MVHS Couplet Care aims to improve mother-baby bonding


Mohawk Valley Health System Maternal Child Services welcomes more than 2,000 newborns into the world every year and provides the families of these newborns the family-centered, standard of care known as “couplet care.”

Couplet care allows mothers and newborn babies to remain together for their entire hospital stay. The mother and baby share one nurse and providers perform the child’s assessment with the mother present.

Sara Flihan, a mother of three, gave birth to her third child this May. She was unable to experience couplet care with her first two children and it has made a big difference with her youngest child, Christian.

“With my first two children, I didn’t share a nurse with them and that often made it difficult to relay questions about their care,” said Flihan. “With Christian, they did his assessments right in the room with me and my husband present. I’ve been able to be a part of my baby’s care from start to finish.”

MVHS Maternal Child Services sees several benefits of providing couplet care to its patients.

“Mothers become comfortable with their newborn’s schedule while still in the hospital, which often makes for a smoother transition from the hospital to the home,” said Lesa Steele, nurse manager of Maternal Child Services. “It can also aid in the likelihood of a successful breastfeeding routine.”

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