As I sat in the hospital room with my new baby in my arms, I looked into my new baby’s eyes and said for the third time in my life, “I will do everything in my power to take care of you, you mean everything to me! I am the “The Mama Bear!” (male version)
It is safe to say, anyone that has been a parent has sat in a hospital room with their little “burrito” all bundled up, and have looked into their eyes and have said a phrase similar to the one above. Yes our children are special and will always be special and we will do anything to protect them. So that means it would only make sense that you would have special people in charge of the hospital’s maternity ward working to keep your little “burrito” safe. Well, we were very lucky to have really cool, loving and alert medical professionals. And the leader of this team was an incredible Dr. my wife and I call “The Nooninator!”
Hospitals, like schools are family friendly venues where you want people to feel safe. In schools we hear and talk about security a lot and children go through drills to prepare for the worst. But in hospitals, what can we look for and expect regarding security so we can do our parent responsibility of being informed and observant? Check the hospital you chose to have your baby at and make sure it is equipped with similar security measures as the following:
· Security cameras in strategic locations like the nursery, stairwells, doorways, elevators, and hallways to monitor the incoming and outgoing activity.
· Fire doors equipped with special alarms. Install alarms with time-delay locks on stairwells and exit doors.
· Consider installing an electronic surveillance detection system.
· Use baby identification bands and check the band number with the mother/father/caregiver's number before giving the infant to either parent. Also, staff should know to check the same bands for corresponding numbers before the infant is released from the hospital.
· Electronic key-card system in newborn areas for staff.
· Nurseries and maternity wards are located away from lobbies with street access with doors always locked.
As stated above, these measures or similar measures should be in place at your hospital’s maternity ward. Also you want to make sure all hospital personnel are trained in the correct security procedures. Technology is great, but if staff are not on the same page about handling visitors, mistakes leading to bad outcomes can happen. Here are some examples of procedures concerning visitors:
· Provide visiting times for families and friends while ensuring proper precautions are in place.
· All visitors must immediately sign-in at the nurses' station upon arrival. Ask the visitor which mother they want to see, and each visitor must be signed out when leaving.
· Distinctive stickers with the date of the visit should be obtained at the check-in area and given to visitors to wear while in the hospital.
· No person should be allowed in without proper identification.
· Mothers should be asked to designate a limited number of visitors who can come to the nursery.
· Only allow people to view the baby with permission from the parents.
· Only allow visitors up to five minutes of observation time per visit to the neonatal nursery.
If you have questions about the security of your newborn, ask. Unlike many things in life, there are no dumb questions when it comes to security of your children. You are the advocate for your newborn, child and even teenager, they rely on you.
So thanks again to “The Nooninator” and his outstanding Army of great professionals. You made this “Mama Bear” happy with the way his newborn was cared for.