After giving birth, the new mom is usually going through so many emotions and unfamiliar experiences that it really isn't surprising at all that she would forget to ask the doctors and nurses certain things. Because we know a lot will be happening those few days right after delivery, we thought it would be very useful to make a list of questions the mom should make sure to ask before she leaves the hospital.
Most of the questions are things one would think of on their own, but it is surprising how many of these questions actually slip the mom's mind. We're not blaming her by any means. We totally get it — she is thinking about the new love of her life, as she should. But we do recommend to even write some of these questions down before getting admitted to the hospital, just to make sure they don't stay unanswered. And as a bonus, we also included 10 freebies moms can ask to bring home, as most nurses will allow them to take a couple of items.
Alright, so here they are: 10 questions every mom should make sure to ask before she leaves the hospital, followed by 10 things she can actually ask to bring home.
20 Ask A Nurse To Teach You How To Swaddle
Swaddling is definitely not as easy as it may look - especially since the baby can be quite restless and move a lot. Having a nurse teach you how to properly swaddle your baby into that perfect burrito wrap can save you a lot of struggle. The Bump even suggests asking if you can take home one of those swaddle blankets they give you in the first week at the hospital. That one is perfectly thick and it is great for learning how to do it during those first days at home, so that later on you can upgrade to a fancier one - if you want.
19 And How To Take Care Of The Umbilical Cord
Next thing on our list of things you should definitely make sure to ask about, especially if this is your first child, is how to properly take care of the umbilical cord. According to Baby Center the umbilical cord will dry up and drop off in about 7 to 21 days, which means it's very useful to ask a nurse or doctor how to go about it until then, how to properly clean the baby, and if there are any necessary things to do once the cord falls off. Remember, it's always good to know these things in advance and be prepared.
18 Ask Whether You Can Take A Shower There
You will most definitely want to take a shower before heading home - trust us, it will make you feel so much better. So if your room doesn't have a shower, definitely ask a nurse if there is a possibility for you to take a shower somewhere. And if you happen to need help for the shower - also don't hesitate to ask for it. The nurses will most likely offer to give you a hand, or will at least allow you to have a family member or friend help. According to Romper, that post birth shower feels like having three shots of espresso, and we totally agree.
17 And How To Use A Nasal Aspirator
Nasal aspirators can be a bit worrisome for new moms, so making sure you're doing it properly is very important, as you don't want to make your babies breathing more difficult. So in order to become a pro, who better to ask than a nurse who does this to newborns pretty much every day for years. And a pro tip is to also ask whether you can take one of their nasal aspirators aka bulb syringes home. According to Boogie Bulb, the bulb syringes offered at hospitals are actually used during surgeries which is why the suction on these nasal aspirators is much stronger than on others.
16 Ask How To Bathe The Baby
Until the umbilical cord falls off, you can't bathe the newborn properly, but rather clean them with a wet sponge. How to do this, how to position them and how much pressure you can use are all things a nurse can easily show you, and if you have no experience with babies, you should definitely ask for a tutorial. Baby Center advises washing the newborn's face and hands frequently until their umbilical cord falls off and to thoroughly clean their downstairs area after each diaper change. Once the umbilical cord is off, you can properly bathe the baby, and for this, you can also ask the nurse or doctor for advice.
15 And How To Cut Their Nails
Cutting a newborn's nails is probably one of the scariest things new parents need to do. Yes, the baby wiggles and moves and making sure you're not cutting too far is very important, but you also do need to cut just enough so that they can't scratch themselves. According to Fit Pregnancy, the best option are nail clippers and/or filling. Do not feel intimidated to ask a doctor or nurse for some additional tips, they definitely need to have experience with this, and they can tell you how to do it as pain-free as possible for both, your baby and you.
14 Ask For A Breastfeeding Tutorial
Okay, here's the thing, you might be thinking you are doing everything right when it comes to breastfeeding (and maybe you are), but it never hurts to have someone experiences tell you a thing or two about it. The Bump suggests that it is good too, if possible, have a lactation consultant or nurse watch you while you feed your baby, just to make sure you're doing everything correctly and to answer any potential questions you might have. Besides, making sure the latch is correct can save you so much trouble down the road, so this is really a step every first-time mom should take.
13 Ask For Phone Numbers
Romper suggests that asking a nurse or doctor for their phone number might not be a bad idea, and we totally agree. Not everyone will agree to give it to you, but if you made friends with a nurse, chances are they won't say no. This way you have someone experienced you can contact in case you have an important question you forgot to previously ask. Asking for a phone number is extremely important in those cases where the born child needs some specific type of care, and if that is the case, often the doctor or nurse will hand you their number on their own.
12 Ask Anything Else That Crosses Your Mind
Besides these specific questions, we do encourage you to ask anything you can think of. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed, or feel like you should know all these things. When it comes to your child, it's more important to make sure you're actually doing everything right than to appear as if you already know everything. Besides, no one is going to judge you for not knowing certain things, because no matter how much you read and try to prepare for a baby, every child is different, and there might be something additional a nurse or doctor can help you with when it comes to your precious newborn.
