When you go home, remember, it takes time to recover from pregnancy and birth. Plan to rest, eat well and spend precious time with your baby. Refer to your discharge instructions for information.
- Do not lift anything heavier than the baby for the first few weeks.
- Sleep when your baby sleeps.
- Let someone else do the shopping, vacuuming, cleaning and cooking.
- Prepare meals ahead of time, buy ready-to-eat meals, or say “Yes!” when someone offers to bring meals.
- Limit housework for the first few weeks.
- Do not plan on a lot of visitors in the first few weeks home—you need time to get to know each other.
- Do not drive a car until your doctor says it is OK, and do not drive while on prescription pain medicine.
Do I Need a Car Seat?
If going home in a vehicle, the law requires you to use an appropriate car seat for your infant. When you arrive for the birth of your baby, please bring your infant seat to the hospital with you. Overlake will not provide you with an infant car seat. We ask that you install it in your car, and learn how it works before you come to the hospital. (Note: Smaller babies may not be able to use a standard car seat. We will discuss this with you if the need arises.)
It is important that new parents understand the Washington state laws on safety seats and safety belts for children (RCW 46.61.687 and 46.61.688).
- Infants are required to ride in rear-facing infant seats until age one and until they reach 20 pounds.
- The restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat and vehicle manufacturer’s instruction.
- You can be fined if you do not follow these laws.
We suggest you shop for an infant seat early. Read your vehicle owner’s manual to identify the type of infant seat that will fit in your car. Once you have purchased your infant seat, fit it in your car and be familiar with how to use the buckles and straps.
Postpartum Follow-up Appointment
Making the transition to parenthood is an adjustment and Overlake is here to help you through it. Before being discharged from the hospital, an appointment will be arranged for you and your baby to be seen within two to three days at the Mom & Baby Care Center. You’ll meet with a nurse who specializes in mother/baby care. While this visit doesn’t replace the appointment with your physician, the nurse will assess you and your baby’s health and answer any questions about your new life with baby. We strongly urge all of our patients to take advantage of this follow-up visit.
Some of the items covered in your appointment include:
- Answers to questions regarding mom and baby.
- Baby weight check.
- Baby vital signs.
- Mom vital signs.
- Jaundice check.
- Newborn hearing screening.
- A feeding plan is determined (if necessary).
- Referrals to physicians as needed.
- Schedule follow-up lactation consultation as needed.
Newborn Hearing Screening
A newborn hearing screening is highly recommended as early detection of hearing deficits is important. If a deficit is detected, assistance can be obtained proactively in order to minimize and prevent developmental delays. This is a non-invasive test and takes approximately five minutes. This screening is suggested by the Washington State Department of Health.
This screening is part of your postpartum follow-up appointment. The procedure is billable to your insurance company.
To make an appointment, call (425) 688-5389.
After going home, many moms have a need for additional support. You may need emotional and physical support, along with assistance caring for your baby.
Extended family can often provide that care, but another option is to hire a postpartum doula. They help with these tasks and more, while creating a nurturing environment that allows you to concentrate on resting and caring for your new baby.
Doula Referral Services
- Seattle Postpartum Doula Services: (206) 686-5115
- Northwest Association for Postpartum Support (NAPS): (206) 956-1955
- DONA International
Classes & Support
Overlake offers a variety of classes on postpartum care for both mom and baby. The following support is also available:
- Balance After Baby: For those experiencing postpartum mood disorder or struggling with their new role as mother.
- La Leche League:
- P.S. Support Group: For those dealing with perinatal loss. Third Thursday of every month. Call (425) 277-9494.
- Listening Mothers: For new mothers and their babies to help mothers adjust to parenthood. Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. - noon for eight weeks. Call Wellspring Family Services at (425) 450-0332.
- OBaby app: Overlake's smartphone app for new parents that includes helpful articles on a variety of relevant topics, and tools to track growth, feeding, diapers and vaccinations. Download OBaby today.
Postpartum Blues & Depression
The arrival of a baby is like no other experience in life. As a new mother you will feel joy, fear, confusion, exhaustion and love. During the first few days after giving birth you may experience a certain sense of the "blues,” including impatience, irritability or crying. These feelings generally come and go quickly. However, as many as one in ten women experience emotional symptoms known as postpartum depression.
Symptoms may include:
- Inability to sleep
- Lack of appetite
- Deep sadness and frequent crying
- Feeling angry or irritated with your husband/partner or your baby
- Feeling out of control, hopeless or worthless
For additional information, visit Postpartum Support International.