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You will stay with your baby in the Birthing Unit for about 2 hours after the birth. This is a great time for you to get to know your baby and to breastfeed him or her for the first time.

The mother and baby will get matching identification bands. The mother will choose one other person to also wear a matching identification band.

Every baby is given a number of tests and treatments. These procedures are described below:

  • The nurses will put erythromycin ointment in your baby’s eyes after birth. This ointment prevents infection. This is a legal requirement in the province of Ontario.
  • Your baby will also get an injection of Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your baby’s blood clot well.
  • We take a small sample of blood from all new babies. This is done by a small needle-prick on the baby’s heel. The blood is tested for disorders so babies don’t have serious problems later. We test all new babies for these diseases before they are discharged from the hospital.
    Newborn infants who are discharged from the hospital before they are 24 hours old should be retested within five days after discharge. We will give you instructions for retesting.
  • We check every baby’s hearing before they are discharged from the hospital.

If you want more information about these tests, ask the doctors or nurses. It is important for you to understand why the tests are done. It is also important to make sure all the tests are done before you leave the hospital.

For more information about “Newborn Screening” please go to this website: http://www.newbornscreening.on.ca