Nothing sounds quite like music to a new mom's ears like the sound of FREE items (except perhaps the sound of her sleeping baby).
One may be surprised by how many perks actually come with having a baby. Sure, for nine months mom gets to eat what she wants, not to mention that she's placed on a pedestal and adorned for bringing life into the world, but when mom actually makes it to the hospital she gets ushered into a room, handled delicately with care, and then given a bunch of FREE stuff to take home (plus a ton of pretty cool things to choose from during her hospital stay).
But, in most cases, she's only eligible to receive the goods if she asks. That's right, mom's, hospital staff will willingly give up some totally much-needed items to help parents adjust to life as new parents both during their hospital stay and once they leave. And we're not just talking those whatever freebies that mom can live without... we're talking those without these a hospital stay and life for the few weeks following bringing home the baby will probably be significantly less awesome type of freebies.
Interested? Read on for more...
Ahh, the epidural. You may have heard that there's a window when moms can get an epidural, but it's doubtful that anyone has told mom just how small that window of time truly is or that she needs to ask for one! Missing out on an epidural if you want one can really make moms hospital stay super uncomfortable. I say more power to all the moms who want to go all natural, but an epidural can really take some of the hemming and hawing out of labor. Many hospital staff members will merely monitor moms progress and completely disregard the epidural window until it's too late. So just remember to ask!
19 Hospital Binkies
My son loved the hospital binkies, in fact, I had purchased a few different brands and was gifted at least three other varieties, but the only one he loved were those green hospital binkies. Upon discharge, I asked the nurse to throw in a few extra for good measure and she kindly obliged. Lucky for me as a few days later I realized those things were amazing at calming him down. Many moms rave about how awesome the hospital binkies are, "We left the hospital with these pacifiers and our twin boys love them. We tried to hold off on using them due to all the controversy on whether you should depend on them too early, but we value sleep too much," said JP Maryland in an Amazon review.
18 Extra Beds
Depending on where mom delivers, some hospital rooms can be tiny, and we mean really tiny. So tiny in fact, that they will not have anywhere for dad to sleep unless she asks. Some hospitals allow for trundle beds upon request, if not mom will have to spend the first night with the baby all by her lonesome, if not, dad may find himself slumped over in a chair. Since we know mom will be a bit busy when she gets to the hospital, and probably thereafter, you know, having a baby and all, it may be best to discuss with dad in advance that he request the trundle bed himself if one is not already provided. Its doubtful hospital staff will assume he needs one.
17 Valet Parking, Yeah We're Serious
One may never have thought about it, but valet parking at the hospital maternity ward is a thing. And it is oh so necessary on the day you finally get to leave the hospital. When singer, Rochelle Humes, left the hospital in London with her newborn baby girl, having her car right at the entrance of the maternity ward saved her tons of hassle. And mom does not have to be a VIP or celebrity to get this service, most hospitals will offer valet parking for new moms — all you have to do is get dad to inquire upon check-in. With all that's going on the last thing new parents need is to get towed on baby's birthday.
16 Belly Band
Belly bands are usually provided to moms who deliver via cesarean but can help all new mothers not only shrink back down to size but also feel a bit more like themselves. No one tells you that after you have a baby your stomach feels a little loose and sort of all over the place. The belly band can help, but only if you ask for it first. The hospital staff has hundreds of these on hands, so there really is no need to purchase a fancy one since they all pretty much do the same thing. Oh, and mom, even if you're feeling particularly proud of your postpartum figure, you may want to ask for one anyway because they can really help with back support.
15 Lactation Assistance
For something so natural, breastfeeding sure can be a lot of work. Getting the latch just right and the head tilt okay, and the fussing, and the squirming, and feeling engorged, it can be a lot. Need help breastfeeding? It may help to ask for a lactation consultant. Most hospitals have a few lactation consultants as full-time staff. In some rare occurrences, these consultants will actually make rounds to ask moms if they need any assistance, but in most cases, you will have to ask. Don't be too proud or shy, even if you think you and your little one have the hang of it, it may help just to have a second pair of eyes check things out.
14 Just A Little Privacy
Private birthing suites can really make a huge difference in labor and delivery. Think of it this way, no one really wants to be transferred from one room to another while in labor and even less after delivery. So private birthing suites offer mom the chance to labor, deliver, and chill all in the same room, it's true that for most hospitals the private suites have a fee, but can you really put a price on a calm tranquil labor environment? If you take a tour of the maternity wing before you deliver your little one, you will most likely see the private sweets, call and reserve early.
13 The Beloved Peri Bottle
The first time I saw a peri bottle my first thought was, what is this thing? Then I had my baby and thought WHERE IS THAT THING!? Yes, peri bottles can be somewhat essential after delivering your little one. Remember earlier how we talked about those hospital binkies and how soothing they can be a bit earlier on in the article? Well think of it like this, peri bottles can be just as soothing for mom, just in a different region. And the best part? Hospital staff has a ton of them and can distribute them to you upon your request.
12 Contraception, Just In Case
So now you've had your baby, congratulations. Enjoy this time to get to know your little one and really enjoy motherhood, in the meantime, according to Women's Health, getting pregnant again too soon can be dangerous for your body. That's why in addition to delivering your baby, hospitals can also prescribe or administer contraception. And get this: they can do it just after you give birth! That's right, talk about multitasking. If you're interested in a contraceptive method, talk to your doctor about it and see what they say, chances are your needs will be met and it will save you some time.
