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This Is What Happens After Giving Birth In A Hospital

This Is What Happens After Giving Birth In A Hospital

Just one day after giving birth to my son, I thought it was a good idea to take him for a walk down the hospital hall, I mean what could possibly go wrong? Turns out, it’s a huge NO-NO after you give birth in a hospital because within just a few seconds nurse was running down the hall advising me to go back to my hospital bed. I wasn’t thrilled with her advice but decided to listen to her. As I was going back to my bed, the nurse told me I could easily get dizzy and fall due to blood loss, and it’s not recommended to take a walk with the baby without a wheeled bassinet. I didn’t know that, just like many other women aren’t familiar with this information (if it’s your first child) mostly because the amount of consumer health information about what exactly happens in the hospital after birth is quite limited. The purpose of this article is to discuss what happens in a hospital after labor.

The first hour

Unless you specify otherwise, after you give birth your baby will be cleaned and evaluated first. However, many women want to hold their baby straight from the womb, and if that’s your wish as well, you will have to make it clear when you arrive at the hospital. Why is it important to hold your baby immediately after you give birth? Joyce McKeever, the clinical program manager for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and director of clinical services at the Center for Breastfeeding at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune NJ, has a perfect explanation for that:

“The first hour after birth is when the baby is most awake and alert. It’s a great time to get acquainted by holding your baby skin-to-skin on your chest and to start breastfeeding, which helps the mom’s uterus contract and reduces bleeding immediately after delivery.”

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    When you are composing your birth plan or simply talking about your delivery with your health care provider make sure you specify how you want your first hour after delivery to go. For example, if your baby is perfectly healthy it’s okay to request a few minutes of one-on-one time.

    Recovery after giving birth

    One of the greatest advantages of giving birth in a hospital is the access to adequate medical care. Doctors and nurses are there to make sure you and your baby are perfectly healthy. Recovery varies from hospital to hospital, for example, in some hospital after you deliver the placenta and have been stitched up, you are transferred to postpartum rooms. Generally, they divide rooms into several categories e.g. labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum. However, some hospitals practice family-centered care where you get a private room that also contains fold-out bed for your partner. Also, in some hospitals it’s obligatory for baby and their mothers to spend time in the same room for a chance to bond. Therefore, while pregnancy week by week keeps advancing you should get informed about the recovery in the hospital where you will deliver your baby.

    Don’t hesitate to ask for help

    Most women take one of these mistakes:

    • They avoid asking for help with breastfeeding, pain relievers or even with taking a shower and other aspects of recovery in hospital
    • When asking for help they don’t consider asking for several things at once.

    Jeanne Faulkner, RN and author of Ask the Labor Nurse blog, recommends while spending time in the recovery room after giving birth, you should use the call button wisely. The hospital is the perfect place to get all the help you need with every aspect of motherhood, and you should definitely use that opportunity to make your life easier. Moreover, when asking for help you should always consider asking for several things at once e.g. ibuprofen, breastfeeding help, juices, etc. Why is this important? It’s important because having specific requests allows nurses to provide more focus and efficient care.

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    If you’d like to take a shower after giving birth, you shouldn’t do it alone at the risk of losing consciousness increases when blood pressure drops due to hot water. Instead, you should use a shower bench and ask your partner, friend, family member, or a nurse to watch over you.

    Duration of hospital stay

    The first thing that all women want to know after delivery is duration of hospital stay as they want to take their baby home as soon as possible. Generally, insurance plans cover two-day hospital recovery after vaginal delivery and four days after C-section.

    Regardless of how many days you spend in the hospital, there are a few things that have to be done before you leave. They are:

    • Mommy exam – health care provider has to make sure you’re healing properly i.e. that your uterus is contracting and bleeding is decreasing. After delivery, you will most likely have heavy bleeding that weakens and decreases each day.
    • Baby exam – pediatrician will have to examine your baby and administer heel-stick blood test that identifies metabolic disorders.
    • Skills check – the purpose of this test is to determine that your baby is ready for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding successfully. Moreover, skills check also makes sure you understand how to perform basic tasks like diapering, bathing, etc.
    • Forms – you have to fill out the forms and birth certificate.

