After Labor and Delivery - A few hours after delivering your baby, you will be moved to your room. At this time you can usually have visitors. To promote family bonding, we care for mother and infant in the same room. If you are breast feeding, nurse whenever the baby wants to eat.
Getting Out of Bed - After delivery you will be excited, but you will also be very tired. Labor is work and you will probably do a lot of sleeping. If you have had a normal delivery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk around the first day. This actually helps speed your recovery.
Length of Stay - How long you stay in the hospital depends on the kind of delivery you have and how you are healing. An average hospital stay for a vaginal delivery is 1-2 days, and for a cesarean delivery is approximately 72 hours. If you are experiencing a medical problem, you may have to stay in the hospital longer.
Visitors – St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital has set visiting hours that will allow people other than family to see you. It is wise to tell relatives and friends not to visit you in the hospital if they have a cold or are not feeling well. You may also restrict visitation access to a certain number of people, or to specific friends and family members.
Back to Normal - Although your uterus is no longer carrying the baby, you will notice that your abdomen is not as flat as it was before pregnancy. It takes about six weeks for your uterus to return to its previous size. You can begin light exercises at home. Regular exercises to tighten the abdominal muscles should wait until you are checked at your postpartum visit. Consider a Mom/baby exercise class to help you get back to pre-pegnancy weight and interact with other new moms. For more information, please call (813) 920-1802.
If you had an episiotomy, you will receive special care for the stitches. For the first few days analgesic spray may be used. A nurse will show you how to wash yourself properly around the stitches. Later, in the hospital and at home, you may take warm water baths.
Diet - You will probably be hungry after the work of labor. You can usually eat a regular diet in the hospital and when you go home. Keep up the good food habits that you established during your pregnancy. If you are breast feeding your baby, you will need more calories and more of certain nutrients than a woman who is not breast feeding. You should get these calories and nutrients by drinking another two glasses of milk and by eating an additional serving of meat or dried beans and whole grains and another fruit or vegetable each day.
Bathing - You will notice that you perspire more than usual after your baby is born. Some doctors suggest that you shower or sponge bathe until the episiotomy is healed. Others feel that you can take a tub bath immediately. Ask your doctor or nurse for their recommendation. You may wash your hair whenever you want.