So you’ve just had your baby and you are exhilarated and exhausted all at the same time. There’s nothing quite like bringing life into the world to do that to you!
You get wheeled to your postpartum room to recover and enjoy your new addition. And aside from nurses constantly coming in and visitors you may have, you are by yourself. At this point, it is important to invest your time wisely in the things that matter most.
If I had had the following list I’m about to give you, it would have saved me from having to figure out what I needed to do on my own. It also would have knocked some important things off my to-do list pretty quickly. And I want those things for you, so here it is!
1. Read through the paperwork they give you
The hospital will give you a bunch of paperwork about everything related to having a baby. And it’s all very helpful. I still learned a lot by reading it even with my fourth baby!
However, it’s a lot. I mean like a LOT. And chances are, you are not going to get the time to read it once you get home, or you may forget to (especially if you have other kids). And to be honest, I still have a small stack to go through even as I type this! So your best bet would be to read through as much as you can and even throw away what you don’t need. That will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Tip: take a picture on your phone of some of your favorite tips. That way you can go paperless 🙂
2. Notify your health insurance of your baby’s birth
This is especially important if you have Medicaid. And the sooner you get this taken care of the better, as you will have to have to take the baby to the pediatrician 3-5 days after you get discharged.
3. Add your baby to your life insurance policy (if you have one)
I still haven’t done this. Like my last two children have not been added. It’s still on my to do list because things more urgent keep coming up and needing to be done. If I’d have thought about this in postpartum, it would be done. But at least I can share it with you!
4. Make your postpartum follow up appointment
I got this done with my last baby and it was so refreshing to come home and already have it on my calendar. I made sure to do it this last time because with my third daughter, I remember being overwhelmed with all that I had to do and stressing over it.
5. Purchase the baby’s birth certificate online
They will give you a form to get the birth certificate from the Vital Statistics office near you. However, I’ve always just found it easier to get it done online. It will come in the mail in a few weeks and then it will be one less thing you need to do!
6. Spend time bonding with the baby
This one is probably obvious, but I have heard of many moms who don’t do this at all. Cuddle with your newborn and talk to her. Sing to her and tell her you love her over and over. My theory is that babies live on mama’s milk and love, and I think I’m pretty close to accurate with that. 🙂
Tip: do skin-to-skin as much as possible in the hospital. I’ve learned that it stabilizes the baby’s heart rate, breathing, and body temperature.
7. Rest as much as possible
Your body just had a baby. And it was a lot of work! So even though nurses will continuously wake you up, your best line of action is to be productive while you’re awake and sleep as much as possible.
That’s about it! And honestly, that’s all you will have time for. But I promise you, if you focus on just these things, you will be doing yourself a huge favor and you’ll thank yourself later!