    Post-delivery body in the first 24 hours after labor

    Here is what your body will experience 24 hours after you deliver your precious bundle of joy:

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    • Post-baby belly – remember when Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and she stepped out of the hospital the next day with a noticeable baby bump under her lovely dress? Well, just like the Duchess of Cambridge, you will also have a baby bump after giving birth. During your pregnancy abdominal muscles, uterus and skin are stretched, and it takes weeks or several months for that area to shrink back.
    • Excess water weight – immediately after labor you will lose about 10 to 13 pounds which are great news. But even 24 hours after delivery you will still carry excess water weight that will be gone in a few weeks or months.
    • Bleeding – after delivery you will experience vaginal discharge called lochia which consists of mucus, leftover blood and sloughed-off tissue from the lining of the uterus.
    • Pelvic cramps – they are also called after-pains, and they are short-lived. You will experience these cramps because uterus starts to tighten as it returns to pre-pregnancy size and location.
    • Soreness – after delivery it takes time to heal. For example, if you had a vaginal labor your perineum (area between vagina and rectum) will be stretched, torn, bruised and swollen. On the other hand, after C-section you will feel soreness around incision as well as exhaustion, constipation and nausea.
    • Elimination issues – with a vaginal delivery your bladder is bruised and sore perineum may make it painful for you to pee.
    • Breast changes – immediately after labor your breasts will produce small amounts of colostrum which is a thick and yellowish precursor to breast milk. Moreover as you try to breastfeed your baby, you will feel pain and soreness in your nipples.
    • Mood swings – hormonal changes and physical discomfort may cause mood swings coupled with the lack of sleep.

    Packing for hospital checklist

    • Picture ID (driver’s license or any other ID with your photo), insurance card, and other hospital paperwork you will need
    • Birth plan (if you have it)
    • Eyeglasses or contact lenses (if you wear them)
    • Bathrobe, nightgown, slippers, and socks – hospital provides them, but most women prefer taking their own
    • Book, magazine, your own pillow or anything else that helps you relax
    • Toiletries
    • Cell phone and charger
    • Comfortable shoes
    • Nursing or regular bras
    • Maternity underpants
    • Baby’s going home outfit
    • Receiving blanket
    • Don’t forget to install a car seat for you, baby.

    Losing weight after delivery

    As it was mentioned above, immediately after labor you will lose up to 13 pounds, but as excess water weight remains you want to start losing weight as soon as you come back home from the hospital. As physical exercise is out of the question for most moms (except celebrities who have a team of nannies catering their babies), you might want to try another approach. For example, the secret to Kate Middleton’s post-baby body was yoga and juices. Here are a few recipes for super juices for weight loss that will help you get back into the shape and improve your overall health at the same time:

    • Beet greens, beetroot, carrot, and kale
    • Pineapple, beetroot, orange, carrot, spinach, red cabbage, lemon
    • Carrot, orange, apple, lemon, beetroot
    • Apple, cucumber, orange, kale, celery, parsley, lemon
    • Mango, pineapple, kale, orange, ginger root,
    • Apple, cucumber, celery, kale, ginger root, lemon.

    Play with the amounts in order to get the taste you like the best, combine ingredients, blend them, and you’ll get nutritious power bomb that will boost your immunity and help you lose weight.

    Conclusion

    Ideally, you should create your birth plan and specify to your health care providers what you want or need. A few weeks before delivery you should get informed about recovery options in the hospital where you will stay at, don’t hesitate to ask for help and make sure you get plenty of rest.

    References

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    http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/labor-delivery/what-expect-after-giving-birth-hospital?page=2

    http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/photo-gallery/what-happens-in-the-first-24-hours-after-giving-birth#01

    Featured photo credit: ShutterStock via shutterstock.com

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    Evlin Symon

    Evlin Symon is a health and wellness expert specialized in fitness, weight loss, pregnancy, nutrition and beauty.

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    Published on August 15, 2019

    15 Tips for an Overwhelmed Working Mom to Feel Better

    15 Tips for an Overwhelmed Working Mom to Feel Better

    As an overwhelmed working mom, you get a lot of intelligent ideas from magazines, friends and the internet about how to manage work, children, and a household.

    Unfortunately, you may still feel exhausted and insufficient at work and home despite the advice to organize, cook efficiently and pamper yourself .

    How great would it be to wake up tomorrow knowing that you can begin to feel better without all of those overwhelmed feelings?

    The sensation of feeling overwhelmed when you wear a lot of hats: mom, professional, household manager, partner, friend, etc. has its roots in reality. You are absolutely doing a lot of important jobs. But here’s the thing:

    If feeling overwhelmed has become your knee-jerk or chronic reaction, this emotion is now literally a part of you that needs your attention so that you can move forward more confidently.

    If helping yourself sounds too difficult, never fear. These tips come straight from therapy and neuroscience to hack into your nervous system. You will learn deeper ways to calm down and feel more confident about yourself, your life and your choices.

    1. Breathe and Notice What Your Body Feels like Inside and Out

    By using body-centered therapy techniques, you can better understand your overwhelmed feelings and offer accurate and practical help.

    As you’ll learn, when you feel stressed out, your thinking brain is not your best resource. In fact, simply thinking about and bolstering your efforts to “get rid” of overwhelmed feelings might actually make them worse.

