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Thursday, July 14, 2011

surviving the hospital - Amanda's advice

Since my good friend just had a baby, I asked my sister, Amanda, (who delivered the traditional way last summer) for some tips on things to make the hospital stay more comfortable. Here is what she said:

Ask for pain meds
. Real pain meds, not just tylenol.

Use things to make you physically feel better. Use witch hazel and tuck pads and epi foam. Apparently if you have gone through labor you'll know what these are.

Don't be nervous to ask for things. If you're tired, ask the nurse to watch the baby. If you're hungry, ask for food. If you have too many visitors, ask them to leave.

Don't be afraid to ask your spouse to do things. They may be tired, but you just did all the heavy lifting. No matter how tired they are, you're four times more tired.

Get lanolin cream, but don't apply too much. This is a must if nursing.

Ask questions.
Nobody expects you to know it all, but at the same time they don't know what you are unsure about so just ask.

You are not going to hurt the baby. The doctor told me that the baby just came out of a very small space and was totally fine, he will be fine if you swaddle a little too tightly or move his arm to change his clothes or move his legs up to change his diaper. It's OK.

If a baby boy and getting circumcised, have the dad go with the baby. Yes, it's allowed, it's your kid.

If you are breastfeeding, forget being modest about it. The doctors and nurses are used to this. The lactation specialists are helpful, but they have to see what is going on in order to help you.

If you pooped on the table, it's OK.
The doctors cheered for me when this happened, because it meant I was using the right muscles for pushing. It's all part of the process.

Sleep when you want. There are no rules. If you can't sleep when the baby is sleeping, do what you can.

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