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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 October 19, 2018

    The Most Critical Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out While Pregnant

    The Most Critical Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out While Pregnant

    Are you scared of working out whilst pregnant? Or simply not sure how to proceed? Everything seems slightly more daunting once you’re carrying and creating a whole other person.

    In this article I will give you specific advice, tips and strategies for working out while pregnant. Ensuring that you, and your baby, are safe. Not only that but you will both benefit.

    Benefits of Working Out While Pregnant

    It is clear that everyone, not just you but your baby, and probably your partner and other kids will benefit from you working out while pregnant. If you’re sleeping better and feel less stress, you can guarantee everyone in the household is going to feel better.

    How you benefit from working out while pregnant:

    • Reduced incidence of lower back pain
    • 30% reduction in the risk of gestational diabetes
    • Reduced likelihood of unplanned cesarian
    • Lower incidence and reduce severity of depression
    • Less pregnancy weight gain
    • Lower risk of urinary incontiennce
    • Reduced pregnancy constipation
    • Less pregnancy tiredness
    • May have a shorter labour

    How your baby benefits from working out while pregnant:

    • A healthier heart
    • Normal birth weight
    • Quicker neurological development
    • Reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome (for infants of high-risk women)
    • Less maternal stress could reduce impact on immune system development

    Instant Big-Rocks for Working out While Pregnant

    Before we get cracking into what really will benefit, here are some instant ‘big-rocks’ when it comes to working out while pregnant.

    Safety first: Check with your midwife

    Each person and pregnancy is individual – and as I”m not speaking to you in person, the first pre-qualifier is that you check with your doctor that you’re ok to work out while pregnant. In certain circumstances, it is not recommended due to potential complications arising from exercise.

    If you’re new to exercising or have just fallen pregnant do check with your GP or midwife before commencing or recommencing your exercise program.

    Exercise Check In Second – No lying Flat or Crunches

    Crunches are a whole other issue in regards to pre and post natal training that I’ll get into during another article.

    For now, know that lying flat on your back puts pressure on your body, especially after 16 weeks. The weight of your bump pressing on certain blood vessels can reduce cardiac output, make you feel dizzy and affect the flow of blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to your baby.

    While this means traditional stomach crunches are out, you can and should still include core and pelvic floor strengthening exercises in your routine. These I’ll get to later in the article.

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    Third Intensity Check In – No High Intensity Workouts

    When it comes to exercise intensity, it is best to abide by the guideline “to be able to comfortably hold a conversation” whilst working out. Unless you are an athlete and extremely used to very high heart rates whilst you workout, keeping your rate of perceived exertion to a 7 out of 10 is best practice.

    Experts agree that you should avoid undertaking activities that will raise your core temperature by more than 2°C – or above 38.9°C. This is because such a temperature change may result in hyperthermia (the opposite of hypothermia). Hyperthermia during pregnancy has been linked to a twofold increase in the risk of birth defects impacting the spine or brain.

    As such, it is not advisable to use hot tubs or spas during pregnancy, and hot yoga should be avoided as well as parking in only moderate intensity exercise.

    Final & Fourth Point – No high contact/dangerous sports

    For obvious reasons, contact sports or sports in which it’s likely you can fall or have an accident should be avoided.

    For example scuba diving while pregnant should be avoided as your baby will have no protection against decompression sickness (‘the bends’) or gas embolism – bubbles in the bloodstream that can cut off blood supply or cause breathing difficulties.

    Similarly, horse riding, climbing, cycling, gymnastics and other activities that require extreme balance are best avoided as your centre of gravity shifts and affects your balance.

    Certainly, sports like kick boxing, jujitsu or rugby in which contact is prevalent should be avoided for bump protection.

    Actual Workouts You Can Do While Pregnant

    1. Let your personal trainer or group exercise instructor know that you’re pregnant

    In doing so they can assist you in providing expert advice or refer you to a qualified practitioner in your area. If you’re unsure ask your GP or Midwife for a referral.

    2. Use your breath to engage your core and pelvic floor throughout your workout programs

    Your breath plays a big part in controlled core to assist with labour and reduce back pain. We each take thousands of breaths per day, as as your baby grows pressure is placed upon the lungs and pelvic floor.

    Preparing and practicing proper breath ensures that your core remains as integrated and activated as possible throughout and after your pregnancy.

    3. Find a Holistic Core Restore Coach

    The reason the Holistic Core Restore® programmes are more effective than performing keels or traditional abdominal exercise alone for true core restore and pelvic floor activation. A Hollisitc Core Restore Coach will work with you to integrate your core and pelvic floor with your whole body through a series of movements and lifestyle factors.

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    4. Join a Pre & Post Natal Class

    Join a Pre & Post Natal Class in order to move in specific ways designed to boost your health and recovery post birth.

    This not only provides you with a chance to connect with other pre & post natal women in your area to and create a community; but also provides you access to pre & post natal experts who can give you tailored advice for exercising whilst pregnant.

    5. Focus on strengthening the glute muscles

    Focus on strengthening the glute muscles to counteract the anterior tilt produced by your expanding bump.

    Most people will simply focus on keeping the core engaged and active to help the ‘pre-mummy-tummy’ bounce back. When in actual fact the synergist muscle to the core for pelvic stability is the butt.

    Really focus on strengthening the glute muscles in order to support the core, posture and back.

    Hinge movements such as single leg romanian deadlifts are a brilliant way to do so. You can do this holding a Kettlebell or Dumbell but also, once the bump is big enough just using your bodyweight.

    6. Enjoy swimming

    Enjoy swimming, especially in your third trimester, to remove weight and boost lymphatic drainage of your feet and ankles.

