Most moms talk about what to pack and how to prep for delivery, but I want to share a little more. What should you expect on the first night?
I think that I was lucky, I had a great postpartum nurse after I delivered Theo, also remember that I had a C-section so if you have a vaginal birth some of what I talk about may not apply to a momma who delivered vaginally.
**Disclaimer: There may be some gross details I share below, it’s only to help make sure you know what happens after birth**
Right after birth
- After your C-Section you will not be able to feel everything below your ribcage, or below your shoulders if you received too much medication like I did
- Your face will be SUPER ITCHY, you will want to rub and rub your nose- this is a side affect to the anesthesia
- After you deliver, you have to go to a recovery room where only you and one more person can be (essentially your partner)
- You can switch your partner out with any other family members (My mom, dad and mother-in-law rotated with Nate to see Theo and I)
- The recovery room is the best place to have your first moments with your little ones as a family, absorb it and relish in the moment
- Use the hour in the recovery room to breastfeed your little one if you plan on breastfeeding… but have your husband help and hold him since you won’t be allowed to lift them on your own due to the anesthesia
- Ask the nurse to take a few photos of your new family and to help you! They can help with breastfeeding, getting ice chips and making sure your husband has a seat too.
First Few Hours in the Hospital Room
- Your husband usually has a couch that can convert into a bed- ask for sheets and a pillow if they didn’t provide them
- You’re hooked up to an IV in your own hospital bed, the pain meds go into the IV for the first 12-24 hours (some pills are taken orally)
- You are assigned a nurse during the day and they rotate around 6pm, so you get another nurse for overnight
- Nurses are swamped and they prioritize based on need, so how “needy” you are, be needy
- You just had a C-section and you can’t walk or hold your baby without assistance, you are the most “needy” and that’s okay
- Your nurse is your lifeline, use them, not your husband, it will keep both of you sane and keep your relationship healthy
- The nurse should be giving you medication, if you need it, don’t let them encourage you to take meds, trust me this will happen, so question what they are giving to you and why you need it and if you need it
- If you are going to have some of your days that you stay on the weekend, remember your doctor isn’t going to be there, so if you have questions, ask questions before or the day of surgery – we wanted to inquire about other pain meds and had to wait until i was discharged to get an answer from my personal doctor. I wish I would have asked sooner.
First Overnight in the Hospital Room
- The overnight nurse should be checking in on you every 1-2 hours.
- The nurse will help you use the restroom until you can go on your own, essentially when they take your IV out.
- You will not be able to poop for a good 2 days, and don’t even try! It will hurt, which is why they give you stool softeners.
- When you’re nurse helps you, she will help you maneuver the IV, pulling down the hospital undies and changing your pad – lean on her, it’s okay and it will hurt less. You may not even remember most of the bathroom breaks.
- Make sure your husband sleeps- your nurse is your lifeline and should be helping you 100%- and if she helps you instead of your husband, there can still be some magic left since he’s not changing your pads (LOL).
- You need to heal, so have your baby sleep in the nursery if that is an option- we also recommend this because our nurse noticed a breathing problem with Theo overnight so it ultimately admitted him to the NICU. I don’t know what we would have done that first night if he stopped breathing while under our care.
Visitors After Birth
- It is great to have people visit, but you will not look 100%. If you’re okay with that, have visitors.
- If you want to look great, pack some makeup and a brush… have your husband remind you to put it on and even get him to help. I say do this regardless because you will like your photos with the family better.
- Wear the hospital gown they give you, since you will be bleeding much more in those first two days. Have yours ready as an option.
- Be selfish, you have to take care of you and baby- if you aren’t up for visitors, say something and have your husband be the coordinator.
- Let your husband run the show and make sure he knows that he has to be the one to say “yay” or “nay.” You won’t be in the mood to do so.
To Do’s at the Hospital
- Call your insurance company to see how many days you receive included in the hospital. Most people say take as few days as possible, I would agree but we wanted to stay a while since Theo was in NICU.
- Make sure you fill out the birth certificate information, we had to remind our nurses to send someone over to “register” Theodore.
- You will be filling out a lot of paperwork, talk to your husband beforehand of who wants to take care of it.
Leaving the Hospital
- Now that you have had a few days, you will be required to leave the hospital. If they don’t have a full hospital you can leave as late as 8pm in some places to get the full day in if you want it.
- I made a list of what I brought so I collected everything; checked it off on a list so I didn’t loose anything. It helps you keep track of what are your clothes and what belongs to the hospital.
- Ask for freebies like extra pads, ice packs, bottles for breastfeeding storage, grey tubs (these help with washing pump parts), pacifiers, formula that they didn’t use in your crib drawers, burp clothes if you can take them, extra swaddles, an outfit if you forgot one or don”t have the right size, gel pads for scars, and extra undies, to name a few.
- Ask our nurse to help you and your husband put your little one in the car seat.
- Once in the car seat your husband should grab what he can carry and go down to pull the car around.
- Your nurse will most likely then start taking you and your little one down to the car. They will “check you out” by making sure your wristband and your little one’s wrist band matches – that you have the right baby. They have to turn off the alarm.
- You will wait until your husband gets curbside and stay with your infant.
- The nurse and your husband can load the car.
- You get up and load your little one in the car and seat yourself down and you head off to home!
And that ladies is what to expect at the hospital! It really isn’t too bad. I think that we all worry about it because we don’t know or talk about what we do once we deliver. This should help so you don’t have to worry about the logistics and you can just focus on bonding with your new baby. Cheers mamas!