The day that stork finally delivers your baby, is quite exciting. It can also be rather overwhelming to suddenly have a newborn and find yourself stuck in the hospital and be in pain. Here are a few tips to think about before the big day arrives. Keep in mind, this is based on my personal experience and every mom might not agree.
1. – Fill out hospital paperwork prior to due date. Most hospitals have a packet for expecting moms. Do yourself a favor and fill out all of this info weeks before you’re due. You do not want to be in labor and have to deal with it. They also ask for data you probably don’t know off the top of your head. Plan ahead!
2. – Pack your bag with care. Take the time to shop for maternity pajamas. You will be living in these for a while and if you’re nursing, it is so much easier with pjs made especially for nursing moms. You might not want to get pajamas with pants or shorts because the waistband might be uncomfy if you have a c-section. Pack shampoo, conditioner, magazines, glasses (if you wear contacts), toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth wash, hair dryer, etc. The hospital is not a Four Seasons.
3. – You will leave the hospital fat! You won’t be fitting in your skinny jeans two days after delivery so pack maternity clothes to wear home. The softer and more comfy, the better. You might also want to avoid the high heels for a while too, Mrs. Fashionista. Falling down after having a baby would be a bad thing. Pack flats!
4. Grab those diapers. Look, you paid for that lovely hospital stay and diapers are included. If there are extra ones in your room, you own them so take them home with you. If you have a boy, you want to grab some extra gauze pads for the circumcision. Oh, don’t forget to take home the ‘boy shorts’ they give you, mom. You will really like having extras for the first week or two after delivery.
5. Write down when you take your pain medicine. The biggest mistake you can make after having a baby is getting behind on your pain medication. It’s much easier to keep the pain under control if you take it every four hours. If you think you feel okay and wait 6 or 7 hours, it will most certainly catch up with you. And it will hurt! Don’t trust that the nurses will keep you on schedule. Write. It. Down. And buzz the nurse about 15-20 minutes prior to when you need to take the medicine because sometimes they don’t get to you right away.
6. Ditch the jewels. Don’t wear all of your expensive jewelry to the hospital. There is no need for it and they will usually make you take it off anyway. If you like it, keep it at home. Besides, your puffy fingers might appreciate a break from the tight wedding ring. And yes, they will go back to their normal size. So will your ankles.
7. Ask questions! If you don’t understand something your nurse tells you, ask her questions. And if you don’t like your nurse, ask for a different one. I’ve had some wonderful nurses and I’ve had some horrible ones. You will probably have a bunch of different ones during your hospital stay, so don’t get too attached to one. Nothing says “I Love You” like your husband telling off your nurse because she has an attitude problem.
8. Take notes. It may sound silly, but if your doctor or pediatrician tells you certain things and you want to remember exactly what was said, write it all down. Actually, tell your hubby or a family member to take notes. There is so much going on and mom is usually pretty groggy, so it doesn’t hurt to jot things down.
9. Use the nursery at night. It may be scary to give your brand new baby to strangers, but take advantage of the nursery. Your baby will be in great hands and you will get some rest. Keep the baby with your during the day and send him or her to the nursery at night. New moms need lots of rest and you will not get that rest once you leave the hospital.
10. It’s okay to be scared. As your hospital stay comes to an end and you’re putting your baby in the infant car seat for the trip home, you might freak out. The car ride suddenly becomes scary and the realization that you’re on your own is powerful. Don’t worry. Being a first-time parent is scary. Rely on your friends who have children or other family members for support. The good part is when the second or third baby arrives, you’re already an expert.