One way the UK Birthing Center helps you become comfortable caring for your baby is through something we call “rooming in.” It’s the practice of keeping your baby in your room 24 hours a day so the two of you will get to know each other better.
By spending more time together, you will be able to recognize early signs, or cues, that your baby is hungry. Your nurse will help you recognize these cues, and helpful reminders are posted in every room on our Mother and Baby Unit. Our goal is to have you feed your baby when she shows cues she is hungry – not by the clock.
Common cues associated with babies’ hunger include:
- Opening her mouth.
- Sticking out her tongue.
- Bobbing her head back and forth
- Chewing on fingers and make fists.
- Crying and arching her back.
If she shows the latter cues, you may have to place her skin-to-skin to calm her down before feeding.
Even if you choose to bottle feed, we want you to feed your baby when she shows these cues. Babies’ stomachs are very small when they are born – about the size of a marble. They can’t hold very much at one time; over filling can result in spitting up and stomach irritation. Understanding when your baby is hungry can help prevent over filling and prevent upset stomach.