Follow up call
A few days after discharge, you will receive a follow-up call from one of our Mother Baby nurses to see how you and baby are doing. She will reinforce the information given to you about caring for yourself and baby, remind you of your follow-up appointments for both you and baby, reassess you for any signs of postpartum mood disorders, and answer any questions you may have about caring for yourself and your baby. You should also call your doctor's office or your baby's doctor's office if you have any questions after discharge. See below for discharge instructions for mom and baby.
See Preparing for Discharge for information about what needs to happen prior to discharge.
Discharge Instructions for mom
Your doctor will give specific discharge instructions for you regarding activities, hygiene, rest, and pain management. Here is a general summary of things to know:
- Hygiene: wash your hands frequently with soap and water-especially after diaper changes. Shower daily-even if you've had a cesarean section. Use the peri-bottle, Tucks, and Dermaplast spray as directed.
- Gradually increase your activities-don't overdo it! If you've had a cesarean section, do not lift anything heavier than your baby until you are feeling stronger. Follow your doctor's advice on when to resume driving, sexual activities, or an exercise program.
- Eat foods from each food group daily and drink plenty of fluids each day.
- Follow your doctor's advice for pain management at home. Contact your doctor if you feel the medications recommended or prescribed are not controlling your pain.
- Use an abdominal binder for added support if you had a cesarean section.
- Adjusting to the new routine in your life will take a little time. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and tired the first few weeks at home. To catch up on your rest, plan to sleep whenever baby sleeps.
- You may feel emotional or sad at times as your hormones return to normal-these are signs of postpartum "blues". Contact your doctor if you feel overly sad, hopeless, or are having difficulty sleeping, as these may be signs of postpartum depression. These feelings are very real and need to be addressed! You may also contact Linden Oaks at Edward at (630) 305-5027.
Call your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- If you have several (3 or 4) egg-sized bright red clots, heavy vaginal bleeding (soaking a peri-pad every hour for two hours), or foul smelling vaginal discharge.
- If you have any pain not relieved by the medications your doctor recommended or prescribed.
- If you experience any redness or tenderness in your legs.
- If you have a temperature over 100.4° F.
- If your incision has signs of infection, separation, increasing redness or it becomes increasingly tender.
- Signs of a breast infection such as fever, redness, tenderness on one or both breasts.
- Problems urinating including urgency, pain, or burning.
- A headache, blurred vision, or spots before your eyes that will not go away.
If you are breastfeeding and encounter any difficulties, please call our Breastfeeding Center to make an appointment for an outpatient visit with a Lactation Consultant.
Discharge Instructions for baby
Your baby's doctor will give you specific instructions prior to discharge. This is a general summary:
- Give your newborn a sponge bath every few days until the cord falls off and the circumcision heals, then give tub baths every few days. Do not allow baby to get chilled during the bath time. Use water only on baby's face and a small amount of a mild baby soap for the rest of the body. Rinse and dry baby thoroughly. Wash your baby's hair with each bath.
- Keep diaper folded below umbilical cord until it falls off. Contact your baby's doctor with any bleeding or foul odor around the cord.
- Follow circumcision care instructions until the circ is healed.
- Avoid lotions or powder and diaper cream unless recommended by your baby's doctor.
- Avoid nail clippers on baby's fingernails for the first few weeks. Use an emery board or keep hands covered.
- Dress your baby with one more layer than you are wearing.
- Change your baby's diaper at every feeding and as needed throughout the day. Your baby should be having at least 6-8 wet diapers per day by the 6th day of life. Baby will usually have a bowel movement daily. The color will change from dark greenish-black to seedy yellow or yellowish-brown. The breastfed baby may have more frequent and loose yellow stools.
- If you are breastfeeding, feed baby on demand – usually 10-12 times in a 24-hour period. Allow baby to nurse completely on fullest breast first, and then offer the second breast. For assistance with breastfeeding difficulties, contact Edward Lactation Specialists at (630) 527-3238.
- If you are formula feeding, prepare the formula as per package directions and NEVER over-dilute the formula. One hour after baby eats, discard any left-over formula.
- Burp baby well after feeding, prior to laying down to sleep.
- Always place your baby on his or her BACK to sleep. Be sure to give baby some play time on his tummy each day, to help develop good neck muscles and control. Remember, Back to Sleep & Tummy to Play!
- For safety, never leave baby alone with other small children. Do not use soft mattress, pillow, bumper pads, or stuffed toys in baby's crib or bassinet. Notify your baby's doctor if there is a family history of SIDS.
- Car Seats are required by law! Place your baby's car seat in the back seat and rear facing (until the height and weight limits for rear-facing on your particular seat). For assistance from a Car Seat Safety Specialist, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
Notify your baby's doctor if you notice any of the following common signs and symptoms of illness:
- An increase in jaundice (yellow color to baby's skin) over the first few days
- Changes in baby's feeding habits
- Changes in baby's sleep patterns or unusual drowsiness
- Increased fussiness
- Excessive spit up or projectile vomiting
- Baby has an armpit temperature higher than 100.4° F.
Learn more about what to expect during baby's first few weeks.
Edward Hospital has several support groups to help you through this transition time, including Cradle Talk, Breastfeeding Support, and Nurturing Mom: A support group for postpartum depression. Bring your baby and meet with other moms (and dads!) to share questions and suggestions. Learn about our support groups.
For breastfeeding questions before your baby is born and after discharge, please call 630-527-3238 to make an appointment with a Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Share details of your pregnancy and news of your delivery with family and friends by creating your own web page. You can do this in the privacy of your own home, or use our kiosks located throughout the hospital. Click here to learn more.
The birth of a child is a momentous occasion. Through the Edward Hospital Cradle Club, you can commemorate your baby's arrival with a keepsake footprint medallion. Your baby's footprint will be etched on a beautiful silver-tone medallion and displayed on the Cradle Club wall in the Women & Children's area of Edward Hospital through your baby's first birthday. Your baby's name and date of birth will also appear on the medallion.
You will also receive an etched almond-colored laminate footprint with your baby's name and date of birth encased in a beautiful brushed silver double frame, and an acrylic holiday ornament medallion with your little one's name, footprint and birthday.
By joining the Cradle Club, you are not only honoring your child's birth, but also making a contribution to the Edward Foundation. This contribution will be used to support continued excellence in Women & Children's Services at Edward Hospital. For more information, call (630) 527-3918.