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Health Services

Mother Baby Unit (4KL)

Following the delivery of your baby, you will remain on Labor and Delivery for a minimum of two hours. Once you are considered stable for transfer, you will then be moved to the postpartum units, 4K or 4L. On the mother-baby unit, family-centered care is a priority, along with health and safety!! Naval Medical Center Portsmouth does not have a newborn nursery, therefore, all mothers and newborns will room-in together for the duration of their stay, unless it is not medically appropriate. In addition, one support person, age 18 or older, can spend the night while patients are admitted unless a patient’s room is “doubled up.”

Please understand that most of the postpartum rooms have the potential for double-occupancy. While it is extremely rare to share a room with another patient, this can occur if NMCP is experiencing an elevated patient census. If this becomes the case during your stay, NO guests are allowed overnight at the hospital. We apologize in advance for the inconvenience this may cause; however, this is what is required to best promote privacy and safety for our mothers and their newborns.


We ask that family members and friends are mindful that the mothers on our unit are trying to rest and bond with their new babies. Therefore, all guests are expected to adhere to our visiting hours of 8am to 8pm. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to spend the night, and are required to be with an adult at all times (this does not include the patient). Additionally, visitors who are ill or have a disease/condition that can be spread to others, are asked not to come onto the unit, as newborns have an immature immune system and their health and lives at being put at risk.

Newborn Safety

During your stay, your newborn is fitted with a security bracelet, placed on their ankle, shortly after birth. This monitor, known as a HUGS tag, enables us to know the location of your infant, and provides an additional level of security for their protection. In the event that the tag is tampered with, falls off the baby, and/or the baby is brought too close to an exit, alarms will go off, doors will automatically lock, and security and staff will be notified to further investigate the incident. Nurses will discuss with patients the perimeters of the unit where babies are allowed to go when they first arrive to 4K/4L.

What is provided by NMCP?

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth provides all diapers, wipes, and formula (if needed) for your newborn during admission as well as hats, t-shirts, and blankets. Any other supplies needed for baby; including clothing, mittens, and pacifiers, are the responsibility of the family. NMCP will provide a hospital-grade breast pump for patients to use during their stay, as well as a refrigerator to store any milk that they collect.

What to Expect?

Teaching is a large focus during your stay on postpartum! Parents are encouraged to ask questions as their multi-disciplinary team works toward getting them prepped and set for discharge. Patients can anticipate an average stay in the hospital of 36-72 hours from time of birth; depending on type of delivery, health of the mother and newborn, and overall level of comfort from the parents and the healthcare team. The healthcare team is comprised of nursing services, obstetricians, pediatricians, dieticians, social workers, discharge planners and lactation consultants. Our goal is to ensure that you have the information, support, and resources necessary to set you up for a successful transition home.

What to Expect the Day of Discharge

The time you are discharged varies from patient to patient, and will depend specifically on the orders given by the healthcare teams. As mentioned previously, patients can expect to be admitted to the hospital an average of 36-72 hours from time of delivery. Various factors can affect your time of discharge; therefore, we recommend that you continue ordering meals until you have your discharge paperwork in hand.

Prior to discharging home, there is a mandatory discharge video that can be watched from the comforts of your postpartum room. Discharge medications are available for pickup prior to you going home. To make things easier, your accompanying guest can pick up the medications as you wait for your discharge paperwork. They are required to have a photo ID along with your military/dependent ID card.

Active duty moms MUST go to the admissions office, located on the 1st floor, to initiate their convalescent leave. All paperwork received should then be taken to your command.

**Please note that newborns are required to be transported out of the hospital inside of a regulation infant or “grow with me” car seat. Some new parents may experience difficulty with adjusting straps and positioning the newborn in the seat. We highly recommend bringing the car seat to your room prior to the day of discharge to allow time to practice before going home.
*Updated 5 April 2023
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