At Portsmouth Regional Hospital, our care for you, your baby and your family continues after delivery to make sure your parenting journey gets off to a great start.
Breastfeeding Support for the Best Start
If you plan to breastfeed, our certified lactation consultants will be on hand to make sure your experience goes smoothly. We're available during your hospital stay and after you go home. Call us with your questions or any time you need a little encouragement. Learn more about Lactation Services at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.
You're welcome to join our breastfeeding support group, a group of new moms and trained lactation consultants and counselors that meets every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Maternity Family Waiting Room. Stop by for a brief period or the whole time—it's a great opportunity to relax and learn with other moms and babies!
Newborn screening takes place before your newborn leaves the hospital. Our screening process tests your baby for a number of inherited medical disorders, many of which can be prevented or effectively managed through early detection. Most tests use just a few drops of blood from pricking a baby's heel. Your baby will also be screened for critical congenital heart disease, and its hearing will be tested by placing a tiny earphone over your baby's ear and measuring his or her response to sound. If a screening procedure suggests a problem, your baby's doctor will follow up with further testing.
If your baby needs special care or observation or if you experience health issues that prevent your baby from remaining in your room, your baby may stay in our Special Care Nursery. This unit has staff and technology dedicated to infants who need extra care, including phototherapy for jaundice, IV therapy, antibiotics, oxygen support and heart and respiratory monitoring. Should your baby require a more intensive level of care, we can arrange for transport to one of several neonatal intensive care units in the area.
We also provide pediatric care for babies who are hospitalized following their initial discharge from the hospital.
At Portsmouth Regional Hospital, we take every measure to ensure your baby's security.
We invest in the Hugs® security system that uses a tag around each baby's ankle to track the location of all infants at all times. Alarms go off if a baby is moved to an unauthorized zone, if the tag's signal is not detected or if the strap securing the tag is cut.
We also use the Kisses® component of the security system. Each mother is given a Kisses tag that's bonded with her baby's Hugs tag at birth. The tags remain bonded throughout your hospital stay, and nurses are immediately alerted if a mismatch occurs.
In addition, all nursing staff assigned to labor and delivery, maternity or pediatrics wear scrubs and special hospital picture IDs.
To keep your baby safe when you leave our care, all infants must go home in an approved car seat based on New Hampshire regulations. Make sure you know how to use your car seat before your baby is born.
We offer free Wi-Fi throughout our hospital. Simply open your web browser and follow the instructions to log in.
Our meals are designed to give your body the extra nutrition it needs for healing and breastfeeding. Kosher foods, vegetarian meals, gluten-free foods, between-meal snacks and low-calorie foods are available upon request. If you want something special, just ask your nurse.
A complimentary postpartum massage for each day of your stay to help you relax and enjoy your new family. Our own Portsmouth’s Baby Banquet, a complimentary gourmet lunch or dinner for you and another guest.
Our hospital photo service is available to take your baby's first photo. You'll receive information about purchasing photos if you wish, and you can send in payment by mail. Your photos will be mailed to your home.
A birth certificate is a legal document that verifies your child's age, citizenship and parentage. After your baby's born, hospital staff will provide you with a birth certificate worksheet. This electronic form is sent to the state Vital Records Office, after which you can obtain an official copy of the birth certificate by submitting an application and a check to the state of New Hampshire.
The birth certificate worksheet also gives you the option to request a Social Security number—issued free by the federal Social Security Administration—for your baby. If you choose this option, a Social Security card will be mailed directly to your home in approximately eight weeks.
Understanding Postpartum Depression
It's not unusual for a woman to experience an emotional letdown after delivery. Postpartum depression is characterized by feelings of sadness, confusion, anxiety and other signs of depression. While the causes of postpartum depression will vary, a change in hormone levels and sleep deprivation are primary culprits. At Portsmouth Regional Hospital, each of our new mothers receives a screening for postpartum depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).
To minimize postpartum depression, be certain to set aside time to rest while your baby is sleeping. Ask your significant other or a friend to watch your baby so you can get out of the house. Talk to your family and friends about how you're feeling and avoid spending too much time alone.
In some cases, medical attention may be required for postpartum depression and you may benefit from our behavioral health services. If you experience symptoms that last more than a few days or impair your ability to function, speak to your doctor. Learn more about postpartum depression in our online Health Library.
Find a Pediatrician
Choosing a pediatrician—a doctor who cares for infants, children and teenagers—is an important step in caring for your new baby. You may want to ask your obstetrician for recommendations or choose from our network of pediatricians.