Recovery, bonding, and your hospital stay

mother recovering with newborn baby in a hospital bed

Most parents and new babies go home together within a couple of days. It all depends on how your delivery went, how you’re feeling, and whether you or your baby need special care.

Family time in the hospital

While you recover, your partner can be with you at any time, or the entire time. In most of our hospitals, you, your baby, and your partner will stay in a room together — sleeping as a family while you’re with us overnight. Even when we’re examining your baby or giving you care, we’ll try not to separate you from your little one. We want you to be together as much as possible — it gives you time to bond and helps you get into the rhythm of breastfeeding.

Our hospital staff will do everything they can to create a peaceful, comfortable environment for your new family. Especially if you’re a first-time parent, they’ll be there to help you feel confident about breastfeeding, diaper changing, and soothing your new baby, so when it’s time to go home, you’ll feel ready.

Care while you recover

Some amount of pain after delivery is very common. If you had pain medication during labor, it will wear off in a few hours. Let a nurse know if you’re in pain so you can work together to find ways to make you more comfortable.

If you had a C-section, you’ll need some extra recovery time in the hospital, usually 3 to 4 days. You’ll also need extra support from your nurse, who will help you shower, show you how to care for your incision, and help you move around safely.

Welcoming visitors

You and your new baby can have visitors as soon as you feel ready. Check on your facility’s latest visitor policy. But also be sure to get plenty of quiet time to bond — just you, your partner, and your little one.

Remember that your little one’s immune system is still developing. Be sure to:

  • Ask people not to visit if they’ve been sick or exposed to anything contagious.
  • Ask everyone to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before holding your new baby.

Before you and your baby go home

Your little one is here! We’ll give you as much uninterrupted time as possible to bond with your new baby while you’re in the hospital, but some important things will happen between delivery and driving home.

Learn what happens before you go home

Recovering at home

The first few days and weeks at home with your little one will be exciting — and exhausting. You should feel stronger each day, but it’s important to give your body the time it needs to recover.

For the first few weeks after delivery:

  • Make time to rest. Try to nap when your baby naps.
  • Limit visitors and social activities.
  • Increase your activity level gradually.
  • Arrange child care for older siblings ahead of time.
  • Make sure another adult is always with you, at least for the first few days while you adjust to life with your new baby.

If you had a C-section:

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby for at least 3 weeks.
  • Keep your incision site clean and dry.
  • Avoid using lotions, ointments, and powders near the incision.
  • Remove Steri-Strips after 10 to 14 days if they haven’t come off by themselves.
  • Take prescribed pain medication as directed.

Call us if you have any signs of infection:

  • Redness or discharge
  • Your incision opens
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher

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