The Real Deal
From what to pack to how to handle visitors, 14 moms offer proven tips to improve your hospital stay.
Ways to get nursing going
• Seek input from a lactation consultant. Do this in the hospital, even if you don't think that you need it. I had problems after I got home and had to find someone.
- A.J. Young, mother of one, Los Angeles
• Bring your breast pump to the hospital. A nurse or lactation consultant can show you how to use it.
- Stacy Whitman
• Breastfeed immediately after delivering. If you need any help, the nurses are right there!
- Robin Miller
• Room in with your baby. The nurses put the baby in a little bassinet right next to me. They would come in and wake me up so that I could breastfeed, which helped get nursing off to a good start. It's also nice for bonding.
- Lynn Evans
• Got two? Get a twin nursing pillow. This is a foam-filled platform that allows you to lay your babies on either side of you and nurse simultaneously.
- Louise Kelly, mother of three, Pelham, N.Y.
Tips to enjoy your hospital stay
• Be nice to the nurses. They can be one of your biggest advocates with a doctor who doesn't have the best bedside manner. One nurse even gave me a back rub when her shift was slow!
- Victoria E. Moss, mother of four, Irvine, Calif.
• Designate someone to "take everyone to the cafeteria for coffee." Visitors won't be offended if you ask them to leave so you can nap, nurse or just enjoy quiet time with your baby.
- Jennifer Buneta, mother of one, Florham Park, N.J.
• Bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and makeup. I wanted to look nice (or at least a little less like death!) when people came to visit.
- A.J. Young
• Put pains and gripes in perspective. Remind yourself that you are going through all this in order to bring your child into the world. You'll go home with a new life-nothing else matters!
- Patricia K. Meyer, mother of one, Santa Monica, Calif.