You’ve had your precious baby and you’re celebrating as the time for discharge from the hospital gets closer and closer and closer.
Your warm bed.
Your decicious meals.
Your Netflix account.
I know, I know. Getting to the comfort of your own home couldn’t come soon enough. But let’s pause for a moment and take in all that the hospital setting has to offer you. There are a couple things you can do before leaving to help you feel a little more prepared before you take that bundle of joy home with you.
1. Take Videos
There are two skills most parents feel overwhelmed by when they get home, and yet, somehow, the nurse makes it look so. damn. easy. Ask your nurse if you can take a video of them swaddling your baby in that nice tight burrito and of the first bath they give your baby. Both tasks take time to master and there’s no better resource than a video of a professional completing those tasks with YOUR ACTUAL BABY and not a random newborn on the internet. Most nurses are more than happy to oblige if it means you’ll feel more secure in giving that sponge bath at home or getting that swaddle technique just right so they don’t bust out.
2. Fill Your Bag
There are so many things available in your room that are free* for taking! Diapers, wipes, Dermoplast spray, Peri Bottles, chux pads, disposable underwear & pads…TAKE ALL THE THINGS. Pack an extra little grocery bag for you to fill with all of those goodies and feel amazing as you go home with all of those tools that brought you comfort in the hospital.
3. See the LC
Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, you’ll want to have a quick visit with the Lactation Consultant before you leave. They are a valuable resource available to you in the hospital to answer all those little questions. If you’re breastfeeding, and even if all the feedings seem to be going perfectly, have them step in to watch a feeding to ensure there are no red flags that you may not notice. A weird latch. An odd sound. A sensation you think is normal but is really a sign of something else? They’ll guide you through it. And if you’re not breastfeeding, they can help answer questions about drying up your milk in a safe manner to limit the possibility of mastitis. Whatever your infant feeding journey, your hospital IBCLC can be an incredible resource.
Best of luck to you, your partner, and your sweet baby as you navigate home and start this new life together. And before you leave the hospital, don’t forget to call your postpartum doula to schedule your first shift to help you transition home smoothly!
*Free meaning your insurance already paid for it. Or you did. Either way you won’t be patted down on the way out to tally up your shopping spree.