    The first step to help when you feel overwhelmed is to simply slow down and breathe. This does not mean that you should suddenly take in huge gulps of air or breathe rapidly. That will send you into panic!

    Breathe normally and naturally. Make your breath comfortably slow, extending the exhale. Count 5 to 10 breaths.

    2. Get a Little Curious

    Ask yourself: How do I know I’m overwhelmed? Close your eyes or soften your gaze if you are able. Imagine shifting your awareness from your outside world and sending it into your body along with your breath.

    You might notice the signals right away. For example: My chest is tight, my heart is beating rapidly and there’s a sense of frustrated energy in my legs and arms. Or you might just hear some words like: I’m freaking out, failing or cannot do it!

    If it’s possible, get a little curious about this sensation. Consider that while it may be a big feeling, you probably have other parts of you that feel differently.

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    3. Offer Some Loving Care to Stressed-Out Parts of You

    Richard Schwartz, developer of Internal Family Systems Therapy defines our personalities as made up of sub-parts that interact within us. This explains why a “part” of you can feel one way and yet, you have another part that feels differently.[1]

    Gently acknowledging the part of you that feels overwhelmed and offering it some support and compassion (as you would a frightened child) can soothe your body and mind. “I’ve got you,” is a great mantra to breathe in when you’re overwhelmed.

    4. Get Smart About Your Wise Nervous System

    You may have heard of the “gut” brain or “body” brain. The science of Polyvagal Theory shows that the entire nervous system impacts how you think and feel – not just your thinking mind.

    In fact, did you know that your wise nervous system generally picks up information from your environment before your brain can interpret it?[2]

    When you feel overwhelmed, just one tiny cue of “danger” felt in your nervous system is often the unconscious trigger that tips you from busy but competent to feeling freaked out and exhausted.

    This cue could be as simple as a song on the radio that feels overly-stimulating, a child’s bad mood (even if it has nothing to do with you) or your spouse forgetting an unimportant errand.

    5. Remind Yourself That a Feeling Can Just Be a Feeling

    When you’re feeling agitated, your physical body is naturally on high alert. Any information or stimulation you receive at these times will feel overwhelming.

    This is not your fault, but it is helpful to understand that usually, when you feel like you’re not good enough, it is not objectively true. Your mind may just be creating a reason for the signals of danger coming from your body.

    Allow your body to feel without making a negative judgement about yourself or your life. This technique will help you break the cycle of feeling overwhelmed, then creating negative thought about the feeling resulting in overwhelming yourself even more.

    6. Learn Your Most Common Unconscious Responses to Stress

    Why is this important? When you feel stressed, you probably respond unconsciously in the same ways throughout your life.

    For some, too much stress will quickly create a numb, hopeless sensation. For others, the thought that life is just “too much” leads to bouts of panic or anger. Still, others might freeze completely, feeling highly anxious but not able to do much at all.

    From a biological perspective, all of these experiences are pretty normal. When you recognize that your body’s reactions are not faulty or foolish, it’s much easier to reassure yourself and move forward confidently.

    7. Exercise the Part of Your Nervous System That Provides Wellbeing and Social Connection

    Did you know that you can actually tone your ventral vagal nerve, the nerve responsible for feelings of safety and social connection?[3]

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    As often as you are able, allow yourself to linger on your favorite memories that invoke feelings of wellbeing, connection to loved ones, times of beauty in nature or your favorite memories of pets or places. Use all of your sense to really feel the experience in your body.

    By doing this, you’re activating and toning your ventral vagus nerve as you might tone your muscles. Make a kind of “body bookmark” of these purely content sensations to which you can return when stressed.

    This practice may feel silly, like an indulgence or even a fantasy. But it is supported by science and is important for you to create a strong and healthy response to stressors.

    8. Give Baby Parts a Break

    No part of you is trying to hurt you. But parts of us do feel extreme feelings and carry burdens from our past.

    For example, if you are feeling overworked in the present, it may activate parts of your personality that felt similarly earlier in life. Deep anger, fear, resentment or sadness provide a signal to you that something from your past could benefit from your attention.

    I know this may sound strange, but the next time you feel very overwhelmed, take a breath and notice if you feel like a child trying to do an adult’s job. If so, spend a moment calmly and compassionately reminding all of your inner child parts that you are indeed grown, capable and doing something appropriate.

    9. Address Critical Messages You Give Yourself

    What do you hear yourself saying to yourself when you feel overwhelmed? You may notice parts of you that sound critical or even cruel.

    Statements like “I’ll never catch up,” “Why do I try,” or “I can’t do anything right,” are very common to hear when you’re under stress. Believe it or not, these inner messages are likely misguided protective parts of your personality.

    These parts are normal and try to help you by “whipping you into shape” so you won’t fail, alerting you about scared feelings inside, or avoiding shock or disappointment by anticipating how others might criticize you.