11 Ask If You Can Take Some Things Home
Okay, last on our list of suggested questions you should ask at the hospital before leaving is asking whether you can take some goodies home. The blog Two Twenty One even states that sometimes nurses will tell you to take things if you want to, otherwise they'll be thrown out. But even if they don't, asking for a couple of things that they use for the baby while it's in the hospital can't harm. Sure, they could say no, but trust us, chances are you will end up with a couple of goodies because people can't say no to new moms and their adorable little bundles of joy!
10 Like An Abdominal Binder
Another thing that you can ask to bring home is an abdominal binder. According to Two Twenty One, they are sometimes offered at the hospital, especially for women who had a C-section, but sometimes for others as well. And abdominal binders are a new mom's best friend. They are also known as belly wraps, compression bands or postpartum girdles which help the recovery process by encircling and compressing the mom's abdomen. For a C-section, it's usually worn up to six weeks, but the doctor will definitely recommend what the appropriate time is. Either way, asking to take one home can't hurt, as the hospital usually does have a lot of these on hand.
9 And A Few Kimono Shirts For The Baby
Kimono shirts are so important for those first few weeks when the newborn's umbilical cord hasn't fallen off yet, as regular shirts can accidentally tug on it. Besides, hospitals will usually dress the newborn in a kimono shirt, so it doesn't hurt to ask a nurse if you can have one or two extra for at home. It is however still a good idea to already have some kimono shirts ready before giving birth, just in case the hospital doesn't have any to spare for you to take home. Even once the umbilical cord falls off, kimono shirts are still way easier to put on than regular over-the-head ones.
8 As Well As Newborn Diapers
Well, the truth is that with a newborn you can never really have enough diapers, so if you can get a few extra for free, use that opportunity. Besides, at this point, the baby is used to whatever kind was used at the hospital, and having that for a few more days can save you the hassle of figuring out what diapers work best for them immediately. Romper suggests to pretty much take any freebies you can at this point because with a newborn you will definitely use them up quicker than you think. And this applies especially to diapers; trust us!
7 Plus Some Of Those Extra-Long Pads
You should definitely already make sure to have a bunch of these ready and waiting for you at home, but also grab a few from the hospital, just in case the ones you have at home don't feel as good or aren't as absorbing. Again, as with everything on our list, just ask the nurse for it - and if there's one thing the hospital will be willing to give you a few of, it's these super long, post-pregnancy pads. You do need to make sure you have enough of them so that you can switch them out frequently and prevent any infection.
6 For The Baby, Grab A Couple Of Sponges/Brushes For Bathing
As we've already mentioned, you can't properly bathe the baby until their umbilical cord has fallen off, so having sponges for bathing is very important. And in hospitals, they usually have these sponge/brush combos that are great for getting your baby clean during those first few weeks at home. Sure, you can also buy them yourself, but having a few extra is a great idea, as it isn't really recommended to re-use them much, due to bacteria build-up. If you are re-using the same one, make sure you do disinfect it properly, depending on the sponge and brush type.
5 And A Peri Bottle
The Bump states that peri bottles are another essential post-pregnancy item that you could easily get ahold of at the hospital, as they generally do have quite a bit of these. Peri bottles will give women who just gave birth such relief, regardless of whether they are experiencing tearing, cysts, hemorrhoids, itching, swelling, or are just feeling tender. Of course, as with most things, do make sure to consult your doctor on how often it's best to use it in your specific case, and while you're at it - ask if you can have an extra one, just in case the one you have breaks. Even if you don't end up using it, it can be smart to have it at home.
4 Some Lanolin Samples
Alright, now let's move on to a couple of things you should, if possible, ask to take home with you. Hospitals usually have samples of lanolin cream which is used as a nipple cream - to heal and soothe the area, and you can definitely ask your nurse for a couple of freebies. It's best to apply the cream after you have breastfed your child. Just make sure to properly clean the area and then apply the cream. While there are different types of nipple cream, lanolin is usually considered the best one, which is why hospitals usually use it.
3 And A Sitz-Bath
The Bump suggests you should try to ask for a few sitz baths to take home from the hospital. Sitz baths are very good for the healing process, and you should definitely discuss with your doctor or nurse how to properly do them. If sitz baths are not offered at your hospital, you can purchase them in pharmacies or even look up online recipes on how to make them at home. Again, do make sure to consult with your doctor about which ones you should do, as they can differ a bit when it comes to the ingredients. Either way, they will give you some very necessary relief!
2 Grab Some Mesh Underwear, Too
Another thing the blog Two Twenty One suggests you should definitely ask for at the hospital is mesh underwear, as this is something that might be a bit harder to find on your own. Sure, some pharmacies and specialty stores carry it, but hospitals usually have so much of it, that giving a few extra pairs here and there won't hurt anyone. And mesh underwear is so important for healing properly, as it allows the area to breathe and stay dry. Besides, it also feels very comfortable, and after giving birth, that's all the mom should care about - feeling comfortable.
1 And Some Disposable Dry Cloth Wipes
Last, on our list of things you can ask to bring home from the hospital are dry baby wipes. Yes, you will use these a lot, and yes you will have to purchase plenty - but having some extra in the beginning is great. Besides, with the ones used at the hospital, you can be sure your child won't have any allergic reactions, as that would have been noticed at the hospital.
And with that, we are at the end. Hopefully, our 10 questions to ask before leaving the hospital and 10 things to grab list helped some soon-to-be-moms out there in preparation for their big day!