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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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    Last Updated on January 12, 2021

    Signs of Depression in Children (And How to Help Them to Overcome It)

    Signs of Depression in Children (And How to Help Them to Overcome It)

    Children, just like adults, can be depressed. Sometimes seemingly normal children with no major life issues can become depressed. It is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes clinical depression to occur. There are specific signs that you should recognize in your child if they are depressed. Getting them help and treatment is crucial to their mental wellness.

    In this article, we will look into the signs of depression in children and how parents can help them to overcome it.

    Signs of depression in children

    The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder) is the widely accepted instruction guide that professionals utilize for diagnosing mental disorders. The DSM characterizes a Major Depressive Episode as depressed behaviors that consistently last for two weeks or longer. Therefore, if your child has been “down in the dumps”, feeling hopeless or having sadness for more than two weeks, it should be cause for concern and investigated.

    Below are signs of depression according to the DSM manual. The individual must have at least five of these behaviors present for a period of two weeks or longer to be officially diagnosed as having MDD (Major Depressive Disorder). Below is a summary/generalization from the DSM manual:

    • Feelings of deep sadness or depressed mood that last most of the day (for two weeks or more). For children they can present as irritable rather than sad.
    • Diminished interest in activities (again majority of the day or all the time).
    • Significant weight loss (not through dieting), or a decrease in appetite. In children, they fail to make expected weight gains while growing.
    • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
    • Either a slowing of psychomotor abilities/actions or an apparent agitation of these psychomotor abilities. This means that they either have moments that lack purpose and seem to be done because of agitation and tension or there is a significant slowness/retardation of their speech and physical actions.
    • Fatigue and loss of energy.
    • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt every day.
    • Difficulty thinking, making decisions, or concentrating every day. This may be reflected in their grades.
    • Preoccupation with death and dying or suicidal thoughts.

    Please note that if your child is suffering from the loss of a loved one and is processing through the stages of grief, it is normal to have these signs of depression. If they seem to be stuck in the depression stage, then it is time to pursue grief counseling to help them along in the grieving process.

    However, if they are not suffering from a bereavement or a medical condition that would cause the above symptoms, then they should be taken to a professional for possible diagnosis and treatment of MDD (Major Depressive Disorder).

    How to help your child with depression

    Depression is not to be taken lightly. Especially if suicidal thoughts are present. The child’s feelings and emotions are real and must be taken seriously. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), suicide is the number two cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 34.[1]

    Professional help is recommended if you believe your child fits the criterion for MDD (Major Depressive Disorder). You can take your child to their paediatrician for an evaluation and referral. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, they may benefit from medication such as anti-depressants.

    Most professionals do not dispense medication as the first remedy for depression. Instead therapy is the first line of defense against depression, with medication being paired with therapy if the therapy is not enough or the symptoms are severe enough.

    Testing

    There are assessment tools that professionals can utilize to help in properly determining whether your child is depressed. The three tools used in assessing depression in children are:

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    • The Children’s Depression Rating Scale (CDRS)
    • Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI)
    • Clinical Global Impression (CGI)

    Taking your child to a professional mental health counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist can help ensure proper testing and assessment occurs.

    Therapy

    There are many types of therapy available today. It is important to find a professional that specializes in childhood depression and the treatment of such.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the leading therapy methods in treating childhood depression. For younger children, play therapy is useful in treating childhood depression as children are often able to better communicate through play than conversation alone.

    What parents can do at home to help their depressed child

    Besides seeking for professional help, there are a couple of things that parents can do at home to help their depressed child:

    1. Talk with your child about their feelings in a compassionate and empathetic manner.

    It can feel high pressure to sit face to face and ask your child about their feelings. However, going on a walk, playing a board game or playing alongside your child (chose whichever is age appropriate for your child) can allow them to relax and open up about their feelings.

    Ask your child open ended questions that require more than a simple yes or no to engage in more meaningful conversations. Never judge while they are being open and honest with you because it will inevitably cause them to shut down and move away from being open with you.

    It is okay to allow for periods of silence during the conversations because sometimes the child is processing their thoughts and emotions during your time together. You don’t have to fill the space and entire time with talking as silence at times is helpful.

    2. Provide activities that help them relax and de-stress.

    For smaller children, there are simple ways to help them relax.

    Provide play opportunities that they find relaxing such as coloring, painting, working with Play-do or clay, or playing with sand and sand toys. Again, find activities that interest your child and are age appropriate are helpful in making them relaxed.

    3. Limit screen time.

    Technology is not helpful in making your child less depressed. It can often be an escape that keeps them from further opening up about their feelings and emotions.

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    Limit time in front of the TV, laptop, smart phone, video games and tablets, etc. Any electronics that seem to prevent your child from face to face interactions should be limited. Ask Dr. Sears cites that researchers have found kids who have higher levels of screen time are at greater risk for anxiety and depression.[2]

    Provide alternate activities to replace the screen time such as hiking, crafting, drawing, constructing, biking and playing outside, etc. Some children may be so dependent on their screen time as their source for entertainment that they may need you to participate in alternate activities alongside them in order to get engaged in the activities.

    You can’t simply tell your child to go outside to play if they are suffering from depression, lack friends and are used to sitting down and playing video games each day after school. Go outside with your child and do a nature hike or take your child to a playground and have fun together to get them engaged in these alternate activities.

