Motherhood: Day 1

Generally, after giving birth in a hospital, you'll remain admitted for the next 24 to 72 hours, based on how you delivered (vaginally or via c-section) and your recovery. This is how it usually goes.

Mom and baby in hospital bed

Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business / 360/Getty Images

You're exhausted... but you don't know it yet

Whether you spent hours in labor or endured a C-section to deliver your baby, your body has been through a lot in the hours leading up to the time when you first hold your newborn in your arms. But you won't even notice, because holding your baby is maybe the most amazing thing ever. Plus, you may still have have meds in your system. Trust us, the lack of sleep will catch up with you — so try to get some sleep before you go home or make arrangements for help so you can get your shut-eye.

Doctors and nurses will come in at all hours

You and Baby will do a lot of "resting" in the hours after you've delivered, but a lot of that recovery time will be interrupted by doctors and nurses coming in and out to check both your vitals and Baby's, have you sign paperwork and perhaps even watch an 'instructional' video. Baby will also likely be given a hearing test and other screenings. When I was in the hospital with my babies, they also had to test Baby to ensure he could sit in the infant car seat for a certain amount of time before they would release us.

You might not be ready for visitors

Your family, friends, co-workers and more are going to want to visit you in the hospital and be among the first to congratulate you and take a turn at canoodling with your little bundle. But you if you're too tired or simply not comfortable with guests visiting while you're stuck in a hospital gown, be truthful. Ask visitors to be patient for a day or two until you get settled at home with Baby.

Baby doesn't have to go to the nursery

The doctors and nurses may suggest that Baby go into the nursery while you and the new dad get some much-needed rest after delivery. If you don't feel comfortable with this or are simply not ready to let Baby out of your sight, feel free to decline.

You'll have to prove you're ready to go home

With a C-section delivery, as I had with both my children due to circumstances out of my control (yes, I still feel I have to justify this), I had to be able to get up and walk to the in-room bathroom, go potty by myself and return to my hospital bed before the doctors would approve my release.

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Tags: hospital birth

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