    It’s well known that your ankles swell during the last months of pregnancy. This is due to the changes in posture from the weight of the stomach pulling down towards the floor.

    Consequently, this causes the front of the hip to become compressed. And this in turn reduces circulation of the lymphatic fluid in the lower body.

    One way to improve this circulation is to get into water as the pressure from the water removes the weight of the bump whilst providing pressure to the legs improving circulation.

    7. Bring layers to your workouts

    Bring layers to your workouts so that you can add and remove layers as you warm up and cool down.

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    As previously mentioned, changes in body temperature can be dangerous for the baby – using layers so that you can keep your temperature constant is one the the most simple and best things you can do whilst working out while pregnant.

    8. Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts

    Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts – squat, lunge, anti-rotate, push, carry, hinge, pull.

    “We love pregnant mamas to be regularly training their squats, since a low squat is the ideal position for working through contractions and pushing during labor.”

    They also improve pelvic floor strength and elasticity to help prevent tearing during the natural labor process and teach abdominal strength relative to hip mobility for an easier labor and faster postnatal recovery.

    Kiberd and her team prefer front squats done with at least a 12-kilogram kettlebell held at the chest. (Choose an appropriate weight for your level.)

    “The kettlebell gives great feedback to the muscles that need to engage to stand you back up and to stabilize your weight while you’re down in the squat,” she explains.

    And once the bump gets big? “No weight on the front is needed,” she says. “The belly is that natural weight.”

    9. Do exercise that your enjoy

    Because really if you’re enjoying it so will bump and you’ll feel less stressed.

    Do not making working out while pregnant a chore – if it becomes that way, seek advice from an expert in your gym or area on some new varied things that you can try.

    10. Practice anti-rotation exercises

    Practice anti-rotation exercises whilst focussing on the breath for core integration and activation.

    The Palloff press (a core stabilizer done on a cable machine) and the bear crawls offer the same degree of effectiveness.

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    “These two exercises engage the external and internal obliques, which are involved in stabilizing the torso in rotation and help stabilize the shoulders down and back.”

    11. Make sure to wind down properly

    Cooling down slowly after your workouts and providing a little leeway time before your next appointment will reduce your stress levels and help you feel more balanced.

    It will also stop sharp changes in body temperature that are non-beneficial to your baby.

    Take your time and enjoy each session for what it is.

    The Bottom Line

    You will have to make fitness modifications as your body changes, but deep down, you know that’s ok. Dr Dawn Harper says

    “We’re now seeing evidence that exercising in pregnancy may be one of the best things you can do for your baby’s future health. Pregnancy exercise can have a huge impact on your personal experience of pregnancy, too. Provided you follow the expert guidelines, it’s safe for most women to continue and even start exercising in pregnancy. Just make sure you check with your midwife or doctor first, in case there are any specific medical reasons why you should avoid being physically active in pregnancy.”

    There are certain things that are essential. The first being to check with your Dr/Midwife to be given the ‘OK’ to exercise.

    There are definite ‘no-nos’ such as abstaining from contact or dangerous sports as well as performing extreme high intensity workouts that bring your heart rate and temperature very, abnormally high for you. It is also contraindicated that you perform any exercises lying on your back.

    The exciting thing is that you can and should exercise. You simply have to adapt to what is possible by seeking advice of a local pre & post natal expert. If you take one sentence away let it be this:

    Focus upon your breath, workout at a 7/10 level, strengthen your glutes and perform whole body integrated exercises preferentially led by a pre & post natal expert.

    And finally, if in doubt, get in the pool for some weight off your feet and relax!

    References

    1. Pennick V, Liddle SD. Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013(CD0011):1-100.
    2. Sanabria‐Martínez G et al. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions on preventing gestational diabetes mellitus and excessive maternal weight gain: a meta‐analysis. BJOG 2015;122(9):1167-74.
    3. Price BB et al. Exercise in pregnancy: effect on fitness and obstetric outcomes-a randomized trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44(12):2263-9.
    4. Domenjoz I et al. Effect of physical activity during pregnancy on mode of delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211(4):401.e1-e11.
    5. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
    6. Robledo-Colonia AF et al. Aerobic exercise training during pregnancy reduces depressive symptoms in nulliparous women: a randomised trial. J Physiother 2012;58(1):9-15.
    7. Perales M et al. Benefits of aerobic or resistance training during pregnancy on maternal health and perinatal outcomes: A systematic review. Early Hum Dev 2016;94:43-8..
    8. Shi W et al. Epidemiology and risk factors of functional constipation in pregnant women. PloS one 2015;10(7):e0133521
    9. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
    10. Barakata et al. Exercise during pregnancy is associated with a shorter duration of labor. A randomized clinical trial 2018, 224 33-40
    11. May LE et al. Aerobic exercise during pregnancy influences fetal cardiac autonomic control of heart rate and heart rate variability. Early Hum Dev 2010;86(4):213-7.
    12. Bisson M et al. Physical activity volumes during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies assessing the association with infant’s birth weight. AJP Reports 2016;6(02):e170-e97.
    13. Labonte-Lemoyne E et al. Exercise during pregnancy enhances cerebral maturation in the newborn: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2016:1-8.
    14. Muktabhant B et al. Diet or exercise, or both, for preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Jun 15;(6):CD007145.
    15. Marques AH, Bjorke-Monsen AL, Teixeira AL, Silverman MN. Maternal stress, nutrition and physical activity: impact on immune function, CNS development and psychopathology. Brain Research. 2015;1617:28–46

    Featured photo credit: Jernej Graj via unsplash.com

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