breastfeed, we will begin helping you shortly after your baby is born. Our specialists provide personalized support, including helping you learn proper latch-on and positioning techniques, so you can leave the hospital feeling confident about your breastfeeding journey.
Benefits of breastfeeding
The natural process of breastfeeding offers many benefits for babies and moms, including:
- Decreasing mom's risk of developing postpartum depression
- Expediting the postpartum uterus contraction process for mom
- Providing baby with antibodies to help protect against a number of viruses and bacteria
- Reducing baby's risk of developing certain diseases and conditions
Additionally, we practice rooming in, which means your newborn can stay in your room during your hospital stay. However, the skilled staff at our hospitals' well-baby nurseries are always available to care for your baby when you need to rest or care for yourself.
Neonatal intensive care
Many of our hospitals have neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) where we care for babies who need additional support after birth. Reasons a baby may need to stay in the NICU include a high-risk pregnancy, premature birth, complications during birth or a medical condition that requires monitoring.
Should your baby need to stay in one of our NICUs, they will be cared for by compassionate and highly trained neonatal doctors and nurses.
Our neonatal teams recognize the need for parents to be involved in their baby's care. Parents have 24-hour access to the NICU to ensure they feel connected to their babies and secure with their care plan.
Security for mom and baby
Our maternity units are locked, secure units, meaning no one can enter the unit without authorization from our staff. Additionally, we use advanced infant security to ensure your baby's safety in the hospital.
Birth certificate and Social Security number assistance
During your hospital stay, the hospital's Medical Records Department will gather the information needed to register your baby’s birth. You’ll be given forms and information that will enable you to obtain a copy of your baby’s birth certificate and Social Security card. You may also visit the Florida Department of Health to obtain information about ordering your child’s birth certificate online.
Taking your baby home
Your provider and your baby's pediatrician will work together to determine when you and baby are able to go home. Once you have been discharged, a nurse will provide you with instructions and information for any further assistance you may require.
Please note that in the state of Florida, you are legally required to provide an approved infant car seat for your baby's ride home from the hospital and all subsequent car trips.
Our postpartum care teams
Our postpartum care teams include highly skilled medical professionals specially trained to care for babies and moms. These providers work together to ensure you and your baby receive the support and care you need to transition home with confidence.
The postpartum care team includes:
- Lactation specialists
- Neonatal intensive care nurses
- Neonatologists and other neonatal specialists
- Postpartum care nurses
You may also be visited by other staff as needed, such as audiology staff to perform a newborn hearing screen for your baby. Any team member who visits your room will introduce themselves and have proper hospital identification where you can see it.
Everyone on our team has one goal — to ensure you and your baby feel safe, secure and supported during your stay.
Post-pregnancy changes for mom
The postpartum phase is considered the first 12 months after childbirth. We are here to support you during this time, which we know can sometimes feel both joyful and overwhelming.
Just as early pregnancy causes many rapid changes, so does childbirth. As soon as labor is over, your body begins to return to its pre-pregnancy state. Hormones adjust, the uterus begins to shrink back to its original size and a host of other internal changes take place.
Physical and emotional changes are normal during the postpartum period. However, if you have any questions during your postpartum recovery, we encourage you to contact your provider. They are always happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your recovery.
Because of the significant changes in hormones after childbirth, many women experience the pregnancy blues after birth, also called the "baby blues." The baby blues can feel like sadness or a range of other emotions. However, if these feelings do not subside after a short time, it may be postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is very common, affecting about one in eight postpartum women in the U.S.
Postpartum depression help and support
We know being a new mom is hard work — emotionally and physically — which means we know moms with postpartum depression face even more challenges. This is why we are committed making postpartum depression support easily accessible for our patients.
If you feel like you may have postpartum depression, contact your prenatal care provider. Your provider can provide consultation and a listening ear to learn about your symptoms, feelings and experiences. As part of our healthcare network, they have access to a wide range of resources that can help you start feeling like yourself again.
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