- Preparing for Pregnancy
- Choose a Prenatal Care Provider
- Prenatal Visits
- Learn About the Birth Center
- Healthy Choices
- For Dads & Partners
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Families experience many emotions after the birth of a baby. After delivery, it's time to admire the newborn, bond with baby, breastfeed, rest and recuperate, and welcome visitors when mom is ready.
Learn more about postpartum routines for mom:
Your first goal will be to get to know and care for your newborn baby, as well as to take care of yourself. It's fun to celebrate and share your joy with visitors. Yet it's important to create bonding time and get enough rest.
The nurses will need time to educate you about caring for yourself and your baby at home. Most of the time, nurses will arrange the teaching sessions around your visitors. But it may be necessary at times to ask visitors to wait until the teaching sessions have been completed.
Consider these tips about visitors:
- Plan ahead about how you want to handle visitors during your hospital stay. Perhaps you would like to select a few of those important people to visit you.
- Don't be afraid to ask visitors to leave if you are feeling exhausted or aren't comfortable nursing in front of company.
- Your nurse also will help you manage the number of visitors and length of stay. Let your nurse know if you would like a "quiet time" sign on your door, requesting visitors to check in at the nurses station.
Additional guidelines for birth center visitors:
- All visitors should be in good health, with no signs of infection or illness, such as rash or skin lesions; fever; sore throat; cold; diarrhea; vomiting; or any known exposure to mumps, measles, or chickenpox.
- During high rates of seasonal illness, visitors are restricted.
- All visitors, including birth partners are asked to wash their hands before holding or feeding the baby. This is important not only for the safety of your baby, but also for other babies in the unit.
- Children of any age may visit. However, they are the responsibility of the adult who brings them, and they must be supervised at all times.
- Larger groups of visitors can use the TV lounge or lobby area as they wait their turn to see you and your new baby.
Postpartum routines for mom
Nurses will routinely perform postpartum checks during your stay. Checks include your temperature, pulse and blood pressure. Nurses also will assess the firmness of your uterus, assess your perineal area and ask if your legs feel tender. Nurses will assess your breasts for tenderness or fullness and your nipples for tenderness or other concerns. If you have had a cesarean section birth, your lungs, bowel sounds and incision also will be assessed.
Mayo Clinic Health System believes every patient has a right to pain relief and is committed to assisting you with pain management. Using a "0 to 10" pain scale, your nurses will ask you to describe your pain, and the effectiveness of medications and other comfort measures. You may request oral pain pills for discomfort according to your provider's orders, as needed.
Vaginal delivery recovery
The following outlines the recovery process:
- The provider usually orders oral pain medication every four to six hours, as needed.
- You will be encouraged to empty your bladder within the first two to three hours after delivery.
- You may find that tub baths are comforting for the perineal area. Your room has a private bathtub and shower, and you're encouraged to sit in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes two to four times per day.
- You are encouraged to walk around as soon as you can safely do so. Call for help if you have any concerns, become lightheaded or if you'd just like someone there.
C-section birth recovery
The following outlines the recovery process:
- The provider may order a long-acting pain medication included in the spinal anesthetic. Another option may be a patient-controlled analgesia pump, which allows you to self-administer medications through your IV as you need . The day after a C-section birth, most women transition to pain pills.
- You will have a urinary catheter for several hours after surgery. You will be encouraged to try to empty your bladder within the first two hours of the catheter's removal.
- You are encouraged to shower the day after your surgery and daily thereafter.
- You are encouraged to move about in bed as soon as possible. You will be helped to sit at the edge of your bed as soon as you are able. Activity will help your body heal, your bowels to start working again and prevent complications.
- Your labor partner is welcome to purchase a meal and join you to eat.
Caring for baby
Nursing staff will be available to help you learn how to care for your baby. Feeding, diapering, bathing and tending to your baby's needs in the hospital helps you get to know your baby and develop confidence in your parenting skills. Let your care team know your needs so team members can discuss what is important to you.
Breastfeeding is an excellent way to nourish and nurture your baby. Most women have the physical capacity to provide breast milk for their baby. Optimal benefits for mother and baby are attained if breastfeeding continues through the first year of life. Whatever your breastfeeding goal is, professionals are available to help you.
A variety of providers and nurses have received special training to be lactation consultants. International board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLC), must meet rigorous educational requirements to provide quality breastfeeding assistance to babies and mothers. Lactation consultants have completed required training, and have more than 6,000 hours of teaching and consulting with breastfeeding mothers and babies. They are available to talk with you during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Choose the service that best fits your needs:
- Support and guidance for breastfeeding mothers with full-term and premature infants
- Collaboration with IBCLC, certified lactation counselors and other health care professionals to address breastfeeding difficulties
- Telephone and in-person consultation and support after hospital discharge
- Information on breast pump rentals and breastfeeding accessories
Consider discussing these lactation or breastfeeding concerns with your nurses or providers:
- Feelings, concerns and expectations about breastfeeding your baby
- Positioning and latching technique
- Prevention and care of sore nipples
- Milk production — too much or too little
- Sucking difficulties
- Family involvement, such as fathers, siblings and grandparents
- Breastfeeding and baby's temperament
- Slow weight gain
- Jaundiced infants
- Feeding twins and triplets
- Managing breastfeeding when mother and baby are separated, such as for vacation, employment, school or hospitalization
- Nutritional considerations during breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding your baby with special medical problems
- Pumping, storing and transporting milk
- Baby's refusal to breastfeed
- Introducing the bottle