    If it’s possible, acknowledge these parts as protective. Maybe express a bit of gratitude. Notice how the critical voices inside you, even though they likely mean well, cause exhaustion and even more stress.

    When you acknowledge these messages inside, letting them know they are part of you and you see their positive intention, the critical messages calm.

    10. Take Small Moments to Express Gratitude

    Everyone is talking about gratitude, I know. But there are good reasons for this trend.

    More and more studies about gratitude show valid connections between gratitude and lowered stress and mental health. A 2018 multi-university research study concluded that gratitude not only has direct effects on quality of life, but also has indirect effects through perceived stress and mental health.[4]

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    There are many reasons that gratitude impacts our nervous systems in positive ways, but the best way to discover this impact is to simply try it yourself.

    Take a minute each day to write down one to three things for which you feel grateful. These can be large or small, important or trivial, but they must be true. Make this a habit and watch your stress-relief grow.

    Or you can try some of these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

    11. Play with Time

    In Gay Hendrick’s 2010 book The Big Leap, he talks about the concept of Einstein time vs. Newtonian time.

    Newtonian time is the clock time we all watch all day. Einstein time is more about what you make with your moments, realizing that your perception can slow or speed time up.

    For example, if you are spending time with someone you love and doing something you enjoy, time moves very quickly. Conversely, if you are doing a miserable job in uncomfortable weather, each second can feel like an eternity.

    The next time you feel stressed for time, take a slow breath and remind yourself that you make time. Time belongs to you. Then, enjoy the pace and do what you need to do. With practice, this little tool will become valuable for overcoming the mental pressure of time.

    12. Don’t Be Tricked by Perfection

    When you’re in the thick of raising children and working, sometimes nervous energy presents as perfectionism. In an effort to feel in control, you may make arbitrary but unreasonable goals for yourself that feel like they are necessary or true.

    Make a quick inventory of every job you are expecting of yourself and your family. Now question it all. What is really important and what is just preferable? What jobs can be left to someone else’s discretion, done well-enough by the children or dropped completely?

    Keep any jobs that give you joy and do them joyfully. Let go of jobs that feel like standards or expectations with little or no payoff. Save them for retirement if you like.

    13. Give Yourself Credit for Quality Time with Your Kids

    Think of the time you spend relaxing with and enjoying your children as a $100,000 per hour job. Very small amounts are still incredibly valuable.

    Showing your children that they are important is just as likely to happen in a ten-minute game of catch as in a whole day at the water park. A shared snack time, a book before bed, a half hour away from your phone to allow loving eye contact with your babes adds up to a lifetime of security and wonderful memories.

    Imagine your child someday saying, “Mom worked hard, but she always had time to hug me, to hear about my day, and to offer me guidance. I always knew that I mattered to her.”

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    14. Meditate for One Minute a Day

    Yes, you may do more. But if you can’t afford any more than one minute, go ahead and sit comfortably, breathe and be in your body for this time. It’s such a simple but powerful exercise and the kids can do it too.

    While you meditate, notice your loving heart. What does it need from you today — patience, compassion, creativity, caring, play? Remember to show up for yourself and you will show up for your work and your family as well.

    15. Guard and Celebrate Sleep

    From tinies to teens, there are many unavoidable reasons that kids interrupt your sleep.

    Here’s the thing: Unexpected sleeplessness due to childhood growth or illness is normal and not easy to control. If you are feeling overwhelmed, though, sleep is crucial.

    There are two things you can do to improve your mindset toward sleep so that you set yourself up for confidence rather than collapse.

    One, prioritize and protect your sleep time. If you tend to wait until the kids go to sleep to complete work or finally relax, that’s okay. But don’t let these activities cut into your sleep time.

    Given the choice between another load of laundry, Words With Friends, binge watching Game of Thrones or eight hours of sleep, consistently choose sleep.

    Two, appreciate and express gratitude for any sleep you get. Sometimes, it’s impossible to get seven or eight hours of sleep. However, allow yourself to enjoy any time when you are laying in a comfy space allowing your body to rest and repair.

    When you wake up saying “I didn’t get enough sleep last night,” you put your mind on alert that there is something lacking. This thinking alone can trigger feelings of overwhelm.

    Set your nervous system up for success by appreciating any amount of rest.

    Final Thoughts

    Life as a working mom is not an easy one. Overwhelmed feelings are natural and normal but, they can take over and cause chronic stress and dissatisfaction.

    Allow yourself just a few moments a day to reorganize your thoughts and feelings using the steps above. You’ll soon discover your calm and capable self.

    Take a lesson from your growing children: small changes create big results now and in the future.

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    Featured photo credit: Bruno Nascimento via unsplash.com

    Reference

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