Most parents don’t realize the importance of the time they will spend in the hospital after the completion of labor and delivery. The postpartum recovery in the hospital is a vitally necessary part of having a new baby as there are many things that must be taken care of before you and baby can be discharged. Having recently gone through postpartum recovery, I have compiled a list of some valuable tips to make the most of your hospital recovery stay.
It is important for you to keep in mind that the hospital staff has a very critical job to do in making sure that you and your baby are in good health during your hospital stay. When you meet your nurse for the night shift, it is worthwhile to talk with them about intentional rounding. Most nurses will make it a point to schedule medications, vitals diagnostics, and any other operations to coincide with one another so as to limit the number of times they are coming into your room at night. This is the essence of intentional rounding, and it is a good idea to discuss with your nurse what can be done at the same time and what can’t so you can plan your sleep schedule accordingly to maximize resting time.
Rest Whenever Possible
One of the most important things you can do as a part of your hospital stay is to get as much rest as possible. While intentional rounding helps a great deal in achieving this goal, it is not the only way to ensure you and your partner are getting the sleep you need to function and care for your baby. Assuming you live close to the hospital and have family visiting during the day, sending your partner home to nap and having your family care for the baby while you nap. This helps to assure at least one of you can tend to the baby during the night hours.
Order Meals Early
The kitchen staff at most hospitals works extremely hard to make sure that every patient receives the nourishment they require during their hospital recovery stay. However, since most of us tend to eat our meals around the same times of day, the kitchen is often bombarded with orders from all the patients at the same time. Anticipating when you will be ready to eat and ordering 45 minutes before that time will go a long way towards making sure that you aren’t sitting around hungry while waiting for your food to be delivered.
Most hospital postpartum recovery wings have a hospitality room where you can fill up your hospital cup with water or ice, grab a coffee, or find a snack. Try to figure out where this room is early because it can be a lifesaver in the middle of the night since the cafeteria at hospitals often closes before 8 pm. While it is true that you can bring in food from outside the hospital, this presupposes that there are food options open late in the vicinity of the hospital. Having the ability to grab a box lunch, graham crackers, or a hot caffeinated beverage when you need it is indispensable.