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Postpartum Care for Mother & Baby
What happens after your baby arrives?
At our hospitals and birthing centers in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, you’ll receive expert, supportive care from skilled maternity professionals after delivery, and gain the skills you need to take care of yourself and your baby at home.
Postpartum hospital care
In the hospital following delivery, expect nurturing, one-on-one support for you and your baby including:
- After-delivery care – In most cases, as soon as your infant is delivered, he or she will be placed directly on the mother’s bare chest for the first hour of life in order to promote bonding and encourage breastfeeding.
- Assessment – Learn more about your baby when the maternity staff performs a nursery assessment to see if there are any conditions or complications that need monitoring.
- Bath time – Watch and celebrate while your baby takes his or her first bath. If your baby’s condition is stable, the first bath will take place within 8 to 12 hours after birth.
- Breastfeeding services – Learn how to nurse your baby successfully with the support of our certified lactation consultants.
- Couplet care – With supportive encouragement from our nurses, strengthen your bond with your newborn as you both recover in a soothing, intimate setting.
- Other details – We’ll help you apply for your baby’s birth certificate and social security number before you leave the hospital.
Postpartum care at home
In partnership with your dedicated maternity team, learn how to take the best care of yourself and your baby at home, including:
- Asking for help – Ask for help from your partner, family, friends and support group.
- Eating – Healthy eating helps you and your baby thrive.
- Healing – Contact your doctor if you think your body isn’t healing properly.
- Resting – Rest whenever you can.
- Bathing – Ask your doctor when it’s safe to shower, bathe or soak in water.
- Breastfeeding – Consider breastfeeding because it’s natural, healthy and recommended by the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization.
- Caring for your incisions – Talk with your doctor about the incisions used in your delivery to make sure you understand how to care for your surgical site at home and how your incisions may play a role in future deliveries.
- Driving – Don’t drive until your doctor says it’s okay.
- Having sex – Delay having sexual intercourse or putting any objects in the vagina until after your six-week check-up.
- Getting support – Think about joining a support group for new mothers to get encouragement and learn new parenting skills, and reach out to those around you.
- Lifting – Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby in the first few weeks after surgery.