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St. Joseph's General Hospital Elliot Lake



After you have given birth you remain on the Maternal/Newborn unit where your Combined Care is provided. Our team of specialized Nurses care for both mother and baby at the mother’s bedside. Being together allows the parents to learn/recognize when baby is hungry and learn their care requirements and promotes bonding between newborn and parent. 

Health Canada and the World Health Organization have shown that healthy mothers and healthy babies should not be separated unless necessary. Being together increases your comfort level and competence in caring for your baby. This strategy is used around the world to develop beginning parenting skills and mother-child bonding.

After a vaginal birth, mothers can expect to stay one to two days after delivery to rest, bond with baby, and to ensure both mother and child are healthy. After a C-section, mothers may stay three to four days.

While in the Maternal/Newborn Unit, a specialized Nurse assigned to care for you and your baby will be available to help you. The Nurse will teach you how to care for yourself and your baby. The Nurse will also care for you and your baby to ensure your good health. This time is also a good chance to learn more about caring for your infant during the first days and weeks.

During your stay you will learn:

  • Caring for your baby – diapering, bathing, and cord care.
  • Feeding your baby – infant hunger cues, positioning, how to feed your infant, and how to tell if baby is getting enough food/is full or content.
  • Keeping your baby safe – recommended sleeping position, when to seek medical attention, car seat safety, and where to get help following discharge.
  • Skin-to-skin contact – why it is so important for mother-child bonding, especially in the first few days after birth.

With your consent, your Nurse will connect you with Algoma Public Health when you go home.

You are encouraged to rest while your baby is sleeping, day or night. Your Support Person is not considered a visitor and is encouraged to participate in baby care/learning. In some cases, your Support Person may be able to stay overnight with you and your baby. If the Support Person stays overnight, he or she is expected to support the new mother by helping with baby care and providing emotional support. Pyjamas or athletic pants and indoor footwear (like slippers) must be worn by the Support Person when staying overnight.

Resources and Documents

SJGHEL Documents