Your Baby’s Safety
Your baby’s safety is our priority from the moment of birth.
- At birth, you, your baby and your partner/support person will be given identifications bands. Please do not remove these while you are in hospital.
- Your healthcare team will introduce themselves to you. Only allow staff with photo identification badges to provide care to you and your baby.
- Never leave your baby alone. You or a support person must always watch your baby.
- Ask your nurse about safe sleep practices.
- While walking around the unit, please use a bassinet to transport your baby.
Where will my baby stay?
Once you and your baby are transferred and admitted to the Mother Baby/Obstetrics Unit, your baby will stay in your room all day and all night. This helps you and your family get to know your baby, bond with your baby, and learn how to provide comfort and care, and establish feeding routines.
Your nurse and/or support person will help you care for yourself and your baby. Your nurse can also answer any questions you may have.
If your baby requires additional care, it may be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Parents may visit their babies in the NICU. Your baby’s nurse in the NICU will explain to you what to expect while your baby is admitted there.
Registering your Baby
Every child born in Ontario must be registered with the province’s Office of the Registrar General.
Registration is required by Ontario law, and creates a permanent identity record for your baby.
There is no charge to register your baby.
Once you have registered your baby, you can then apply for other government services and documents such as:
- Birth Certificate
- Social Insurance Number
- Canada Child Benefits
- Ontario Health Card.
To register you will need information about your baby’s birth (date, time, delivering doctor’s name, etc.).
This information will be found on your discharge papers, which will be given to you when you leave the hospital.
You must register your baby’s birth with the Government of Ontario.
How to register:
Complete the Statement of Live Birth form online using Service Ontario’s Newborn Registration Service (www.serviceontario.ca/newborn)
The hospital will provide you with instructions on how to do this.
- You can apply for your baby’s birth certificate online, or you can get a hard copy of the “Request for Birth Certificate” form from any Canada Post outlet.
- There is a fee for a birth certificate ($25-$75, depending on type), and it will be mailed to you.
Social Insurance Number (SIN) and Canada Child Benefits
- You can apply for your baby’s SIN online when you register the birth, or get the “RC66 Canada Child Benefits Application Form” from the Canada Revenue Agency website, or by calling 1-800-959-2221
- There is no fee for a SIN
Ontario Health Card (OHIP)
- If your baby qualifies for OHIP coverage, you will be given a form while in hospital. Complete the top portion of the form and provide it to your nurse. The bottom portion of the form will be your baby’s temporary health card until you receive the card in the mail.
Newborns have very small amounts of Vitamin K stored in their bodies, which can lead to serious bleeding problems. Within 6 hours of your baby’s birth, your baby will be given a Vitamin K injection in their thigh. This Vitamin K injection is used to prevent bleeding in your baby.
The nurse will also talk to you about giving erythromycin, an antibiotic gel that is put in your baby’s eyes to prevent eye infections from gonorrhea. This medication is optional if you aren’t at risk for sexually transmitted infections.
Breast milk does not have enough vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, which is the softening and weakening of bones.
Babies who are breastfed should get 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D every day.
You can buy Vitamin D drops at any pharmacy, and follow the instructions on the bottle.
Skin-to-skin contact helps your baby get used to the outside world, improves bonding and helps with the feeding process.
You can perform skin-to-skin by removing your baby’s clothing, placing your baby facing you on your bare chest and covering their back with a blanket. Ensure that their mouth and nose are not covered. You can perform skin-to-skin while in hospital and continue to do this when at home. This is something both you and your partner can do with your baby.
Your nursing staff will assist you in doing skin to skin care with your baby and answer any questions you may have.
Why do skin-to-skin?
- Helps with breastfeeding and latching
- Soothes baby
- Keeps baby warm
- Regulates heart rate and breathing
- Strengthens the bond with your baby
Skin-to-skin can help your baby:
- Feel less pain during a procedure (such as blood tests or injections)
- Have a lower risk of infection
- Feel more relaxed
- Regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb.
Feeding Your Baby
Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI)
Trillium Health Partners is a Baby Friendly designated Hospital. BFI is a global initiative started by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Our goals are:
- To provide the best possible care in all health services for families with babies.
- To help each family make an informed decision after receiving all of the facts about each infant feeding method.
