It’s true what they say, the first few weeks after having a baby are the hardest. Not to mention when you have to start out your newly redefined life in a hospital room. But there is hope! We’ve thought of a few ways to make a hospital stay after having a baby just a little more comfortable for a recovering mama.
1 | Get out of the hospital gown
For reasons unbeknownst to me, after I had my first baby I thought I was only allowed to wear my hospital gown while stuck in the hospital room and therefore didn’t change into anything of my own until it was time to get out of there and go home. Hospital gowns are 1-size-doesn’t-fit-anyone. They’re awkward, stiff, and have secret openings that I suppose someone thought would be helpful but are really just trap doors for body parts to fall out when you’re in-laws visit. For baby #2, I was out of that thing as soon as they wheeled me out of the delivery room. Being in my own clothes made me feel so much more at home and less like I was stuck in a hospital for the next 48 hours. MY clothes were comfortable, functional, and fit my body. Not sure what clothes to pack for your hospital stay? We might have a few ideas...
2 | Take a shower asap
Having a baby is kind of like running an Ironman; in the end you’re sweaty, tired, and disgusting. Birth is beautiful, but you might not feel so hot after it’s all said and done. The good news is, you’re in luck. Feed that baby, hand him or her off to one of the 50,000 people who is waiting in line to hold her, and then wash up! They thought you’d never ask! Trust me, even if you’re up 10 times between 2 and 4 a.m., you’ll feel much more human and less like a leviathan if you can take a shower within the first few hours to a day after having baby. Even if your friends and family are unable to visit, there’s probably a nurse nearby who loves to cuddle babies. Don’t be afraid to ask!
3 | Bring your own pillow
And blanket, and sweater, and socks, etc. Honestly, you don’t need a whole lot when you go to the hospital to have a baby. Most mamas say they overpack the first time around. That being said, bringing a few items from home can really help to make that hospital bed you’ll feel chained to feel a little more like your bed. Bring a soft blanket from home and your own pillow and toss the stiff hospital linens. The hospital tries, but it’s just not the same as having your own things with you.
4 | DON’T use a nursing cover
Whether you’re attempting breastfeeding for the first time or are a total pro, that newborn baby of yours is going to have no idea what he or she is doing for the first week or three. Besides this, breastfeeding hurts. Whoever said, “It doesn’t hurt if you do it right” was lying to spite poor mamas everywhere. In the beginning, breastfeeding almost always hurts. And for the first few days when you and babe are trying to figure it out together, a nursing cover is only going to get in the way (and possibly make you want to cry). That being said, once mama and baby both know what they’re doing, a good nursing cover might just be your BFF. Before then, ditch it. Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better being able to see what you’re doing and put that baby’s face where it needs to go when he or she is riding the struggle bus. And if you feel uncomfortable baring all with your father-in-law in the room, simply give the announcement that you’re about to feed baby and would like 15 minutes of privacy and he’ll get the picture. Hopefully.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chelsea Damon is a writer and a mama who is passionate about coffee, joyful marriages, healthy lifestyles, and Dwell + Slumber! You can read more of Chelsea's writing on her blog, Living the Sweet Life.