OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

Postpartum Care

On this page, you will find information about what to expect postpartum. Topics include: The Golden Hour, breastfeeding, rooming in, going home, and your return visit.

The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour is commonly known as the period of time after you give birth to your baby. After you deliver, your baby will immediately be placed on your chest for skin-to-skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact will help with the baby’s breathing, body temperature, and heart rhythm. It is a special time for bonding and introductions – this is the first time you are meeting your new son or daughter!

At OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, we want you to have a quiet and peaceful moment to bond with your new baby. After this time alone, we welcome you to invite family and friends to meet your new bundle of joy. During this time, your nurse will monitor you and your baby. If no problems arise, your baby can remain with you. Moms will immediately see their baby following a Cesarean delivery. Moms will be offered skin-to-skin in the operating room and will be transferred together to the recovery room. During the Golden Hour, you will bond with your baby, breastfeed, staff will complete a physical assessment of your baby, monitor vital signs, and check on you.


Studies have shown the bonding time between a mother and child is crucial. Your baby is the ultimate gift to your family after months of preparation.


It helps your baby’s transition from womb to world when you breastfeed after delivery. This reinforces the bond you will experience between the two of you. We have lactation consultants available to help you should you have questions. If you are unable, or choose not to breastfeed, our staff can discuss other options for feeding with you.


After bonding with your baby, our staff will weigh and measure your baby and also give him or her a bath. Your support person is welcome to do this on their own or help the Birthing Center staff perform your baby’s first bath.


Infant Feeding Policy: Breastfeeding (PDF - 83.4 KB)
Infant Feeding Policy: Bottle Feeding (PDF - 314.7 KB)

At the Birthing Center, in addition to our nursing staff, we have board certified lactation consultants and certified lactation specialists who are here to assist you with breastfeeding. Choosing to breastfeed can be one of the most important decisions you make to protect your baby's health and well-being. We’re on our way to becoming designated a Baby-Friendly Hospital – the gold standard of maternity care. We’re committed to educating moms about the health impact of breastfeeding and ensuring moms and infants receive appropriate, evidence-based care.

You may prefer your visitors wait in the waiting room while you breastfeed. We understand asking visitors to step out of the room may be an uncomfortable request for you to make, and our staff will be happy to help you. You will be given a breastfeeding booklet with helpful information.

You can also view our hospital policy on breastfeeding below. We also offer inpatient and outpatient counseling on breastfeeding issues, as well as basic and follow-up classes.

Appointments (in person or over the phone) may be made by calling (309) 665-4704.

Rooming In

We encourage you to keep your baby in your room with you. Studies show mothers rest and sleep more comfortably when their babies are nearby. By being close to their child, moms not only find they’re more attuned to their child’s needs, but they’re also more in touch with the care their child is receiving. If you choose to breastfeed, having your baby in the room will be beneficial, because breastfeeding frequently and without long interruptions will help you to establish a good milk supply.

If you are having trouble calming your baby, your nurse will be happy to help you. Of course, any time you feel like you need a break, our attentive staff is always ready to care for your baby in our nursery.

Benefits of Rooming In:

  • Decreased likelihood of jaundice
  • Increased milk production for mom
  • Better bonding between mom and baby
  • Better able to identify early feeding cues
  • Learn night time behaviors


A 15-bed Level II nursery area, adjacent to a centralized nursing station, provides increased patient safety and state-of-the-art equipment, including infant warmers and monitoring equipment. OSF St. Joseph Medical Center’s Level II nursery is also capable of caring for newborns who have non-life threatening complications. Newborns needing a higher level of care are transferred to our sister hospital, Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria.

Infant Safety

Your baby’s health and safety is most important to us. For your peace of mind, the Birthing Center has a sophisticated security system to ensure the safety of you and your baby. During your stay at the Birthing Center, we ask you keep a few things in mind to keep your infant safe.

  • The Birthing Center staff members can be recognized by a pink line on their name tags identifying they are Birthing Center staff.
  • The Birthing Center staff will check the mom/baby identification numbers when your baby is returned to your room.
  • Please keep your baby in his or her crib while in the halls.
  • Please do not leave your child unattended.
  • Please ask visitors handling your infant to wash their hands.
  • Please leave a night light on during the evening.
  • Your baby must not sleep in bed with you or your support person and must sleep on his or her back.

Baby's First Photo

At OSF St. Joseph, we understand the birth of your baby is a milestone event for your family near and afar.  That’s why we’re now providing the opportunity for you to capture your newborn’s beautiful first moments. Baby Bella Photography will help you create a keepsake you’ll cherish for a lifetime. We encourage you to use our online photo service to privately release those first precious glimpses out to family and friends.

With your consent, a professional photographer will photograph your baby and post the photos online. A custom slideshow is available for your viewing shortly after your session. Online viewing and ordering is password protected and only available to those you choose to share your password with. The slideshow will be available for viewing for 14 days after the photos are taken.

Going Home

Before leaving the Birthing Center, your nurses will need an order from your obstetrician, and pediatrician to process all of the necessary paperwork. We will give you special instructions and literature explaining what to expect in the next few weeks. All instructions will be reviewed to ensure all of your needs have been met. Medications will be called to the pharmacy of your choice or delivered to your room from Eastland Pharmacy, located in Eastland Medical Plaza I (Entrance C). Our staff can assist you with this. Please ask our staff about Eastland Pharmacy's hours.

The entire discharge process may take a few hours. We want to take the time to make sure you are fully prepared to go home with your new baby. When you are ready to leave, your support person should bring the car to the front of the Birthing Center Entrance and bring your baby's carrier to your room.

You will be escorted in a wheel chair by a member of our patient care staff. We will be happy to help you get your baby in the car seat if it hasn't been checked. We know the first few days and weeks after giving birth can be overwhelming. We will continue to provide support and encourage you to call your OB Nurse Navigator or the Birthing Center at (309) 665-4703.

Breast Pumps

OSF MarketPlace, located in Eastland Medical Plaza I (Entrance C), provides Medela breastfeeding supplies for Retail purchase. Items include: Retail Breastpumps, bra pads, nipple shields, storage bags, soft shells, replacement pieces for Medela pumps, and nursing bras. The Birthing Center staff is able to facilitate personal breastpumps that are covered by private insurance and for patients served by Illinois Department of Public Health. We also have hospital grade pumps available for rental. Please call (309) 665-4704 for more information.

Follow Up

A nurse will give you a follow-up call to check on you and baby after you have been home for a few days. We are happy to answer any questions you may have at this time. 

In the days following your return home, you will receive a patient satisfaction survey. We encourage you take the time to return the survey. Our staff uses this feedback to improve care, address patient concerns, and recognize employees who deliver exceptional service.