As I am approaching the arrival of my third baby I’ve been thinking a lot about those first few days of postpartum recovery. Particularly the days you spend in the hospital. Postpartum can be a difficult time, between healing form the delivery, learning to breastfeed, trying to catch up on sleep, AND learning to be a new mom- it’s certainly not easy. But these tips will help to make your postpartum hospital stay a breeze!
Pack Light for Your Postpartum Hospital Stay
With my first two I packed like I was going on a weekend getaway, that was crazy!! I didn’t need half of the stuff I brought and it just got in the way. Plus, when you’re sleep deprived and ready to go home it’s kind of a pain to keep track of all of it.
I wrote an entire post on what I’ll be bringing in my hospital bag for my third baby. Trust me on this, pack light!
Let the Nurses Help
We’ve been lucky enough to always have incredible postpartum nurses. Quite frankly, I think they’re basically angels living on earth. They’re always so kind and helpful. So let them help!!
If they ask if you need anything don’t hesitate to say “Yes, I’d love some….(fill in the blank)…” With my first baby I always said no, even if I desperately needed water or another blanket. I felt bad telling them what I needed, like I was somehow imposing.
But it’s not a dinner party, they’re not asking you to be polite. They’re asking you if you need anything because they really want to help and support you. Remember, you’re taking care of baby and the nurses are taking care of you!
There’s no need to be demanding and rude, but if the nurse comes into your room to check on you and offers to refill your water bottle or change the baby’s diaper– just say yes!
Order ALL the Food
You’ll have to check on the hospital’s policy for how much food you can order and how often, but definitely take advantage. The hospital where I’lI deliver has no rules around ordering at certain times of the day. So if I’m hungry I call down and order a snack. Or a second lunch. Or whatever I need- and they always bring it! It’s the best room service ever.
I’ve heard of women who refuse to use the ordering service because they’re afraid of how much it costs, but you’re paying for it anyway– so use it. The biggest shock for me is when I go home and can’t just order and omelet at 10 am!! Hahaha, I have to get up and feed myself.
Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
People just loooooove to tell new moms this but let’s be honest, it rarely happens. Whether you have older kids at home or you just feel like you should be doing something, it’s hard to relax and take a nap every time your newborn does.
But in the hospital? Now that’s a different story. It’s just you and baby so take advantage of the time to rest. Take a nap, watch Hallmark movies, snack on all the room service muffins you ordered. But use your hospital stay to rest as much as you can. You’re going to need it!
Ask the Visitors to Wait
There’s something about a new baby coming into the world: everyone wants to come visit and they want to do it now! And it’s very kind, but I was constantly exhausted by the revolving door of visitors after my first baby was born.
So with our second we asked everyone to wait until we had been home for a week or two to come visit. And having that quiet time to rest and bond with my baby in the hospital was completely priceless.
The day the baby was born my parents brought my oldest son down for about an hour to meet his brother and give us hugs, and then they left. And those were our only visitors the entire postpartum hospital stay. Even my husband didn’t spend much time at the hospital (a lot of that was because he had a cold and didn’t want to give it to me or baby), and I really enjoyed those few days to rest, relax, and bond with baby. (Pro tip: all that skin-to-skin bonding can really help with breastfeeding).
Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family to hold off on visiting until you’re home and settled.
With my first two babies all I could think about was when I would get to go home. Being in the hospital isn’t exactly the same as snuggling in your cozy bed or staying in a 5-star hotel. BUT, I’ve learned to take advantage of the time and make the most of it.
I highly suggest you do the same! I bet you’ll be glad you did!