Monday, June 25, 2012

My Top 10 List of things new Moms should know for the hospital

1.     You don't need a huge bag for the hospital.            

            Here is my essentials list:

·         Comfortable socks- hospitals are usually freezing and when you do get up you want your tootsie comfy and not all over the filthy, cold floor.

·         Baby book- so you can have them stamp your little ones foot in there for you

·         Your laptop and power cord to pass the time while laboring or upload the photos of your precious one and share with the world

·         A reasonable going home out fit for yourself- you will be swollen and/ or sore so just bring some yoga pants, a nursing bra and a comfy shirt.

·         Light toiletries: face wash, toothbrush

·         Going home outfit for your addition.

·         Snacks for your husband. This is obviously a planned ahead item; bring a box of granola bars and some Gatorade or something of the sort to satisfy. You are going through enough; you don’t need him to get cranky on top of it.

·         Gas medicine/strips- you just pushed a watermelon out, you will not want to have to push again for a long time. (My hospital provided this for you, but just in case yours doesn’t it can’t hurt to bring a package)

2.     Most hospitals will provide you with pads, which you WILL need, regardless of cesarean or natural birth. Also they have glorious mesh underwear to hold the giant, I just had my first period and you can totally tell I’m wearing pads, pads. I suggest you take a pair or two home. They are not feminine or pretty but they do they job without hurting your parts.

3.     You do not need your own nightgown in my opinion. You will likely be wearing the hospital gown the entire time you are there so spare yourself the worry about a pretty nightgown/ sleepwear

4.     I believe that Birthing Plans are just to make the mom happy, the hospital never uses them. I think that it just gives the mom more to think about when it’s not really necessary. Just be sure to let the nurses/ doctor know if you plan to breast feed or not and the rest will fall into place.

5.     If you plan to have your child’s photo taken at the hospital for announcements, do a little research, a lot of the photos aren’t by professionals even though they tout to be and they will charge you an arm and a leg for a mediocre shot. Bring your own camera and read up on how to get good lighting in the crummy overhead rarely natural lit rooms or ask a friend who knows what they are doing to come take them for you.

6.     Do not be afraid to limit your visitors. This is a scary time for most moms and you need to feel comfortable with the guests to tell them you need a minute or to scat all together. Do not feel obligated into having visitors. You can tell the nurses if you do not want to be the messenger.

7.     Lactation specialists are there for a reason. Utilize them! Nursing takes a little practice. Give it time you will get it. Remember that this is all new for your little one as well. (also look into le leche groups and mothers groups outside of the hospital for support)

8.     Ask for what you need. Doctors are delivering babies every day, but you don’t give birth every day, so if there is something that you want or have questions about, ask, it’s possible that with staff rotation that they may have overlooked it or thought someone else was doing it for you. Do not hesitate to ask for anything.

9.     You are not a bad mother if you let your newborn sleep in the nursery. You may have just been through 3 marathons in a row depending on your labor and delivery, plus the nurses will be in every 3 hours or so checking on you, so it is okay to let your baby sleep with the watchful eye of the nurses so that you can get a smidge of rest.

10.  Be grateful for your journey. There are a lot of women out there struggling to start a family. Embrace the stretch marks, the stitches and the sore nipples. Take joy in every midnight, 2, 4 and 5am feeding. It won’t last that long. Enjoy every cry that ends up in a snuggle. Have fun watching your husband struggle through his first diaper change. Document as much as you can, the first few months are fleeting. Listen to the advice you ask for and let the rest roll off your shoulders. You are a new mom, and if you make a mistake, your little one won’t know the difference.  She/he is happy to be in your arms knowing that you are doing your best. Stay Calm and Diaper On.