In this post, we continue where we left off and will tackle what happens from delivery to discharge. Part I of this post was published here.
After you have delivered your baby, you will spend only about 2 hours in your labor & delivery room. Then onto the mom & baby rooms. Before that your nurse will help you get up at some point and use the bathroom. At Duke Regional, the labor and delivery rooms are separated from the mother and baby rooms by the nursery. It's a nice quick jaunt to get from one to the other. However you'll likely be in a wheelchair. If you delivered vaginally, you may find yourself to be ravenous (I was!) and you are encouraged to eat. Your IV will be removed. If you delivered via csection, it will be a slower progression to get to foods but the goal is to get you back on a regular diet.
Once you are in your new room, you can expect to stay there for 2 nights if you delivered vaginally or 3-4 if you delivered via csection. It is your right to leave after 24 hours but this is discouraged for many reasons, not least of which is due to helping you figure out breastfeeding. An IBCLC at Duke Regional will come after the first 24 hours because after the first 24 hours is when a feeding challenge might show up and because newborns are super sleepy in the first 24 hours so may not be as interested in feeding. These rooms are private and simple, not fancy. They don't offer much in terms of comfort for your partner i.e. there are "reclining chairs" not a sofa for them to rest on. There were be pretty regular interruptions as staff come in to check on your and baby's vitals but they will try to be mindful of your rest. The nurses will teach you how to swaddle, diaper, bath baby and also help with breastfeeding. They will likely show you the movie "The Period Of Purple Crying" and perhaps offer a copy for you to take home or...share with your nanny or other caregiver. Circumcision, if you have decided to go that route, can happen anytime but like the hearing test, baby will be removed from the room for this. The newborn screen includes a bilirubin test as well as the hearing test. Finally, the carseat will need to be brought into the hospital on the last day of your stay. You cannot leave the hospital without a carseat so my guess is this extra schlepping is simply to prove you have one.
A couple of other miscellaneous bits of information:
- If you do't have a breast pump, you can buy one at the gift shop at Duke Regional with a 35% coupon that comes in your tour packet. I advise checking which brands they stock and the price. THEN comparison shop a bit at places like Buy Buy Baby or somewhere similar to make sure you are getting the best deal.
- There are options for photography in your room, at the hospital, if you are interested in that. It's free, easy and confidential. I've blogged about wishing I had more photos of myself and Elisabeth during the first few days so I think this is just a terrific service.
- There are no set visiting hours at The Birth Place but there is a very strict security system. Your baby gets a little bracelet that, if it falls off or is removed, will alert staff to come and check on baby as well as lock down doors (although perhaps not immediately).
As always, one of the most important bits of advice I can offer is to make sure that you have good support before, during and after childbirth. That means a birth doula, childbirth educator, postpartum doula and IBCLC. But good support i.e. a birth doula, during labor, increases your satisfaction with your birth. Greater satisfaction with the birth process (feeling heard, listened to, appreciated, understood, comforted) helps decrease the chances of a postpartum mood disorder.
What have I missed? If there is something you wish I had included here, please leave me a comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading.