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Moms' Tips for a Better Hospital Stay

Once the post-euphoria (and post-pain) period of birth giving has faded and you’re lying in your hospital bed, you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle. You suddenly realize that you’re going to be unable to go home for quite some time. Whether this is due to legal or medical complication is unique to you. Perhaps you forgot to bring your paperwork and health card. 

Perhaps friends, family and other congratulating peers that flush in and out of your hospital room with fond words just don’t fill the hole between those toiling hours where your hospital room is occupied by just you, your own words and your own thoughts. Nobody thinks about what they’re packing the second their water breaks, but this doesn’t mean that you need to find out what you need through trial and error. 

This article will provide a thorough list of things that all moms can benefit from for a better hospital stay.

7 Write Down Any Questions For the Doctor You May Have Beforehand

Giving birth is a complicated, nuanced procedure, all soon-to-be moms know that much. If you have a history of medical complications or future concerns about your baby, its best to inquire about them during your stay. Not only does it provide insight to how you should care for your little one as soon as you arrive home, it also can allow doctors to investigate and dig up anything that may now look like a problem on the surface.

By allowing yourself to have a good, long think and then writing things down, you can easily avoid small concerns becoming bigger ones down the line. No mom wants to be wrought with anxiety with a concern she just thought up the day before her hospital discharge!

Speaking of anxiety-riddled concerns, a tip that all moms can benefit from is to be calm! Easier said than done of course, but doctors and nurses know just as much as you do that new moms are particularly vulnerable. Concerns are generally handled with the utmost caution and all medical practitioners are generally displeased when a former patient returns to them more sick than ever. 

If you have issues with how a doctor is doing something (ie you don’t consent to a non-life saving procedure) then it’s OK to voice it, but otherwise, it’s good to trust professionals with what they’re doing. 

6 Remember to Pack the Basics

You’re going to spend quite some time at the hospital, but that doesn’t mean you have to smell like it. Several pairs of clothes (pajamas included), toothbrush, toothpaste moisturizer, shampoo, body wash and conditioner are all must-haves for repeated overnight stays. As a part of the job description, nurses can indeed aid you in performing any ritualistic body cleaning tasks so do not feel embarrassed about asking. If you have medications that you regularly ingest it is imperative that those are brought as well.

Another hygiene tip is to munch on mint chocolate or candies if you can. Are they good for your teeth? Not really (that’s why you have toothpaste and a toothbrush!), but taking medicine orally is likely going to be routine. Medicine that will inevitably leave you with breath that just stinks! If you aren’t feeling up to brushing your teeth every time you feel kind of icky, it doesn’t hurt to at least freshen your breath until you get the energy to do your next bodily-cleaning ritual. You got this, mom!

5 Bring an Activity

As briefly mentioned in the introduction, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the hospital on your own….and man is it going to be boring! For the long nights you’ll be spending alone, sometimes the television set with two channels they have in your room just won’t cut it. Bring a book, crafts, some art supplies or a magazine to pass the time between check ups and visits.

Electronic devices that require wi-fi are generally discouraged from most hospitals due to the fact that some doctors are concerned that they might interfere with some of the medical equipment. In spite of this, it does not hurt to inquire about the rules and regulations about bringing wi-fi dependent devices in. In some cases, there are special rooms or lounges where wi-fi can be freely used.

4 Bring Some Comfort Items

Hospital beds, sheets and pillows aren’t the most comfortable, everyone knows this. You might find yourself tossing and turning in your bed, on the verge of catching a chill as you try to adapt to your stale new surroundings. To alleviate this burden, one should always bring home items such as quilts, pillows, plush toys, blankets and covers with them to their stay. 

Not only will this give you a greater sense of relaxation during your stay, but it will make you more comfortable with your new surroundings. Remember, recovering from childbirth is top priority so you ought to be as physically comfy as you can be.

Comfort items do not just need to be blankets and quilts, however (they are just the bare minimum). Other items you can bring to decorate your resting space are framed pictures (or boxes of pictures!), mementos, the sweater of a loved and so forth. The purpose here is to relax in your home away from home, and maybe prep your baby for the sweet feeling of actual home.

3 Snacks

If you’ve known someone in the hospital, you have known the forays of hospital food. Such a dreary condition of your stay. Hospital food is meant to nourish you with usually little regard for taste. Some describe hospital food as a type of slop that you would eat in a post-apocalyptic wasteland; the kind that takes the oatmeal-textured ivory-colored substance that you eat because it’s nutritious. 

If you’re planning on living out your survivor power fantasies during your hospital stay, that’s fine, but for everyone else: plan beforehand!

Snacks are always a good mediator between slurping up your daily meals. Likewise, you will be unable to bring items that require being refrigerated and prepared with you for your stay. You can, however, request that a loved one bring in some home-cooked meals or treats for you. You can also, alternatively, request that your loved ones bring in things to add a less-depressing spice to your food. 

For treats such as candies, it may be preferable to keep mini-candies with you during your stay to satiate cravings between meals.

2 Stay In Contact With Friends

With such a big change in your life happening right before your eyes, you may think that it’s your friends who are the ones clawing to stay in contact with you! The thing is, once your big hospital rush is all over and everyone is completely positive the danger has passed, you may find that your pals are slowly returning to their rustic daily lives. They still care and they definitely still want to see you, so don’t think it’s all just cynicism! 

The thing only issue is that the demands of real life (work, school, organization related activities, kids of their own perhaps) tend to slowly slink back into the picture after several days of ogling your newborn. So, assuming the hospital hasn’t discharged you yet, what do you do?

Call! Or text (assuming the hospital staff permits it). Let them know what’s going on with the baby and ask them what they’re up to. Many moms fear being too clingy calling up friends while in the hospital, but there truly is no shame to it. Good friends understand that this is a tender time for you. Worst case scenario, you have some small talk before hanging up and feeling better because you got to talk to a good chum. 

Best case scenario, this will prompt them to visit you more often (or at least leave a nice gift). Unconditional positive support can help facilitate physical recovery, so be unafraid!

1 Bring Earbuds

In a hospital room, nobody can hear you scream…….nobody except for the one or two people you’re sharing your room with. Because hospitals have wards where specialized individuals can go to treat patients with certain issues, you will inevitably be shafted into a room with another pregnant person. Another pregnant person who is a complete stranger. The downside to this is that, well, they might not be able to deal with childbirth as well as you do. 

Screaming, kicking, crying and all sorts of unpleasant noises can very possibly rise in their wake. Not even just that as well; screaming, kicking, crying and all sorts of unpleasant noises for literally hours. If you just finished giving birth yourself, then that’s likely the last thing you want to hear. So what’s the solution?

Ear buds! You can either bring your own from home or request a nurse to provide you with a pair (hospitals typically come prepared for this sort of happening).

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