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Newborn Screening Tests:

All babies are screened for health issues that can be treated if they’re found very early in life. These may include:

The U.S. has a national program with a core set of newborn screening tests. A small blood sample is taken from a baby’s heel and sent to a state lab to be tested for rare diseases, such as:
Newborn Footprint

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Congenital hypothyroidism
  • Galactosemia
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Maple syrup urine disease

Newborn hearing screening – We screen all babies’ hearing before they leave the hospital. The screening uses non-invasive probes on the skin. This is usually done in your room, and you’re welcome to be there with your baby.

Congenital cardiac heart disease screening – This screening detects low oxygen levels and is done by placing non-invasive pulse oximetry probes on your baby’s foot and hand.

Most newborns have normal results for blood tests and other screenings. If we detect any health or hearing issues, we’ll refer you and your baby to a specialist for follow-up.

Mother-Baby Couplet Care:

To enhance bonding, Decatur Memorial Hospital practices mother-baby couplet care, which means that mother and baby are cared for in the mother’s room from the time baby is born, through recovery and until they are ready to go home by the same nurse.

Immediately after delivery, our nurses place baby on mother’s chest to initiate skin-to-skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact is the first step to couplet care. If for some reason, mom is unable to experience skin-to-skin contact, we strongly recommend “kangaroo care”, where the father, grandmother or another family member steps in to give the baby the warmth and “cuddle time” that is so beneficial.

Couplet care is a family-centered approach that promotes immediate bonding, educational opportunities, and family satisfaction. Research has shown that by keeping mom and baby together, we are creating a stronger bond, building baby’s immunity and increasing success rates for breastfeeding.

Couplet Care and Skin-to-Skin Benefits

  • Increased bonding between mothers and babies
    Natural breastfeeding: newborn will look for the breast & self-attach
  • Hormonal signals to start lactation
  • Colostrum is nature’s antidote: Colostrum is the first milk which has living cells that prime the baby’s immune system and help baby fight off illnesses
  • Gives a glucose boost to the baby: less chance of hypoglycemia
  • Decreases mother’s bleeding
  • Keeps the baby warm
  • Mother and baby begin a rhythm of care helping to initiate behaviors that will last through a child’s early life

Level II Nursery:

Of course, no one can predict what happens after a baby is born, which is why DMH is equipped with a Level II Nursery. The Level II Nursery is available to assist and support our newborns that have trouble transitioning to life after birth and need additional medical care after delivery.

Infant Security System:

Decatur Memorial Hospital provides a comfortable, safe environment to welcome your new little one.  Each child will be a part of our Infant Security System upon arrival.  More information available upon request.