Your baby has arrived
The first two hours
- Following delivery, you and your well baby will be cared for together in your room until discharge. The nurse assigned to your care will help you and your support person learn how to care for your new baby.
- Your physical signs will be monitored frequently, including
feeling your abdomen to determine the firmness of your uterus.
- Pitocin may be added to your IV, or given by injection, to prevent excessive bleeding (nursing your baby has the same effect).
- Ice packs will be placed on your perineum to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- You will be encouraged to empty your bladder. Your nurse will help you to the bathroom.
- If you had an epidural, the catheter (taped to your back) will be removed, and you will be encouraged to move your toes and feet as feeling returns.
- Your blood may be drawn if needed for blood typing and to test for the Rh factor if indicated.
- Blood will be drawn from your baby's heel if there is a concern about your baby's blood sugar level. Your baby will receive an injection of vitamin K. Erythromycin eye ointment will be placed in the baby's eyes.
- Your baby's doctor will be notified that the baby has arrived.
- Your baby will be given an Apgar score - a quick evaluation of a newborn's condition after delivery - weighed and measured for length, and have his/her physical signs assessed.
- You will be given food and drink at your request.
- You will want to take this opportunity to begin nursing your baby. Your nurse will be available to help you.
- You will be encouraged to move around and take a shower when you are ready, and you will want to begin discussing your arrangements for returning home.
- Your nurse will teach you:
- How to relieve perineal discomfort
- About your medications
- About proper latch and position for breastfeeding
- How to diaper
- How to keep the baby warm
- About security for your baby
Your first two weeks at home
You can confer with the Family Birth Center lactation consultants if you are having difficulty breastfeeding.
Baby boys may have their circumcision performed as an outpatient if it wasn't done in the hospital.
It is common to have a decrease in appetite for several weeks after giving birth, but eat the nutritious foods you enjoy.
Don't overdo! Don't do anything that increases your bleeding, causes fatigue, or creates pain. Your joints are still at risk for injury, so avoid any jerky exercises. Brisk walking should be fine, as is driving, as long as you're not feeling overly tired, lightheaded, or taking any narcotic pain medications. Avoid heavy lifting.