obgynThousands of expectant eastern Kentucky families have chosen Pikeville Medical Center for their childbirth experience and it’s easy to see why. Since labor and delivery patients first were admitted in 1971, PMC has grown to become one of the largest, most progressive medical centers in the region.

The highly trained staff includes both obstetrical and nursing specialists. They are trained to use the latest techniques to make new mothers as comfortable as possible. Just as important, they are skilled listeners trained to focus on the unique needs of individual families. The staff is a valuable resource on topics ranging from pain management to newborn care.

PMC has birthing suites for women in labor, allowing the mother to labor, deliver and recover in one quiet, comfortable room. All suites are attractive and fully equipped with a telephone, television and private bathroom.

After baby arrives, parents have a choice to where he/she will spend the majority of time. Some parents prefer that baby remain in the nursery and is brought to mom at regular feeding times. Others prefer rooming in, a practice of keeping baby in mother’s room. The baby is cared for by its parents, with nursing assistance.

In the newborn nursery, baby spends the first few hours of life getting warm under an infant warmer until his/her body temperature is stabilized. Then baby gets the first bath, has a hearing test and is ready to visit with mom and family. In addition, baby wears a sensor that is part of an infant security system at PMC.

Labor and Delivery
911 Bypass Road, Building A
Pikeville, Ky 41501

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After baby arrives, he/she will remain with the mother for kangaroo care, a specialized technique used to enhance the bond between mother and child. In addition, baby wears a sensor that is part of an infant security system at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC).

What are the benefits of kangaroo care?

  • The transition to the outside world is made easier because baby can hear mom’s heartbeat and feel her warmth.
  • Baby will cry less and sleep more soundly.
  • Baby’s heart rate, breathing, blood sugar and temperature stabilize more quickly.
  • The closeness makes breastfeeding easier and mom produces more milk.
  • Most women feel more confident in caring for their baby.
  • The bonding process is stronger.
  • Baby’s brain development will be better.
  • Mom’s pain level is decreased while she is doing kangaroo care with baby.

What if I don’t plan on breastfeeding?

Babies and moms benefit from kangaroo care regardless of the feeding method. However, keep in mind, babies are born wanting to breastfeed, so don’t be surprised if the baby tries to latch on to the breast with no assistance.

Is there any reason I can’t hold my baby skin-to-skin immediately after birth?

Only medical reasons could prevent you from not holding your baby immediately after birth. If this is the case, your nurse will help you start kangaroo care as soon as medically possible.

Can I hold my premature baby skin-to-skin?

Kangaroo care was first used in the hospital setting with premature infants. Premature infants benefit greatly from skin-to-skin contact. It promotes growth and development. After the premature infant has stabilized, the neonatologist and nurses will assist you with kangaroo care.

What if I have twins?

You can hold both babies skin-to-skin at the same time or separately.

Is mom the only person who should provide kangaroo care to the baby?

Anyone can provide kangaroo care to a baby. Dads are strongly encouraged to hold baby skin-to-skin. Dads provide warmth to babies and the bonding process is much stronger when dads participate. Immediately after birth, mom is the best provider for kangaroo care, but if mom is not able due to medical reasons, dad is able to fill in.

Do I continue to provide kangaroo care to my baby when I am home?

You can continue kangaroo care at home as often as you would like. You and your baby continue to get all of the benefits that you had in the hospital. We recommend at least one hour a few times a week until the baby is at least three months old.

During your stay at PMC:

  • You may provide kangaroo care to your infant as often as you like.
  • A nurse can assist you in placing your baby skin-to-skin.
  • Dad is able to kangaroo care whenever he would like.

At home:

  • Hold your baby skin-to-skin when you are awake and able to hold baby safely.
  • If your baby is “fussy” or having trouble falling asleep, try kangaroo care.
  • Holding your baby skin-to-skin is an excellent way to initiate breastfeeding; if you are having trouble with breastfeeding at home, try to place baby skin-to-skin at feeding times.

Immediately following the birth of your baby:

  • Your baby will be dried, diapered and immediately placed under your gown, skin-to-skin.
  • You and your baby will be covered with a blanket.
  • Your nurse will give your baby a vitamin K shot and eye ointment while in kangaroo care.
  • You and your baby will rest for at least one hour in kangaroo care.
  • Your nurse will monitor the vital signs of you and your baby.
  • Your baby may begin to move toward the breast and naturally latch on for the first feeding; if you do not want to breastfeed, gently return your baby to the center of your chest.
Pikeville Medical Center