Your Hospital Stay (this matters!)
For most, the birth of their first child is their first Hospital experience.
There is a lot that happens in your short stay.
Be nice and speak up.
Expect to have different staff during your stay.
Mornings are busy! In the afternoon and evening, it will be quieter.
Rest, you need rest.
Feed your baby on all hunger cues!
Length of Hospital stay depends on birth type, medical condition and insurance. Vaginal births usually have a 24-48 hour stay and cesarean 72-96 hours.
Doctors, Midwives, Nurses, Lactation Consultants and techs do this job because they want to help others. They are here to help and empower you. Their experience is invaluable - tell them your concerns, wants and desires.
Be honest, speak up and be nice.
Tell them you want to breastfeed and ask to see the Lactation Consultant.
Expect to have many nurses as shifts change.
Recognize that staff have multiple patients and are pulled in many directions. If they are in your room - capitalize on their attention. When you ask them to come back remember they are being pulled in many directions.
Mornings are busy! In the afternoon and evening, it will be quieter but staff will still be checking in.
Although visitors are welcome - keep them to a minimum. Your baby will nurse often, it's important to feed on all hunger cues. Missed cues are missed feedings. Missed feedings = missed intake and less void, stools and less weight gain. Most newborn issues are intake related. Feeding baby on all cues assists with avoiding some of the common issues.
If you need to supplement due to a medical indication per your Doctors order, ask if you can hand express or begin pumping. Do they offer donor milk? Breast milk substitute (formula) is always an option but the hierarchy of supplements is mothers own milk, donor milk before breast milk substitute (formula).
REST, you need rest. Unless visitors are going to hold the baby while you rest. YOU NEED TO CLOSE YOUR EYES. If you feel the need to visit and are missing your window to rest - you are going to be tired. Your baby will continue to feed on demand every few hours.
Get out of the bed, walk around.
Breastfeeding begins in the Hospital but it's unrealistic to think you are going to feel 100% confident. You will have some experience, have had some good sessions and some not so good sessions. Know who you can call if you have questions.
Once home continue to rest, nurse the baby on all hunger cues and enjoy the privacy!
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