After Child Birth: 8 Tips to Leaving the Hospital
- Send as much home as you can the day before you check out of the hospital. Chances are your room will be full of balloons, flowers or cards.
- Be sure to have an extra pair of baggy clothes to wear home. Even after delivery, you will be most comfortable in clothes that are significantly larger than your pre-pregnancy clothes.
- Ask your escort to bring the car as close to the hospital as possible and carry only baby and burb cloth to the car. Don't try to juggle too many things yourself as you bring you new baby outside of the hospital for the first time.
- Take your time! New mommies walk slow, especially those who have had a c-section. Besides, you only get to bring your baby home for the first time once so slow down and enjoy every moment!
- Never underestimate how complicated car seats can be. If you have never used a car seat or if you have never used the particular car seat in your car that day, review the manual before you get to the car with baby. Some people find it easiest to strap the baby into the car seat first, carry that to the car, and then strap the car seat into the car. Never put a rear-facing car seat in the front seat!
- At home - stock up on sanitary napkins, ideally before you go the hospital, so your partner does not have to make multiple trips to the store and can stay with you as much as possible. You will probably bleed for 4-6 weeks after delivery, and remember, in the beginning, you will need extra long and extra absorbent pads!
- Before leaving the hospital, ask for the direct number of the maternity ward and the name of a nurse or two (and their shift hours) that you can call from home if you have an important question. Many hospitals provide a call service or "warm line" for new mothers with questions
- Don't feel rushed out the door - make sure all your questions are answered before you leave the hospital. Find out when your child's first check-up should be scheduled and make sure to get the answer to anything you are unsure about, from diaper changing to breast feeding.
Special Notes for winter Deliveries
- Be sure to have warm clothing for your new baby to come home in! If your new baby does have a blanket for extra warmth, remember to strap them into their car seat first, then place the blanket. Never place a blanket between your child and their car seat strap.
- If you can, have someone in your home turn the temperature to 72 degrees before you arrive home. This way, it will be the same temperature as your hospital room. You can slowly decrease the temperature one degree per day, until it is at the level you prefer.