11 Ask For Recommendations On... Well, Everything!
You'd be surprised how many contact numbers hospitals have for outpatient services. From lactation specialists to daycare centers, to pediatricians hospitals have contact numbers for everything. And since we know it can be hard to do it all, it can be nice to take advantage of some of these contracts they have available. The best part is since they are hospital affiliated you know that medically, you are bound to get some pretty top-notch service. So, haven't chosen a pediatrician just yet? Looking for ways to figure out daycare and motherhood? Ask the hospital for some help you may be pleasantly surprised to see what resources they have available.
10 Ombudsman Services
Although having your baby may be the most wonderful day in your life, sometimes hospital stays are not always as wonderful. If you find yourself in a challenging situation and feel you need some assistance from someone who isn't dealing with postpartum hormones, you may want to ask for the hospital ombudsman. This person acts as a personal advocate for patients, moms can ask to see this person if they need to complain, get their needs met more efficiently, or just inquire more thoroughly about their care or the care of their newborn. It's not easy becoming a new mom so every little bit of help can help.
9 The Good Dessert
We've all probably heard the horror stories about hospital food. Many would like it to airplane food. But did you know that it is possible to get a few things in the hospital for mom aside from jello and ice chips? That's right, many hospitals have a few off the menu items for new moms, and unless she asks, she'll only get what's on the hospital menu. The best thing I found during my hospital stay was the dessert menu. I would ask my nurse in the morning if she could bring by 'the good dessert' later for me to choose from. Besides, after pregnancy and labor, mom deserves a treat.
8 Formula Samples
Free formula samples are a really amazing gift that most hospitals LOVE giving moms, even if they decide to breastfeed. Regardless of what you decide, take the samples, because you never know, or you never know who else could use them. Besides, formula costs can really add up. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, formula feeding can cost an upwards of $1,700 in a baby's first year of life. So, what are a few free samples to help balance out that cost? A penny saver that's what. But don't forget to ask, your nurse may throw in a few extra just for good measure.
7 Diapers, Diapers, Diapers!
I will never forget the surprise I felt when my nurse told me to take the remaining opened package of newborn size pampers home for my baby as I was leaving the hospital. "Awesome!" I thought, then I asked if I could also have an unopened pack as well. She obliged and quickly hurried back with a new pack to boot. Since then I encourage all new moms to ask for a few packs of diapers when leaving the hospital, even if you diaper stockpiled before the arrival of the baby during your nesting stage. Every diaper counts. Besides, if this is your first baby, you're bound to need a few extra on hand for when mom or dad puts it on wrong.
6 Don't Forget About Diapers For Mom, Too!
The only kind of pads for new moms, or as I like to refer to them, mom diapers, are a definite must ask from the hospital. Almost every mom to be knows to pack a few pads in her hospital bag, but it's doubtful that new moms have any idea just how many pads they will actually go through. This is where the hospital comes in. Do yourself a favor and buy just one pack of those super maxi pads with wings and leave it at home. Ask for all the pads. All of them, while in the hospital. You will probably use most of them if not all.
5 Head Check
Moms can request a mental health assessment after birth to make sure there are no signs of postpartum depression, the only thing is, it's rare that hospitals will offer up this service, moms will usually have to ask. Postpartum depression can hit hard, and it can be a rather unexpected thing that happens to new mothers. Usually, moms with babies in the NICU or additional stress at home before the baby is born, are more likely to have postpartum, but regardless of what circumstance mom is under before the baby is born, asking for a quick assessment can really save a lot of exhaustion and help mom get treated sooner.
4 Coupons (Seriously!)
With everything baby needs, it's sure to add up and take a toll on mom and dad's pockets. Luckily, things like baby registries and fun baby gifts exist to help lessen the load a bit. But one thing mom often discounts are the coupons one can get from the hospital after delivery. Maternity wards are riddled with coupons for baby essentials – all you have to do is ask. Most of the time these precious penny savers will be at the desk where mom checks in before baby arrives. Don't worry, we know that the last thing you'll be thinking about are coupons when you're in labor. But once things settle down, don't be too shy to ask a nurse for a few coupons.
3 Nasal Aspirator
As far as a nose goes, without one, you'd probably look pretty strange, with one you can breathe freely, but for the mother of a stuffed up baby, it can be her worst nightmare. Insert nasal aspirator, and no we're not talking about one of those bulb thingies that just makes everyone's lives a bit harder. No, we mean the real deal snot-picker-upper. Just inhale and boom! Decongested baby. These things aren't cheap, so best to ask a hospital staff member if they can scrounge one up for you. Plus, babies are known to get a little congested a few weeks after birth. So do yourself a favor, you won't regret it.
2 Extra Pump Parts
For all you breastfeeding momma's out there, you may want to ask for extra pump parts from the hospital staff. They probably will not just offer them to you but if you use the hospital grade pump while you're in the hospital to stimulate your milk supply, those pump parts–and perhaps a few bottles, too–should be yours for the taking, all you need to do is ask. Even if your pump at home may not seem compatible, many pumps now offer attachments that can work with other brands, and if not you never know when those extra pieces may come in handy.
1 Mesh Pants For Mom
Thinking about packing your favorite pair of undies in that hospital bag? You may want to rethink that. Sure your business is sure to be on display, but you are also sure to need something disposable for some of the mess. Birthing can be a bit messy. So rather than causing irreversible damage to some nice lingerie, ask the hospital for some mesh pants, they have them a go-go and chances are they'll give you some to take home, too! It may sound like a strange request, and nurses may not think to offer any off the bat, but they will save you and your washing machine a lot of trouble, take it from us.
Reference: Babble, The Stir, The Bump, Mom Bloggers, Everyday Family, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Human Services, Amazon.com