Skin-to-skin care during feeding
Feed every 2 to 3 hours (at least 8 times in 24 hours) – wake baby when it is time to feed!
Hand express or pump each breast for 20 minutes to build milk supply and increase your baby’s appetite
Follow your baby’s feeding cues
Licking or sucking anything close to their face
Bringing hands and fingers to their face
Opening and closing their mouth
Turning head side to side
Fidgeting – not easy to settle
Quickly moving head side to side
When your baby is finished feeding they will behave satisfied. Your baby will look relaxed, quiet and content, and will no longer show feeding cues.
A baby who is feeding enough will have an adequate number of both wet and stool soiled diapers. Right after birth it is normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birthweight. At 2 or 3 weeks old, baby should return or surpass their birthweight.
If you have any questions about feeding your baby, ask your healthcare provider.
During your stay in hospital, your nurses can help you and your baby with feeding.
We also have certified Lactation Consultants that can help with any difficulties you may have.
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and then adding foods at 6 months and continuing breastfeeding up to 2 years and beyond, is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) to promote growth, brain development, and protection from disease.
Why choose breastfeeding?
- Helps with bonding between mom and baby
- Helps with mom’s vaginal bleeding by contracting the uterus
- Reduces the risk of developing cancer of the breast and ovaries
- Breast milk does not cost any money
- Provides immunity to baby
- Can prevent obesity and diabetes for baby
While in the hospital, your healthcare team can help you with proper latching technique and positioning your baby to breastfeed. They can also help you with hand expression to help you produce milk.
Latching Your Baby
In order to feed properly, you need to help your baby get a good latch on your breast.
How do you know if your baby has a good latch?
- You can see and hear baby sucking and swallowing
- Your breasts feel empty after a feed
- There is no pain, redness or cracking of nipples during feeds
There several ways you can hold your baby during feeding. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different positions to help you get comfortable with holding your baby.
Some different feeding positions include:
- Cradle hold
- Football position
For more information on positioning and latching visit the
La Leche League International website
In hospital you will be taught hand expression. Hand expression helps produce milk and relieves engorgement.
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Engorgement is when your breasts are overfilled with milk and become firm and swollen making it hard to breastfeed. Frequent feeds, gentle hand expression, reverse pressure on areola, and icepacks will help prevent and relieve engorgement. Ibuprofen may also relieve discomfort.
If you choose to feed your baby formula, you need to know how to:
- sterilize water and supplies
- prepare formula properly
- feed your baby with a bottle
Your health care team will give you information and education on how to safely formula feed.
You can find more information about formula feeding at the
Region of Peel website and on the
Best Start website.
Use cow’s milk-based formula if possible.
Soy-based baby formula is not recommended unless your baby cannot have cow’s milk products for health, cultural or religious reasons. Ask your doctor before using soy-based formula.
It is important to prepare your infant formula safely.
Formula comes in 3 forms:
Ready to Feed
No mixing is required
Formula is sterile until the bottle is opened
(mix with water)
Needs to be mixed with water
Formula is sterile until the bottle is opened
(mix with water)
Needs to be mixed with water
Powder is not sterile
Not recommended for babies under 2 months old.
For important facts about formula preparation and formula recalls you can visit Best Start tip sheets.
Make sure you have a supply of formula ready for your baby once you get home. The hospital does not provide you with formula when you leave.
During your stay, your nurses can help you with feeding your baby. Our nurses are highly skilled and knowledgeable; ask them questions and discuss your feeding plan before going home.
You may also be referred to an in-house lactation consultant if you are having difficulties with feeding.
If necessary, we can provide follow-up breastfeeding support following discharge from the hospital at our Postnatal Clinic. An appointment will be made for you before your discharge if needed.
We also partner with Peel Public Health to provide community support for our parents Peel Region; your nurse can provide you with more information.
For breastfeeding support in your community, please visit: www.ontariobreastfeeds.ca
What Will My Baby Be Screened For?
Baby’s need to hear well to learn how to speak and understand.
You baby will have the opportunity to have their hearing tested before leaving the hospital.
A hearing screener will explain how the hearing test works and what the results mean.
If the hearing test shows possible signs of hearing loss, the hospital will refer you and your baby for follow up with Erin Oak Kids.
