So, you think you've scored with a private room with en suite bathroom and are ready to settle in for...
So, you think you've scored with a private room with en suite bathroom and are ready to settle in for a couple days of well-deserved R&R. Not to burst your bubble, but you might want to know now vs getting a rude surprise later: A hospital stay -- even after a completely normal, healthy delivery -- isn't much like staying at the Ritz. (Or even Motel 6, for that matter.) First off, your newborn will probably be with you the whole time. Gone are the days when moms shuffled off the kids to the nursery so they could conk out with a valium. Really, though -- this is overall a good thing. The interruptions cause most hospital visits to get a little sketchy -- and we're not talking the baby's needs. The nurses will frequently wake you at seemingly random intervals to poke, prod and otherwise check you (especially ensuring your uterus is clamping down and that you're not bleeding too much and often massaging your uterus), give you medications, take blood, etc. You will also be asked a barrage of questions regarding how often you're nursing (or feeding), how often you've used the bathroom, and so forth. The hospital staff will also probably weigh the baby again, and watch to be sure your little one is wetting enough diapers and his or her color looks good (not too jaundiced). This care is, of course, important -- but can be frustrating because such care generally arrives at your bedside based completely on their schedule, not yours. Which means that even if it took you three hours to finally fall asleep, your rest could be over after just a few minutes because it was time for the nurse to do her rounds. Sometimes, the simple lack of sleep can push you to your very limit. (See What no one tells you about mama breakdowns.) And then there's the matter of hospital food... Now you know why going home within 24 hours of birth (if you and baby are both healthy and ready to go) could start to sound like a pretty nice idea. As Dorothy said, "There's no place like home!"

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