Labor & Delivery Admission:

The Labor and Delivery & Maternity Units at Boston Medical Center are located in the Yawkey Building on the 4th floor. If you have a vaginal delivery, you will recover on the Maternity Unit for up to 2 days. If you have a C-section, you will recover on the Maternity Unit for up to 4 days.

If you are interested in labor classes or a virtual tour of the labor and delivery unit, please speak to a member of our team for support in getting connected to BMC’s Birth Educator.

While admitted, the goal is to keep you and your baby together (rooming-in) as much as possible. If you need to rest, our nursing teams can watch your baby the newborn nursery. Remember: it’s important to take care of you, too.

Care for Your New Baby:

If you are prescribed methadone, buprenorphine, or another opioid medication, your baby will be monitored in hospital for Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). Your baby may show symptoms of NOWS starting around 4-5 days of life, therefore it is best to anticipate a minimum of 7 days for monitoring.

Treatment for NOWS has improved a lot!  We use the new Eat, Sleep, Console method and YOU are the center of the treatment for your baby.  We have a NOWS informational booklet for you which can explain more details.

When you are discharged from the Maternity Unit, your baby will be transferred to the Pediatric Inpatient Unit where you will continue to room-in. The Pediatric Inpatient Unit is on the 5th floor of the Yawkey Building, right next door to Project RESPECT. You (or another caregiver) will be able to room-in with your baby on the Pediatric Unit until discharge.

Some newborns may require medical observation in the nursery or the NICU. In these situations, we will try to promote rooming-in whenever possible. There may be times when hospital capacity prevents rooming-in.

Feeding your Baby: 

While breastfeeding has many health benefits for you and the baby, we understand if you choose another feeding method. This is your choice and here are some options:

Mother’s milk

Donor Milk





Lactation consultants are available to help with initiation and troubleshooting.

BMC milk bank: Discuss this option with the hospital pediatric team.

BMC carries Similac products in hospital.

Medications for substance use disorder are safe in breastfeeding.

*Only available while admitted

Request a nutrition consult while in the hospital to learn more about formula types and options.

Talk with your Project RESPECT doctor about other medications you might be taking and their safety in breastfeeding.


WIC is a resource available to help cover the cost of formula. Talk to your RESPECT nurse about enrolling in WIC.

MILK Line (4-MILK)



Child Welfare & Plan of Safe Care:

We understand the worries this topic generates for our patients and their families. We also recognize the confusion it may bring as you are taking all the right steps to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy in recovery. If you are currently taking methadone or buprenorphine, we strongly encourage you to continue these medications for your safety and your baby’s safety.

Boston Medical Center is required to file a mandated report to the Department of Children & Families (DCF) when we have concerns for abuse or neglect. Being on prescribed medications for substance use disorder alone does not meet the threshold to file a report with DCF, and we encourage you to speak more to our social work team about this. Our social work team can explain more about mandated reporting laws in our state and the DCF process.

In preparation for your parenting in recovery journey, we will collaborate with you during pregnancy to prepare a Plan of Safe Care that highlights all of your strengths, motivations, and hard work related to your recovery. The Plan of Safe Care is part of a federal mandate that encourages providers to help families in recovery become connected to supportive resources and build a support network.

If DCF should become involved with your family, we are here as your team to help you navigate through every step of the DCF process. We help by providing information to you, advocating on behalf of your family’s strengths, and giving emotional support to you and your family.