For more information visit Infant Hearing Services in Halton, Peel and Dufferin
Newborn Screening is a blood test taken at 24-48 hours of age to look for rare conditions that can cause health problems. Your nurse will perform a heel prick on your baby and place a small amount of blood on a filtered paper. The paper with the blood will be sent to the Newborn Screening Ontario Program Laboratory in Ottawa for testing.
A screening test is also done for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) to help us find any potential heart problems, even if there are no signs or symptoms present. This test is painless and is done by placing a pulse oximeter on your baby’s hand and foot to measure the amount of oxygen in their blood. The results are available right away.
Please see Healthy Beginnings for more information or call the Ontario Newborn Screening Program 1877-627-8330 or visit
https://www.health.gov.on.ca site; and
Jaundice is a yellow colouring of the skin and the whites of the eyes. It is caused by extra bilirubin in the baby’s blood system. Bilirubin comes from the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundice is fairly common and may be a part of your baby’s adjustment to life after birth.
Many babies become jaundiced at about 2 or 3 days after birth, reaching the highest level around 4 – 5 day of life and gradually decreasing by the end of the first week. While your baby is in hospital, your nurse will observe for signs of jaundice and at 24 hours your nurse will take a blood sample to screen for jaundice. The healthcare team will inform you before discharge if your baby needs treatment, or needs follow-up in our clinic.
Circumcision is not available during your hospital stay.
If you are thinking about circumcision, talk with your family doctor.
Circumcision is not covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), and you will have to pay a fee for this procedure.
Car Seat Safety
Please purchase and install an infant car seat approved by the Canadian Motor Vehicles Safety Standards at least one month prior to the expected date of birth of your baby. All children less than 22 lbs. should be in a rear facing car seat.
How do I put baby in the car seat?
- The harness strap must lay flat and fit snugly, allowing no more than 1 finger to slide under the strap.
- The harness should be at or slightly below the shoulders with the baby’s back and bottom flat against the car seat.
- There should be no snowsuits or baby blankets between the baby and the car seat.
- The chest clip should be threaded properly and at armpit level.
Familiarize yourselves with your car seat and how to use it. Have it ready to use before you leave the hospital. Your nurse will check that you have the baby placed properly in the car seat before you go home.
Healthy Babies, Healthy Children
Healthy Babies, Healthy Children is a program provided by Public Health to support the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children is a program provided by Peel Public Health to support families’ well-being before and after the birth of a baby, and to help identify families who may benefit from parenting support through the Home Visiting Program.
The goal of the program is:
“To provide every family with a newborn in Ontario with the support they need to make healthy adjustment in the first few weeks of life as well as provide access to parenting support through community services.”
When you are in the hospital, you will be asked if you would like to be referred to this service. With your consent a Public Health nurse in your area will contact you within a few days after hospital discharge and provide you with information about available support services.
When putting your baby down to sleep always put your baby on their back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the unexplained sudden death of a seemingly healthy infant of less than one year of age. It is sometimes also referred to as crib death. To help prevent SIDS, we recommend:
- Doing skin to skin with your baby
- Placing your baby on their back when sleeping
- Putting your baby on a firm surface (such as a mattress) in their own bed for the first 6 months of life
- Removing any soft pillows, toys or loose bedding to prevent suffocation
- Preventing your baby’s face from being covered
- Leaving your baby’s hands free when swaddling
- Alternating your baby’s position in the crib by placing their head near the foot of the crib one day, and the head of the crib the next day (babies tend to turn to look out of their crib)
- Ensuring tour baby is in a smoke and/or drug free environment
- Attending an infant safety and CPR session
Tummy Time for Play
Tummy time helps strengthen your baby’s muscles in the neck, back, shoulders and arms. It also helps your baby to learn large motor skills such as rolling, sitting and crawling and prevents “flat-head” (plagiocephaly).
To prevent “flat-head” you can place your baby on a flat surface on their stomach for short amounts of time 2 to 3 times a day. Here are a few ways you can encourage tummy time
- Place your baby down with a mirror or toy in front of them to look at.
- Lie on your back and put the baby’s tummy on your chest
- Use a rolled blanket or pillow under their chest to make it easier
- Place your baby on their stomach on your lap
For more information see the “Back to Sleep Tummy to Play Preventing SIDS & Baby Flat-Head” brochure provided in your discharge package at the hospital