Baby's Here... Now What?

When you deliver your baby in a hospital, you'll likely spend the next 24 to 72 hours in your room. Make the most of these hours in the hospital with your newborn.

Mom with her newborn baby in the hospital

See a lactation specialist

If you're planning on breastfeeding baby, ask to have a lactation specialist visit your room for a one-on-one lesson on latching, positions and breast care associated with nursing. If you're planning on pumping your milk for baby, ask when you should start and tips for efficient and effective pumping sessions.

Bathing and diapering 101

When the nurse comes in to bathe baby, take notes! Watch her and ask her the proper techniques to use when giving baby his first baths. Nurses are so used to bathing newborns that they make it look easy... but if you're a first time mom, it might not come as easy without a few pointers. When it comes to baby's basic needs like bathing, diapering and other hygiene, do not be afraid to ask questions about how to hold baby in the bath or how often to check his diaper.

Personal care

Your hospital stay is not all about baby! If you've had a C-section or another procedure that required you to have a catheder, you will not be discharged until you have the catheder removed and you are able to walk to the bathroom (and go potty!) all by yourself. This may also mean you'll have to extend your hospital stay beyond 24 or 48 hours. Ask your doctor questions about your personal care during recovery -- how to care for your C-section incision or soothe your sore nether regions if you had a vaginal delivery.

Get some rest

This may be the best opportunity you have to turn your baby over to a professional so you can get some shut-eye and let your body recuperate. Whether you had a by-the-books natural birth or an emergency C-section, there is definitely some recovery time needed. Allow the nurses to take your baby to the nursery for a few hours at a time so you can fully rest and be prepared for the time when you'll have baby all to yourself... in just a day or so!

More on childbirth

Deal with delivery anxiety
The lowdown on childbirth classes
How long to you have to stay in the hospital

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