Hospital stayHow long is the typical hospital stay after delivery?
In recent years, hospital stays for routine, vaginal deliveries have gotten shorter and shorter. Now, unless you have complications, you will likely be in the hospital only for 24 to 48 hours following a vaginal delivery. While this may seem like a very short time (especially compared to the week that your grandmother may have spent at the hospital when she had her babies), there are several things you can do to make the most of your brief stay.
If you will have a cesarean delivery or if your health-care provider anticipates any complications, you`ll likely have your baby in a hospital, where medical equipment and staff are readily available. Many hospitals now offer variations of these options:
Inquire ahead of time about the practices at your hospital. Some formerly routine hospital procedures - shaving of the pubic area and giving an enema before delivery, for example may or may not be done. Incidentally, when you come into the hospital in labor, things will go much more smoothly if you`ve preregistered. Who Will Be In The Delivery Area?
Some - but not all - health-care providers are open to your having people in the delivery room besides dad or another labor coach. If you wish to have any other special friends or relatives witness the delivery, clear it with your health-care provider ahead of time. Who Will Cut The Umbilical Cord?
Sometimes dad does this as a way to share in the delivery, while others have no desire to do it. Discuss it ahead of time with your spouse and your health-care provider. Should You Breastfeed Your Baby?
Because it`s much easier to establish a successful breast-feeding routine if you begin early in your baby`s life, consider ahead of time whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby. As you may know, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that mother`s milk should be the primary source of nourishment for the first year of life. Today many hospitals encourage moms to breastfeed their babies. One way they do this is to suggest that you have your baby with you as much as possible after birth. The more you can nurse your baby on demand early on, the better start you`ll have in the breast-feeding experience.
If you choose to use infant formula, feel confident that an iron-fortified infant formula is your next best choice and is a complete source of nutrition for your baby. Before You Leave The Hospital
Although hospital stays are shorter today than before, a number of important things still must occur before you leave the hospital. Medical staff will assure that your condition is stable and that your baby is progressing as expected. It`s also a good idea, if you`re breast-feeding, to meet with the lactation consultant and to discuss how you can reach her once you`re at home.
Since typical hospital stays following a birth have shortened noticeably, medical personnel - and you - may face increased pressure to accomplish the important things that need to happen before you and your baby go home. In order to leave the hospital, both your condition and that of your baby need to be stable and progressing normally. In addition, if you`re breast-feeding, you should nurse your baby numerous times before going home, although your milk supply won`t be fully in yet.
Immediately After Delivery
Where are they taking my baby? You may be thinking this when the nurses take your newborn away soon after birth. Don't worry. Your baby is going for his very first checkup. Some of it is done in the delivery room. The rest may be done elsewhere. This is a great time for dad to go along with camera in hand.
Hospital staff will assess your baby`s health status and provide certain routine care, including:
- Checking baby`s breathing, making sure that your baby`s airway is cleared, which usually involves suctioning fluids from his nose.
- Checking and monitoring heart rate and circulation to assure that your baby is adjusting well to being out of the protective environment of your uterus. A good indicator of circulation effectiveness is baby`s color (a blue tint indicates that baby isn`t getting enough oxygen).
- Determining an Apgar score. This quick evaluation of your baby`s health that`s done 1 and 5 minutes after delivery (top score is 10) is often given more weight by parents than by health-care providers, who find that it`s not a good predictor of long-term health. Most will not wait for that artificial score to assist your baby, if necessary.
- Take physical measurements, recording your baby`s weight, head circumference, and length.
- Place an antibiotic in your baby`s eyes to prevent newborn eye infections.
- Give a vitamin K injection to your baby to prevent serious bleeding problems that can occur in newborns, due to their initially low supply of vitamin K at birth.
- Place an ID bracelet on your baby immediately (some hospitals use one on a leg and one on an arm), before the baby is out of your sight, to prevent hospital mix-ups.
- Perform a newborn physical exam within 24 hours to assess baby`s condition and identify any early problems.
- In addition to caring for your baby, hospital staff will monitor your:
- Blood pressure and temperature - to see that they return to normal and that you don`t have an infection.
- Episiotomy - to see that it is healing properly.
- Urination - to assure that you can empty your bladder unassisted (some moms need the help of a catheter at first).
- Uterus - which needs to return to a firm state soon after delivery.
- Vaginal bleeding - which will continue - possibly for days, but should be decreasing.
- The staff also will encourage you to get up and walk to the bathroom as soon as possible - and to use the sitz bath or other fixture the hospital uses to enable you to soak your episiotomy.
Plan Now For Your Hospital Stay
The delivery of your baby is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even if you`ve had a baby before, giving birth to another baby probably will be very different. So to make it the best experience possible, plan now for your hospital stay. Comments: Hospital stay
Comments 1 to 2 of about 2.
529 days ago.
Yep after I gave birth they were awful, they kept trying to keep me super longer than I wanted to stay, I had a clean bill of health and so didn't baby and they were like, 'but you can stay 2 days' and I was like, 'we're fine, I want my own bed' and they didn't seem to get that. My doctor told me to get up and walk around as much as possible to help with my muscles and every time I would bring my daughter to the nursery and start walking around in the hall the nurses kept coming up to me and treated me like I had postpartum and didn't want my baby and was trying to escape. It was riddiculous, I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The best part of it was the shower after delivery. And the perineal spray bottle. Punkrockprincess87x
1521 days ago.
Believe me girls plan ahead! I had my suitcase packed for a month before I gave birth but please check out the hospital before hand and ask around. I had a tour of the hospital and everyone was nice but when I gave birth the nurses we're as rude as you could ever imagine!