1. In the Hospital

• Muscles are sore from the effort of childbirth and labor.

• Your bottom is sore and swollen. If you had an episiotomy, it also hurts.

• Your incision may be uncomfortable, if you had a C-section or tubal ligation.

• Use the nurse-call button whenever necessary!

• Try different ways for you and your partner to bond with baby.

• Feeding (breast or bottle) the new miracle in your arms may be a little scary, but you’ll soon be doing it like a pro!

• Heavy bleeding or passing blood clots larger than an egg can indicate a problem.

• High or low blood pressure may be a cause for further testing.

• Pain should be relieved by medication. If it isn’t, tell the nurse.

• Fever over 101.5F (25.25C) may be a cause for concern.

• It’s normal to cry or feel emotional.

• Ask for the paperwork so you can get baby a social security number. Fill it out, and be sure to send it in.

• Try to rest. Ask to turn off your phone and to restrict visitors.

• Even though you just lost 10 to 15 pounds with baby’s birth, it’ll take awhile for the rest of your weight to come off.

• Eat nutritiously to keep up energy and to produce milk, if you breastfeed.

• Write down thoughts and feelings about labor, delivery and the first hours with your new baby. Encourage your partner to do the same.

• Watch hospital videos about baby care. Ask staff for clarification or help.

• Get the name, address and telephone number of your pediatrician.

• Ask questions, and get help from the nurses and staff in the hospital.

• Ask your partner to take you for a walk outside your hospital room.

• Take time for you, your partner and your baby to bond as a family.

2. 1st Week Home

• You’ll still have painful uterine contractions, especially during nursing.

• It’s normal for your breasts to be full of milk, engorged and leaking.

• The area of your episiotomy or tear is probably still sore.

• Muscles may also be sore.

• Maternity clothes may be the most comfortable clothes to wear.

• Your legs may be still swollen.

• You may leak urine or stool and can’t control it.

• If bleeding gets heavier, or you pass blood clots, call your doctor.

• It may indicate a problem if you get red streaks or hard spots in your breasts.

• Call your doctor if you develop a fever.

• Take it easy; don’t worry about the housework.

• It’s normal to cry, sigh or laugh for no reason.

• Be sure to ask for help from friends and family.

• You may still look a little pregnant from the side.

• You still carry some of the extra weight you gained during pregnancy.

• Make baby’s first appointment with the pediatrician.

• Have baby added to your insurance policy. There may be a time limit, so don’t delay.

• Keep important “baby” documents together, such as the birth certificate, immunization record (when you get it at baby’s first pediatrician’s visit) and baby’s social security card.

• Make your 6-week postpartum checkup appointment.

• Begin making plans for day-care arrangements, if you haven’t started already.

• Give your partner a job or assignment to help you and to make him feel useful.

• Contact La Leche League, if you have any problems breastfeeding.

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