Security and Visiting

The Maternity Newborn and Care Unit takes security regulations seriously. Becoming familiar with the following information will help ensure the security and protection of your newborn.

Security at the Maternity and Newborn Care Center 

  • The Maternity and Newborn Care Center is a locked unit. The Newborn Nursery and Special Care Nurseries are also locked units within the Maternity Newborn Care Center. A maternity staff member will only unlock the door to the nursery for a parent who has an identification bracelet.  
  • Please know your nurse’s name and become familiar with the hospital personnel who are taking care of you and your baby. A white coat, uniform, or scrubs are not adequate identification. Hunterdon Medical Center staff members are required to wear photo identification badges with their photo showing. Hospital staff will welcome your request to show their photo identification badge.
  • Please do not leave your baby unattended at any time. Never leave your baby out of your sight, even when you go to the restroom or take a nap.  If you leave your room, ask your nurse to take your baby back to the nursery, or have a family member watch the baby. 
  • Please contact your nurse immediately or feel free to question anyone who comes into your room. Hospital staff will welcome your concern.
  • For safety reasons, please keep your baby’s bassinet away from the door and transport your baby in the hallway using the crib. No one, for any reason, should carry your infant out of the room in his or her arms. Alert your nurse immediately if anyone tries to do so.
  • Security sensors are placed on the baby’s ankle after birth, along with two identification bands. Mom and her partner are also given matching identification bands and should be ready to show their bands when their baby is brought to them.
  • If your baby needs to be taken from your room for any reason, please have the maternity staff member inform you of where your baby is going and how long he or she will be gone. If you are uncomfortable for any reason, unable to clarify what testing is being done, or why your baby is being taken from your room, please call your nurse or go with your infant to observe the procedure.

We’re hoping this information will help you prepare for a pleasant experience while you are here. Please call 908-788-MOMS if you have any questions about any of this information.

 Hugs® Infant Protection System
Hunterdon Medical Center has added a unique layer of security in the Maternity and NewbornCare Center and Pediatric Unit to help ensure the safety of its youngest patients. The hospital nstalled the Hugs® infant protection system to safeguard its infants and children from the threat of
abduction.

Infant protection systems provide an effective deterrent against the abduction of infants. The Hugs system has been configured to operate in a number of ways that readily support our existing security systems and our fire detective systems.

Each infant wears a comfortable and unobtrusive Hugs tag attached via a soft tamper-proof strap around his or her ankle. The computer console displays floor plans of the facility showing tag locations with monitored areas and doors indicated. The system can be made to activate other devices such as cameras, door locks, public address systems, pagers, sirens, elevators, or other alarms.

In the event of an attempted abduction, the Hugs system immediately informs security and nursing staff precisely where the alarm has occurred. This information is vital in ensuring a quick response during an abduction attempt.

The system provides printed reports of all the activity of the Hugs tag. These reports provide evidence about the abduction effort. Each infant is uniquely identified within all reports. Once activated, the only way to remove a bracelet without generating an alarm is with authorized
procedures.

 

Security Tips for Taking Baby Home 

  • Before discharge from the hospital, find out if there will be any in home follow-up care by home care agencies. Do not allow anyone into your home that says he or she is affiliated with the hospital or home care agency without properly verified identification as issued by the hospital or agency. 
  • For your records to take home, have at least one color photograph of your baby, full, front-face view, taken along with footprints. Also, compile a written description of your baby, including hair and eye color, length, weight, date of birth and any specific physical characteristics. 
  • Consider the risk you may be taking when placing your baby’s birth announcements in newspapers or online. Any announcements should never include your address, and should be limited to your surnames only. 
  • We suggest you avoid the use of outdoor decorations announcing your baby’s arrival. Having a baby is, of course, an exciting event, but be aware that potential abductors frequently “scout” neighborhoods to look for evidence of a new baby in the area. If you do use outdoor decorations, take them down after a day or so.
  • Be wary of new acquaintances met during your pregnancy or shortly thereafter. Potential abductors have been known to befriend a new mother, only to take her baby shortly thereafter.
  • Be aware that there have been cases in which initial contact with a mother and baby was made in public places such as malls, shopping centers and bus stations. If you must take your baby out, whenever possible, take a trusted friend of family member with you as an extra set of hands and eyes.
  • Never leave your baby or any child alone in a motor vehicle, even for just a second. Always take your child with you. Never let someone you don’t know pick up or hold your baby.

 

Visiting Hours
General visiting hours in the Maternity  and Newborn Care Center is open for you and your families convenience.

  • The father of the baby or your support person may stay over. There is a sleep chair in each room for his/her sleeping convenience.

 

Visiting Policy
Our visiting policy is designed to allow mom the most time to get to know and care for her baby. The birth experience is exhausting, and new mothers need time to rest, learn how to breastfeed and care for their new baby and themselves. Please be sure to discuss any special needs you have with your nurse.

  • Visitors must be admitted into and out of the unit at all times.
  • We respect patient privacy. Expectant moms are often walking while in labor, and do not want visitors watching. Therefore, we ask that visitors stay in your room at all times.
  • Children who are 13 years old and younger, aside from the newborn’s siblings, are not permitted to visit. 
  • Family members and friends should only use the elevators designated for visitors, and not use the staff elevators or the stairway. Stairs should only be used in the event of a declared fire emergency or when instructed to do so by hospital staff.
  • Children, even the newborn’s siblings, may not stay overnight.

 

Visitors During Labor
Visitors during your labor may distract from the necessary work you need to do. While we understand that moms in labor may have special needs at this time, the doctors and midwives have requested that you have only your labor partner and possibly one other support person with you.  These support people should remain in your room. Doulas are welcome. 

  • Since labor may take some time, other family members may be more comfortable if they wait at home. You may provide your room extension so they may keep in touch by phone, or they may call your cell phone. If family members wish to wait at the hospital they may wait in the main lobby on the first floor or the small waiting room outside the unit near the elevators on the fourth floor.
  • Due to patient confidentiality regulations, and the priority of providing the laboring mother with care, maternity unit staff will be unable to provide waiting family members with updates on patient status.
  • We ask that visitors have their meals in the L.A. Café on the first floor.

 

Advice for Visitors to the Maternity and Newborn Care Center

  • Once your baby is born, please ask any visitors to wait a few hours, until you and your baby have had a chance to recover, before their initial visit.
  • Visitors should not visit if they are sick, even with the common cold.
  • Visitors should always wash their hands before touching the baby.
  • Siblings of the baby may visit, but other people’s children may not. We also ask that any siblings who have been exposed to a communicable disease in the last two weeks remain home.