Don’t Leave the Hospital Without Answers to These 4 Questions!

Leaving the hospital with your brand new baby can be both exhilarating and terrifying. As you walk through the doors, and away from the experts who have been helping you care for your little one since they arrived, you might suddenly begin to wonder if it’s normal to feel so clueless. Most new parents have serious jitters about the prospect of caring for their baby on their own but, rest assured, there are things you can do in the hospital to help you feel more confident. Before you leave the hospital, be sure to find your favorite nurse and ask her these four questions!

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1. When should I be concerned about the baby?

When you’re caring for a newborn it can be tempting to ask your nurse how you might identify specific concerns around eating, growing, or staying healthy. While knowing the specifics of what should happen with your baby is important, knowing when to be concerned has the potential to help ease your mind and to make you aware of when it’s time to call the doctor. Before you leave the hospital be sure to ask your nurse about any specific concerns you have about your baby’s health as well as when you should be concerned. Likely, your nurse will respond that you should be worried if your baby isn’t eating, isn’t making wet or dirty diapers, or is acting differently than he usually does. Having these simple ideas in your mind can help you calm the worry you’ll surely feel in your first few days at home.

2. When should I be concerned about myself?

While taking care of your newborn may be a full-time job, it’s important to take the time to focus on your own healing too. Before you leave the hospital but sure to address any concerns you have about your own health with your doctor, make any follow up appointments that might be necessary and ask when you should be concerned about any postpartum symptoms you may be experiencing. 

{ MORE: Tips for Finding the Right OB/GYN for You }

3. What can I take with me?

While it’s not vital to leave the hospital stocked up on baby supplies, it sure can help in those first few weeks. Before you leave, find a friendly nurse and ask her what in-room items you’ll be able to take home upon discharge. You might be surprised when you find out just how much you get to take home with you!

4. Can you show me one more time?

While you were in the hospital, your nurse was probably showing you all kinds of baby care basics such as how to change a diaper, how to clean the umbilical cord stump, and how to swaddle. If you’re having trouble with any particular skill, don’t hesitate to ask your nurse to show you again. Once you’ve seen the same skill in action and practiced a few times, you’ll likely feel more confident and excited about taking your baby home! 

{ MORE: Can What Your Baby Eats Keep the Flu Away? The Doctor Says Yes! }

What questions did you ask before you took your new baby home from the hospital?

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Don’t Leave the Hospital Without Answers to These 4 Questions!

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. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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