Observations on maternal preference for rooming-in facilities.Pediatrics. 1981 May; 67(5):638-40.Ped
To determine the length of time mothers prefer their infants with them, 1,000 mothers at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) and 435 mothers at Kings County Hospital (KCH) were asked postpartum whether they would prefer their infants with them every four hours for 1/2 hour for feeding or rooming-in with their infants during the daytime only or 24 hours a day. Approximately one third of the mothers at NSUH preferred rooming-in whereas approximately three quarters of the mothers at KCH preferred rooming-in. Significantly more mothers at KCH preferred 24-hour rooming-in than at NSUH. Factors such as primiparity, attendance at Lamaze classes, and breast-feeding were significantly associated with the mother's preference to room-in at NSUH, but there was no such association at KCH. This study suggests that: (1) the desire to room-in is not universal; (2) each institution must individualize rooming-in facilities according to the needs of the population; (3) although the demand for rooming-in varies, more mothers prefer rooming-in than there are accommodations presently available; and (4) factors that may be associated with rooming-in are not the same in all populations. It appears that it is as inappropriate to impose rooming-in as it is to deprive mothers of rooming-in.