Family-Centered Maternity Care Program

Program Promotes Bonding between Moms and Babies at Birth

As one of the busiest maternity hospitals in Palm Beach County, Bethesda has introduced a new concept in the care of new mothers and their newborns called Family-Centered Maternity Care.

This program keeps new mothers and babies together from the moment of birth, and keeps them together in the same room, cared for by one mother-baby Registered Nurse. This mother-baby nurse helps new families understand their newborn’s needs and allows for individualized care during the newborn’s first days of life.

In traditional maternity hospitals, babies are typically cared for immediately after birth in the newborn nursery setting and then returned to the mother. As part of Family-Centered Maternity Care, the newborn is placed skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest immediately after birth, allowing for the most intimate contact between mother and infant. This “magic hour” is the time when babies are alert, giving parents and babies the best opportunity to get to know each other. All baby care then occurs in the mother’s room, where the baby will stay right next to mom. 

Advantages of Family-Centered Maternity Care:

  • Care that adapts to the mother and baby, promoting family bonding
  • More support and opportunity for successful breastfeeding
  • Better communication between the obstetrician, pediatrician and nursing team

Developed by nationally renowned expert Celeste R. Phillips, RN, of Phillips & Fenwick, in Santa Cruz, California, there are now several hundred Family Centered Maternity Care programs around the country.