It’s funny the things you forget about after having a baby. I fully admit, as painful as contractions and labor are, I totally forgot what it all felt like, until it happened again. Despite having already had a baby naturally, for weeks I wondered, “wait, was that a contraction?”. Yeah, they weren’t! You’ll know a contraction when you have one!
As my second pregnancy came to an end I was focused on two things: giving birth and breastfeeding. With my first, my epidural didn’t fully take during labor, so I was hopeful I’d have better luck the second time around. I also had a really negative experience with breastfeeding those first 6 weeks, so I was determined to do things differently with my second child.
I was so focused on these two things that I completely forgot about my own post delivery recovery and experience. Like I said, it’s funny the things you forget about! For any women who are about to have their first child, or their second or third, I wanted to share my post delivery hospital tips before I forget about them again. Learn from my mistakes, you’ll definitely want to follow these tips!
Post Delivery Hospital Tips
Take whatever the hospital lets you take! I’m sure every hospital is different, but trust me, take home whatever your hospital lets you take home. With both of my kids I brought home all the extra massive maxi pads, diapers and wipes, witch hazel pads, numbing spray, ice packs, and lanolin creams. I’ve used them all at home and you will too. I also highly recommend taking home any of the extra “Under Pads“. We’ve used them on our changing table and for middle of the night changes. They’re really useful!
Take home the squirt bottle. I’m assuming every woman is given a squirt bottle post vaginal delivery to clean themselves when they aren’t able to wipe, but trust me, TAKE THE BOTTLE HOME WITH YOU! Until you’re able to muster up the courage to wipe, you’ll want to have that bottle with you. Trust me.
Make a list of post-delivery phone calls you’ll need to make. Even better, make a list of calls your significant other will need to make! I knew I needed to notify work that I had had the baby, as well as our Human Resources department, but I completely forgot about needing to call our health insurance to add the baby and all of the appointments I’d need to schedule postpartum (OBGYN, pediatrician, circumcision, etc) . Having a list would have been much easier.
Have all of your postpartum supplies on hand at home. You’ll be focused on putting together your hospital bag and preparing for baby, but trust me, you will want to have all of these items on hand at home. I’m sure each mom has a different list, but after two pregnancies these items were my go to, apart from what I took home with me from the hospital.
Eat lots of veggies and fruit after delivery (aka fiber). Trust me, there is nothing worse than being constipated postpartum. Whether or not you eat the food the hospital provides you, be sure to eat plenty of produce after the baby arrives and even ask for extra veggies with your meals. It’ll make things a lot easier! As my doctor said, you have to stay ahead of it. Being constipated postpartum is REALLY painful. Prune juice is also your friend. And don’t be scared to poop after a vaginal delivery.
Ask for help! Don’t be stubborn. Don’t be prideful. Ask for help! Let people do things for you. I think it’s easier to accept help with your first baby, but with your second, third, fourth, you still need help. I think moms with multiple kids feel like they need to be able to do it all… or the help isn’t as prevalent after you’ve had your first baby. Have a list of people you can call, don’t be scared to call someone, and make sure your family and loved ones know how you need help.
Be brutally honest about how you’re feeling emotionally post delivery! Don’t hide your emotions. You’ll probably feel overwhelmed, both in good and maybe bad ways, but no matter what, promise yourself that you’ll have at least one person a call, text, or conversation away you can talk to without candy coating how you’re feeling. It’s ok to feel a variety of things postpartum, but talk to someone about how you’re feeling and talk to your OBGYN.