Newborn Care

Welcoming your new arrival

Access to Full Neonatology Services

We know you and your family are excited to welcome your baby. At Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth, we’re here with the support services and health care to make your baby’s early months as smooth as possible.

Continuing Care Nursery (CCN) at the BirthPlace

BID Plymouth's neonatology program includes our Continuing Care Nursery (CCN), a dedicated Level 1B nursery that provides specialized care for premature and full-term newborns who require extra time to recover and mature before going home. Our Continuing Care Nursery is supported on-site by Barbara Shephard, MD, and other neonatologists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Learn about the care we offer in the CCN:

  • We encourage parents to take part in your newborn's care. Our staff offers ongoing support and education to assure your confidence and ability to care for your baby before your baby goes home.
  • We offer 24-hour-per-day visitation. However, you must always accompany grandparents, friends and siblings. We reserve the right to limit the number of visitors at any one time.
  • To minimize risk of exposure to infection, children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the nursery between November 1 and April 1.
  • Safety and security are always our top priorities. The BirthPlace is locked with 24-hour video surveillance; the CCN is in the BirthPlace.

Critical Milestones Before a Baby Goes Home

If your baby is admitted to our CCN, they’ll need to hit these milestones before they can safely go home:

  • Ability to maintain temperature in an open crib.
  • Completed recommended screenings for newborn infants include:
    • Certain types of heart abnormalities
    • Hearing
    • Rare, but treatable, metabolic disorders
  • Completed additional screenings for prematurely born infants including:
    • Car seat safety
    • Eye exams (in some cases)
  • Consistently gaining weight and growing
  • Consistently good breastfeeding or bottle feeding
  • Full recovery from breathing problems
  • Mature breathing control, including a monitored spell-free period of typically five to seven days

Transitioning from Hospital to Home

For Your Baby

Here are some tips to prepare your home space for baby care:

  • Prepare a place in your home for infant care, including a sleeping area and a place for clothes and supplies.
  • Purchase essential nursery equipment and supplies. There are several ways to save money on baby items. You can purchase many items secondhand or through discount stores. You may be able to purchase certain items — such as disposable diapers — by the case. We suggest these essentials:
    • Bottles (measured in ounces) and nipples
    • Changing table or safe place to change diapers
    • Crib or bassinet/cradle (slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart). If purchasing a used crib, make sure it meets current safety standards.
    • Diaper pail for cloth diapers, or plastic-lined garbage pail for disposable diapers
    • Large tote or diaper bag packed with several diapers, a receiving blanket, change of clothes, plastic bag for soiled diapers, and a washcloth or baby wipe
    • Nipple brush for cleaning bottle nipples
    • Nursing bras (two cotton)
  • Purchase and learn how to use an approved car seat. Massachusetts State law requires the use of a federally approved car seat that is no older than 6 years old. Your baby must always be placed in the car seat, beginning with the ride home from the hospital. The safest place for the car seat is the middle of the rear seat, facing backward. Some car seats may require a special locking clip on the seat belt.

    Never place your baby in the front seat of your car, especially if your car has passenger-side airbags. If you purchase a used car seat, make sure it meets current safety standards by checking the manufacturing or expiration date on the seat. Most car seats have an expiration date on the tag, telling you not to use that seat after a certain date or period of time.
  • Select birth announcements. Address and stamp the envelopes ahead of time if possible.
  • Select a family physician or pediatrician to be your baby's doctor.
  • Check on a cloth diaper service. If you’re planning to use cloth diapers from a diaper service, check to see if they will deliver on a 24-hour notice, or before your due date.
  • Wash all baby clothes, bedding, towels and washcloths in baby detergent before using.
  • Prepare a basic layette of essential clothing and equipment for the baby.
For You

Here are some tips to help you transition back home after being in the hospital:

  • Practice relaxation, positioning and breathing techniques often.
  • Attend childbirth classes — especially if you haven’t cared for a newborn recently.
  • At one of your last appointments, ask your physician or midwife whom you should call (and when you should call them) if your physician or midwife isn’t available when you go into labor.
  • If you plan to breastfeed, attend a prenatal breastfeeding class at BID Plymouth’s Lactation Center.
  • Pack bags for your hospital stay by the start of your ninth month.
  • Consider covering your mattress with a plastic sheet or shower curtain a few weeks before your due date in case your water breaks. You also may want to keep a few towels and sanitary pads in your car.
  • Keep plenty of gas in your car. Know the route to the hospital and about how long it takes to travel under varying traffic conditions. Consider making a trial run and know where to park.
  • If a car isn’t available, arrange ahead of time for other transportation. Keep on hand telephone numbers for taxi services and other resources and people who can help you when you go into labor.
  • Let friends know you prefer to have them visit after you return home from the hospital. Reserve your hospital time for you and your partner to learn about and get to know your baby. If you have a telephone answering machine or voicemail service, record a message stating you’ll call back as soon as you can. For infant security, we recommend that you not mention the newborn baby in your recorded message.
Other Helpful Tips

Here are other suggestions to prepare your home for the arrival of your baby:

  • Try to avoid moving households near the end of your pregnancy. Too many changes in your life at this time can add extra stress as you adapt to parenthood.
  • Arrange for household help if possible. Outside help allows you more time to enjoy your new baby! Let someone else do the cleaning and laundry. If you have willing relatives or friends, be clear with them that you need help with the chores while you care for the baby.
  • Review your health insurance policy to know of any recent changes. Make note of your plan’s coverage for the length of hospital stay, visiting nurse services and well-baby coverage.
  • Store as many staple items as space allows.
  • Pre-make and freeze meals, clearly label their contents and include directions for heating.
  • Consider writing out two weeks of menus and have the ingredients or frozen meals on hand.
  • Stock up on convenience items such as paper plates and napkins. Learn which local grocery and drug stores will deliver.
  • Purchase a supply of sanitary pads (tampons aren’t recommended until your period resumes later).
  • Plan ahead for birthdays and other upcoming special events. Since shopping is often a challenge in the weeks after giving birth, purchasing gifts, gift wrap and cards ahead of time can be helpful.

Make an Appointment

Services We Offer

Our team works to empower you and your and family with the tools and resources you’ll need to care for your newborn. We offer:

  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Circumcision
  • Classes and Education
  • Continuing Care Nursery Transfer
  • Postpartum Support

Meet Our OB/GYN & Midwifery Experts

Our specialists provide a comprehensive range of gynecologic and obstetric care options. 

Services & Specialties

Our goal is to provide you and your family with the best start in welcoming your little one. Depending on your needs, as well as your baby’s needs, you may see one or more of these specialty providers.