    4. Promote outdoor time and physical activities.

    Encourage your children to take part in activities that especially involve nature such as nature hikes. Do these activities with them to help them engage in the activities. Again this is an opportunity for open conversations to occur and quality time to take place.

    5. Help your child when problems and difficult tasks arise.

    Assist them by helping them break down the task into smaller and more manageable parts. Children with depression often have difficulty taking on large problems and tasks and find them overwhelming. Helping them by breaking down the task into smaller and more manageable tasks will assist in helping raise their confidence when the small tasks are mastered.

    Small tasks mastered lead to bigger tasks being mastered over time. It is a process over time, patience and a willingness to work alongside your child. This does not mean doing the task or taking on the problem solely yourself. Many times all the child needs is for you to break down the larger task into smaller more manageable tasks and for you to patiently talk your child through the completion of these smaller tasks.

    6. Help your child reduce life stress.

    When children are depressed, they have greater difficulty handling life activities in general. Cut back on activities that cause stress to increase and look for ways to help reduce stress in your child’s life.

    7. Foster a positive home atmosphere.

    Reduce or eliminate negative attitudes, language and conversations. Also avoid raised voices, passive aggressive behaviors and any form of physical violence in the home.

    Make your home a safe haven for your child instead of an atmosphere that is ever volatile (in words, emotions or physically). Make it a calm environment that makes your child feel safe and secure mentally, emotionally and physically.

    8. Help your child see the positive in life situations.

    Point out the positives in a situation rather than the negatives. Help them see the bright side of any situation.

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    Be a model of seeing the positive in life by speaking words that are uplifting, encouraging and positive. Resist the temptation to voice negative thoughts that come to mind as your child can feed off your emotions and words.

    9. Believe your child when they talk about how they are feeling.

    Listen to them patiently and take their words seriously. Do not discount or minimize their feelings. Express empathy and compassion when they do open up about their feelings. Help them utilize “I feel” statements in expressing their emotions.

    10. Keep watch for suicidal behaviors.

    Such behaviors include your child/teen researching this topic online, them giving away their possessions and a preoccupation with death.

    Seek professional help immediately with the presentation of suicidal behaviors or thoughts. Keep this number on hand and use it when in doubt: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number 1-800-273-8255.

    11. Keep all prescriptions, alcohol, drugs and weapons locked and away from children and teens.

    This is a given for all children, but even more imperative for children who are depressed as they have an increased likelihood to abuse drugs and alcohol. They also have an increased likelihood to attempt suicide. So keep weapons and tools such as ropes and knives that can used for suicide out of the child’s ability to use.

    12. Spend quality one-on-one time with your child.

    Make the time during your day, every day, to spend quality time with your child. You may have limited time and cannot provide an hour or more a day to dedicate to one-on-one time with your child, but you should provide a minimum of 20 minutes a day with your child spending quality one-on-one time together. Try the suggested activities listed in point #3.

    13. Be an encouragement and supporter of your child.

    Show love and not frustration or anger because of the situation and your child’s condition. Help keep your attitude positive so your child can also see the positive.

    Provide daily words of affirmation that are not based on end results (such as a grade or a win) but instead praise the effort they put forth. If you praise the outcome, they will be disappointed when their efforts don’t pan out. If they are praised for their efforts regardless of the outcome, their confidence is built based upon something that they can control (the effort they put into things).

    14. Help your child to live a healthy lifestyle.

    Sleep is a very important factor in your child’s mood. Not getting enough sleep can cause an entire day to be upset. According to Sleep Aid Resource, children between the ages of 3 and 18 need between 8 and 12 hours of sleep each night:[3]

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      Ensure your child is eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting physical activity/exercise daily and plenty of sleep time.

      15. Help your child foster positive relationships and friendships with their peers.

      Set up play dates for your younger child and encourage older children to invite friends over to your home.

      16. Talk about bullying.

      It can be one of the causes of your child’s depression, so discuss their life outside of home and their interactions with their peers. Help them recognize bullying and discuss how to handle bullying properly.

      17. Help your child follow the treatment plan outlined by their doctor, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

      Make sure you know the treatment plan that your child’s health care professional has outlined for child. This may include counseling session recommendations, medications and recommendations to follow through with in the home. Completing the plan will help provide optimal results for your child in the long run. A plan doesn’t work unless it is followed.

      18. Recognize that professional treatment takes time to show results.

      Don’t expect results for the first few weeks. It may take a month or longer, so be patient and understanding with your child.

      Depression in children is curable

      Depression in children can happen for a variety of reasons. It is quite treatable.

      Professional help is recommended if your child can possibly be diagnosed with a depressive episode. There are interventions that can be implemented in a professional setting, at home and at school. The key is having a plan of action to help your child.

      Ignoring the problem or hoping the depression will just go away is not a good plan. Treatment is imperative to curing depression in children.

      The first step is talking to your child’s paediatrician to get the ball rolling. He or she will refer you to specialists in your area that can help your child overcome and conquer their depression one day at a time. With you by their side, each step of the way you will get through it together and it is quite possible for your relationship with your child to be strengthened in the process as well. That can be your silver lining or positive outlook on the situation at hand.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] National Institute of Mental Health: Suicide
      [2] Ask Dr. Sears: It’s a Virtual World: Setting Practical Screen Time Limits
      [3] Sleep Aid Resource: Sleep Chart

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