Share The Health

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby


Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait

The FMH BirthPlace and the local physician community have joined forces to stop the increase in early elective deliveries. Studies show that electing to deliver babies prior to 39 weeks gestation without a medical reason—either by inducing labor, or performing a C-section—carries significant increased risk for infants. Being in the womb for as long as nature intended has important advantages—critical organs like the brain, lungs and liver have time to mature, sucking and swallowing reflexes develop more fully, and vision and hearing problems are less likely to occur.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact between mothers and babies immediately after birth regulates babies’ temperatures, heart rates, respirations and blood sugar levels. It also allows babies to be colonized with the same bacteria as their mothers, minimizing the risk of infection. Along with breastfeeding, this is thought to be important in the prevention of future allergies and some other chronic diseases. Skin-to-skin contact also promotes mom’s production of oxytocin—a hormone that boosts maternal feelings and a positive mood—and may play a role in decreasing the instance of postpartum depression.

All the Peas in One Pod

In The BirthPlace, moms and babies stay together during their entire stay. Known as “complete couplet care,” this approach supports breastfeeding success, and helps newborns adjust more readily to life outside the womb. New mothers are able to learn feeding, diapering, and other newborn care in the privacy of their own rooms from professional nursing staff.

Just In Case

The FMH BirthPlace welcomes nearly 3,000 infants into the world each year, and the vast majority of them—nearly 90 percent—do not need high-risk newborn care. However, in that rare instance, the highly-skilled staff of The Billy Miller Neonatal Intensive Care Unit stands ready to help. A partnership with Johns Hopkins University Hospital, this special unit is staffed by neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners who are employed by Johns Hopkins University Hospital, and permanently located at FMH. These highly-skilled specialists in the care of high-risk newborns are at FMH 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year to care for infants as young as 27 weeks gestational age. Currently, accreditation is in process that will allow The Billy Miller Intensive Care Nursery to care for newborns as young as 24 weeks gestational age.

“To help families get off to the best start possible, we have focused on reducing early elective deliveries, promoting mother-child bonding through skin-to-skin contact, providing our families with complete couplet care and continuing to expand services in our neonatal intensive care unit.” – Katherine Murray, Director of Women’s & Children’s Services