Giving birth to a baby can be pretty pricey even if mothers have very good insurance that covers most of the event, and it is important to make sure they make the most out of their trip to the hospital by picking their doctor’s brain about what to expect after the delivery.
For example, some mothers that are used to being very active in their pre-pregnancy life might sit down with their doctor and discuss when they can start moving around a bit more or get back to favorite activities such as horseback riding or rollerblading.
Other mothers might be thrown for a loop at how tired they are feeling post-birth and since they’re not used to feeling like this, may want to talk to the doctor before they leave to reassure themselves that it’s not going to last forever and they should feel far perkier in another few weeks or so.
It’s important for mothers to not be shy with their questions; it’s the doctor’s job to take care of their patient and prepare them for the recovery as best they can.
For new moms that want to come up with a list of questions to ask before they leave the hospital, the following list will help figure out what subjects to pick the doctor’s brain on.
20 Tips For Taking Care Of One's Self At Home
Fit Pregnancy points out that labor does a number on mothers and it can leave them feeling like they ache all over, akin to coming down with a bout of the common cold.
Before leaving the hospital, it’s a good idea if moms ask their doctors for some helpful tips on taking care of themselves once they have been discharged and have returned home. Since it is unlikely that they are going to feel 100 percent better within a few days, they might have to come up with creative ways to wash their hair or getting up from the couch to head to the kitchen for a snack.
19 Recovery Time From Delivery
US News urges mothers to talk to their doctor about how long it will take for them to recover from delivery in total. The doctor will not only be able to tell them general estimates, but they might even be able to add or subtract a week or two based on how labor and delivery went.
It’s also helpful for moms to know how long it will take because it gives them something to look forward to, as anyone that has had to recover from labor will point out that after a while, it gets boring relaxing and nursing a baby all day.
18 Insurance Coverage
US News adds that moms should also double-check with their doctor before they go home that their insurance covered everything and that they won’t receive a bill with any unexpected expenses, due to the fact that their insurance denied something at the very last minute.
That way, they will be able to have a better idea of how to budget for the next few months and they can be reassured that they won’t have to wait for the mail, day in and day out, anticipating a potential bill that would make their poor wallet and bank account scream and weep.
17 Length Of Time Before Lochia Stops
Pregnancy Birth Baby notes that moms should ask their doctor how long they think the phenomenon known as “lochia”—AKA Aunt Flo’s cousin that only appears after birthing a baby—will last as well as what to watch out for, just to be on the safe side.
Typically, Aunt Flo’s cousin lochia lasts anywhere from four to six weeks, although since everyone’s different, this could be a little more or a little less depending on your own body. You’ll be able to tell when cousin lochia is getting ready to leave because she goes from being bright red to a light pink or even red-brown, much like Aunt Flo.
16 Symptoms To Watch Out For At Home
US News writes that moms should also discuss if there are any signs that the healing process hit a few speed bumps along the way that they should be on the lookout for once they get home. That way, they don’t waste any time waffling back and forth on whether or not to call their doctor to see if they can make an appointment.
Some moms might not wait around, but there’s always going to be mothers out there that have no desire to disrupt their new lifestyle and prefer to wait it out. So it’s good to know what symptoms are normal and what are signs that they need to chat it up with their doctor.
15 Activity Levels During Recovery
After a while, being told to relax and watch Netflix in between getting used to taking care of an infant can become really repetitive and downright boring even for the most laid-back, and chill, of new moms that loved to spend their spare time just relaxing at home watching television before their pregnancy.
Fit Pregnancy urges moms to ask their doctors before they go home when they can expect to resume their previous level of activity, and if there is anything they should avoid during recovery—especially if they have stitches that need to be taken out in a few weeks.
14 Tips For The Best Post-Pregnancy Nutrition
Being a mother can be easily tiring, but WebMD notes that to make life a little easier on new moms, they should discuss post-pregnancy nutrition tips so that they will have the energy needed to stay sharp and do everything they need to in terms of taking care of their infant.
Your doctor will be able to recommend the best kinds of yogurt to eat if you’re planning to breastfeed, as well as the best kind of proteins to include in their daily meals to make sure that their energy levels stay high around the clock as they’re bonding with their new baby.
13 If It Is Normal To Feel Post-Birth Cramps
If you’re feeling a wee bit confused about why you feel some cramping as if Aunt Flo is back in town, Pregnancy Birth Baby notes that it’s best to talk to your doctor about how long you can expect it to last.
It is perfectly normal for mothers that have just given birth to feel some cramps for a bit since everything has to return to its previous size before the pregnancy occurred. It also has a tendency to occur in moms that have already given birth to previous children; although it can happen in moms who have just given birth to their first son or daughter.
12 Ask For Tips On How To Take Care Of Stitches
C&G Baby Club points out that during the birthing process, some moms may require stitches in order to deliver their child. Before you leave the hospital, make sure to ask your doctor how long you’ll need to have the stitches in and if they are the kind that dissolve after a certain amount of time or if you have to return in order to take them out. You should also ask your doctor for tips on making sure that the stitched-up area stays nice and clean; no one wants to deal with the ouchies that come from stitches that got messed up right after childbirth!
