4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Hospital Stay

Delivering a baby is a big deal. Whether you have your baby vaginally or by C-section, you’ll likely be spending a few days in the hospital. Some moms appreciate their time in the hospital and find comfort in knowing there are experts available, while others wish they could rush their baby home and get comfortable in their own space. Whether you love the hospital or hate it, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your stay.

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Rest

Even though you’ll likely be up at night nursing or caring for your little one, you won’t be cooking, cleaning, or taking care of anyone else while you’re in the hospital. Take advantage of the opportunity to keep your feet up, snuggle your brand new baby, catnap throughout the day, and rest when you can at night. If you’re really wiped out, the nurses on duty will usually be able to take your little one for a bit so you can get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Get advice from the experts

One of the best parts of being in the hospital is that you are a button's push away from people whose job it is to take care of babies. Having trouble nursing? Page the lactation consultant and request a one-on-one session. Concerns about managing any special circumstances your newborn may have? Request the doctor return to go over any special instructions with you again. Never changed a diaper, bathed a newborn, or cleaned an umbilical cord stump? That’s what the nurses are there to teach you to do! If you have any questions about how to best care for your newborn, take advantage of all the knowledgeable people around you and seek their guidance. 

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Visit with your loved ones

Once you get home from the hospital you’ll be in charge of taking care of your baby (and your house and any other kids you have) 24/7 and while visiting with friends sounds refreshing, it can often be more stressful than enjoyable in those first few weeks. Invite your friends and family to visit in the hospital (where a mess is forgiven and visitors won’t stay too long) and take the time at home to get comfortable with your routine before having anyone over.

Stock up on supplies

Before you leave the hospital stock up on all the supplies you’ll need to take care of yourself as you heal over the next few weeks. Most hospitals will happily hand off extra mesh undies, disposable pads, wash bottles, and ice packs, all you have to do is ask! Make sure to ask your nurse if there’s anything else they can think of that will help you heal and if they have any on hand they can pass your way. 

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4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Hospital Stay

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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