The Golden Hour
The first hour after your baby’s birth, or the golden hour, is ideally reserved for you, your partner and your baby to get to know each other. Friends and other family members do not participate in this special hour unless you invite them to do so.
The Golden Hour is important because:
- During the first hour of life, a healthy baby shows a high level of alertness and an ability to interact with its parents.
- An infant recognizes his/her parents’ voices and smells.
- This is the ideal time for the baby to be introduced to the parents through snuggling and breastfeeding.
- This period of time, also known as “familiarization,” calms the baby after birth and enhances the bonding (attachment) of parents with their baby. The medical and nursing staff will help you in this special time together.
Mother-Baby unit visiting information and quiet time
Your baby’s father or care partner may be with you and your newborn any time during your hospital stay. Other family and friends may visit you between 11 am and 2 pm and 4 and 8 pm. At Virtua Memorial, visitors may enter through the main entrance. Visitors at Virtua Voorhees may use entrance B. At both locations, visitors must check in at the front desk to receive a visitor's pass.
For your safety and privacy, all fathers or care partners will be given a lanyard to identify them as a caregiver. When entering the hospital during the day at Virtua Memorial, they will need to use the front entrance. After 8:30 pm, they need to enter through the emergency department. At Virtua Voorhees, fathers and care partners are asked to use entrance C. See the campus guide for more information.
Special treatment or close monitoring:
If you need special treatment or close monitoring after delivery, we may limit visits from family and friends (excluding your baby’s father or support person) to 20 to 30 minutes per visit. This enables you to get the rest necessary to get well. During this time, a maximum of three people may be at your bedside at one time.
Quiet time is from 2 to 4 pm. We encourage you to limit visitors, so that you can rest and bond with your newborn. But if you choose, you can invite friends and family to join you during this time.
In addition, for the safety and health of our patients, we ask that those with contagious illnesses, such as a cold or the flu, refrain from visiting the hospital.
Immediate newborn care
Shortly after your baby’s birth, the nurse will administer:
- Eye ointment to protect against infection
- Vitamin K injection to assist with blood clotting
If you have questions regarding these treatments, discuss them with your baby’s physician prior to your arrival at the hospital.
Bonding with your newborn
When you come to Virtua to deliver, you will spend time bonding with your baby. As often as possible and when medical conditions allow, the delivering doctor will place your baby on your bare chest immediately after birth. Studies show that skin-to-skin contact makes babies happier, helps regulate their temperature, and stabilizes heart and breathing rates.
Bonding continues throughout your hospital stay. In fact, the first hour after your baby’s birth, the golden hour, is reserved for you and your partner and baby. Friends and other family members do not participate in this special hour unless you invite them to do so. This is the time to establish breastfeeding.
Rooming in with your baby
After you and your baby have recovered from delivery, you will be transported together to one of our large mother-baby rooms. The rooms provide space and privacy for your new family and promote 24-hour rooming in. We encourage you and your baby to remain together 24 hours a day and discourage prolonged separation periods. While rooming in, you can achieve two important parenting goals: Get to know your baby well and help your baby feel good.
Babies sleep better, cry less, gain weight better and have decreased jaundice.
The time you spend learning from the nursing staff while rooming in will help you be confident and secure in caring for your baby at home.
Studies show that mothers get the same amount and quality of sleep. Sleep while the baby sleeps.
If you are breastfeeding, 24-hour rooming in has been shown to increase breast milk volumes. Research has also demonstrated that there are fewer incidences of breastfeeding problems, such as sore nipples and engorgement, for women who take advantage of 24-hour rooming in. Please ask for help any time you need it.
Should you not feel well enough to care for your baby, or if your baby requires a medical procedure such as circumcision, there is a nursery in each of our mother-baby units.
Infant car seat check
More than 90 percent of car seats are improperly used or installed. To ensure that your infant car seat is properly fitted into your vehicle, get your car seat inspected by Virtua’s certified child passenger safety seat technicians.
This free service is available to all families that are leaving the hospital between 10 am and Noon. Although not required, we encourage you to schedule an appointment through the GetWellNetwork.
Virtua Mount Holly
You can obtain a birth certificate from the Mount Holly Township. You’ll receive a form with ordering instructions in your discharge packet before you leave the hospital.
If you need more information, call Virtua Mount Holly's birth registry department at (609) 914-7018.
You can obtain a birth certificate from the Voorhees Township. You’ll receive a form with ordering instructions in your discharge packet before you leave the hospital.
If you need more information, call Virtua Voorhees’s birth registry department at (856) 247-2827 or (856) 247-2836.
Before you leave the hospital, you’ll receive a discharge packet that contains:
- Birth certificate form
- Discharge information sheet
- Postpartum and breastfeeding support group information
- "What to expect when you take your baby home" booklet
The necessary forms will be collected by your nurse before you leave the hospital.
VirtuaBaby content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you’ve read on VirtuaBaby. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.