11 Help Setting Up A Sleep Schedule
Pregnancy Birth Baby notes that it is a good idea to ask your doctor if he or she has some good tips for setting up a good sleep schedule for you and your child as well as seeing if they have any advice on how to fall asleep quicker after you get up in the middle of the night to nurse or soothe them. After all, with a new baby, the sooner you fall asleep, the more time you’ll have drifting off in dreamland until your infant wakes up in the middle of the night and lets you know that he or she is hungry.
10 How Long To Stay On Pre-Natal Vitamins
Most mothers are accustomed to having to take prenatal vitamins before and during their pregnancy, but Share Care points out that you should really double-check with your doctor if you have to keep taking them after you go home or if you are able to return to your usual vitamin regimen.
Some doctors might recommend that you keep taking the prenatal vitamins if you are planning on breastfeeding your infant, but if you are thinking about feeding your child formula, they might advise that you pick up another kind of supplement to help your body heal faster from giving birth.
9 Tips For Introducing Baby To The Bottle
Whether a mom decides to breastfeed or use formula in a bottle to feed her new son or daughter, it’s not an easy process. Hollywood makes it look natural and effortless, but like anything else, both methods often require a learning curve on the part of both mother and baby.
Kid’s Health recommends that mothers who are interested in bottle-feeding their infant discuss it with their doctor before they go and write down any tips that they might have in a notebook or on a smartphone. That way they’re not scrambling to figure out how to do it themselves when the time comes.
8 The Amount Of Time You Need To Spend Outside Doing Light Walking
Going for a light walk around the block can be a very good way for new moms to get back into being active and speed up the healing process, but Baby Center warns that they should always run the idea by their doctor when they’re still in the hospital.
Depending on what happened during labor and delivery, a doctor might give you the okay to walk around the neighborhood a bit or even bust out the old stretching DVD that’s gathering dust on the bookshelf to ease yourself back into the pre-pregnancy levels of activity that you were used to.
7 If It's Normal To Feel Thirsty When Baby's Nursing
Leading Lady writes that it is perfectly normal for breastfeeding moms to feel really thirst when their baby is nursing due to the fact that the entire process takes up a ton of the mother’s energy and hydration levels.
Before you leave the hospital, talk over any concerns you might have with your doctor and make sure that you ask them what is a regular level of thirst and what might be a signal that you need to make an appointment to see your primary care practitioner after you get home. Plus, you should also ask them if there’s a recommended water intake they should try to meet too.
6 Whether Or Not Your Hospital Supports Breastfeeding
Mom 365 urges new mothers to double check before they’re ready to leave that the hospital they chose to deliver their child in supports breastfeeding and if they’ll be told that it is best to bottle-feed their little one using formula instead.
This isn’t so much of a big deal if moms have already booked an appointment with a doula for when they got home, but if not, it’s a good idea to find out their stance on breastfeeding and whether or not they have lactation consultants on their staff that will be able to show you the ropes before you leave.
5 The Kind Of Food To Avoid And For How Long
Parenting points out that there are some foods that moms should avoid, especially if they plan on going the all-natural way of nursing and they should ask their doctor to write up or print out a list of the food-related items they need to toss out of the refrigerator—for now, at least.
For example, some doctors may recommend staying away for garlic while breastfeeding because the strong aroma might bother your baby’s delicate nose while they nurse, which may lead to he or she refusing to suck until the odor dissipates—which could take a while.
4 The Vaccinations Offered To Baby Before You Go Home
UT Southwestern Medical Center writes that before being discharged, it’s important to discuss with your doctor what vaccinations have been performed right after birth and what is offered to your baby before they leave to go home.
For example, in some states, it is perfectly normal for newborns to get the first of three Hepatitis B vaccinations before they are allowed to go home with their mother and will offer mom the opportunity to let the doctor give their child a dose of vitamin K before they leave. However, your mileage may vary and it really depends on the regulations of the hospital, your doctor, and where you live.
3 Whether Or Not You'll Need To Buy A Valley Cushion
C&G Baby Club writes that it is highly likely that most moms are going to feel very sore after they give birth and they should ask their doctor before they go home if their significant other should run out to buy them a Valley Cushion, which is an inflatable cushion that was specifically designed to make it easier for women recovering from childbirth or folks that are healing from a tailbone injury to sit down without constantly wincing in pain every five minutes or having to keep moving around on the sofa like there are thousands of ants in their pants.
2 Easing Back Into Regular Shower Routines
C&G Baby Club notes that it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to see if you can take regular showers or baths when you get home. Depending on what happened during the birth, your doctor may give you the okay to get back to your bath time normal routine ASAP or they might advise you to stick to giving yourself a quick wash with a spray bottle for the next week or so, just to make sure that you are fully healed before you treat yourself to a nice, long hot shower that will soothe your tired muscles.
1 How To Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pregnancy Birth Baby advises that moms remember to ask their doctors before they leave the hospital if they should perform pelvic floor exercises when they are at home. If your doctor says yes, then it is a good idea to make sure to ask the doctor if they can recommend a good DVD or video online to demonstrate the technique so that you can make sure that you are performing the exercises correctly.
Many doctors will recommend pelvic floor exercises because they can help new mothers heal faster from giving birth and are a good safeguard against incontinence occurring during menopause in the future.
Sources: US News, Fit Pregnancy, Mom 365, MomJunction, Stanford Children, Pregnancy Birth Baby, WebMD, ShareCare, Kids Health, Baby Center, Leading Lady, Parenting, UT Southwestern Medical Center, C&G Baby Club.