Labor & Delivery Rooms After mother delivers the baby, the family is transitioned to UMC’s Mother/Baby unit (postpartum suite), located in the medical center’s Women's Pavilion, which features 30 all-private postpartum suites providing comfort, convenience, and the utmost privacy. Mother and baby are transitioned together and cared for in the same suite, a family-centered approach that we call Mother-Baby Couplet Care. This helps to promote a deeper bonding experience for the entire family. Each postpartum suite includes a sleeper chair, bassinet, and private bath.

Our unique affiliations help us to provide quality healthcare for mothers and babies at all times. We have teamed-up with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and private practice physicians/subspecialists to ensure that the physician you need is available to work with our highly trained staff around-the-clock. That partnership also helps to ensure that we practice the most up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare.

Healthy newborns are usually cared for in mom’s room and stay with mom for the full length of mom and baby’s hospital stay, but sometimes a higher level of care is needed. That’s why we are affiliated with the many specialists at El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH). Located right upstairs, El Paso Children’s Hospital has the highest level of Neonatal Intensive Care services available and is staffed 24/7 by a Board Certified neonatologists. The nurseries at EPCH include: the Intermediate Care Nursery, for infants that require added support; the Intensive Care Nursery for infants that are critically ill; and the Continuing Care Nursery for infants transitioning from the hospital to their home. 

Mother-Baby Couplet Care

Skin to Skin Example UMC’s Women’s Pavilion offers mother/baby couplet care, which means that mother and baby are cared for in the mother’s room from the time baby is born, through recovery and until they are ready to go home. Immediately after delivery, our RNs place baby on mother’s chest to initiate skin-to-skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact is the first step to couplet care. If for some reason, mom is unable to experience skin-to-skin contact, we strongly recommend “kangaroo care”, where the father, grandmother or another family member steps in to give the baby the warmth and “cuddle time” that is so beneficial.

Couplet care is a family-centered approach that promotes immediate bonding, educational opportunities, and family satisfaction. Research has shown that by keeping mom and baby together, we are creating a stronger bond, building baby’s immunity and increasing success rates for breastfeeding.

Couplet Care and Skin-to-Skin Benefits

  • Increased bonding between mothers and babies
    Natural breastfeeding: newborn will look for the breast & self-attach
  • Hormonal signals to start lactation
  • Colostrum is nature’s antidote: Colostrum is the first milk which has living cells that prime the baby’s immune system and help baby fight off illnesses
  • Gives a glucose boost to the baby: less chance of hypoglycemia
  • Decreases mother’s bleeding
  • Keeps the baby warm
  • Mother and baby begin a rhythm of care helping to initiate behaviors that will last through a child’s early life


UMC is El Paso's only designated Baby-Friendly® hospital. At UMC, our entire maternity service was revamped to meet the Baby-Friendly® requirements. We have redesigned our maternity service model to keep stable mothers and babies together from birth until discharge.

The first step of the process is to provide skin-to-skin(STS) from mother and baby immediately following birth.  This helps the baby adapt to life outside the mother's body.  Newborn stress levels are reduced, the heart and respiratory rate stabilizes, glucose levels increase, temperature increases and the newborn starts to move toward the breast to feed. Mothers also have decreased stress and pain levels as they begin to get to know and nurture their newborn.

We delay other typical newborn procedures until the first feed. We also provide STS for stable Cesarean birth mothers sometimes immediately following the birth or within the first hour in the L&D recovery room. We also encourage a support person to attend Cesarean Births. Following these changes, we've demonstrated that over 100% percent of our mothers who deliver vaginally and by Cesarean initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth. Our exclusive breastfeeding rate has steadily increased from 16% in 2012 to 44% in 2016. In addition, we now have International Board Certified Consultants (IBCLC) and a cadre of Certified Lactation Consultants working both in the hospital and outpatient clinic settings to provide support to mothers.”

Our goal is to keep mothers and babies together for 23 hours per day. Following the babie’s birth, the family is transferred to the 30-bed Mother-Baby Unit. Newborn assessments, baths and other procedures are done at the bedside to assist new families in learning to care for the baby.

Sometimes mothers and babies need extra support.  All high risk births are attended by the High Risk Team comprised on EPCH physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists.  We also have a Newborn nursery which is used for newborns needing closer observation immediately after birth.  However, most of our mothers and babies are able to stay together immediately after delivery. This is called "rooming in."   

Meet April, a real mom who experienced Mother-Baby Couplet Care at UMC. She explains the type of care that she received and how she experienced immediate bonding with her baby, skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding support.