Returning Home From the Hospital

When you last left your house, you were a heavily pregnant woman, possibly in the throes of labour. Now you are about to walk into your house as a new mother, and introduce your newborn baby to his or her first home. The significance of this moment would be enough to have you in tears even without the post-partum hormonal sob fest, but what practical things should you have ready for your first days as a new parent?

  1. Food, glorious food – you don’t want to arrive home from the hospital to discover that the cupboards are bare. Make sure your freezer is stocked up with precooked meals in advance, so all you need to do is reheat and eat. If you plan on having visitors during the first week, ask them to bring a small selection of fresh fruit with them. It’s important to eat healthily and look after yourself so that you are able to look after your baby.
  2. Battle stations at the ready – well, changing stations anyway. You will arrive home from the hospital in a whirlwind of nappy changes, feeds and cuddles, so you won’t have time to hunt for nappy cream or diapers. Have your changing station set up before your due date, so that everything is where it should be for your first dirty nappy. In fact, consider having a couple of different ones – especially if your living quarters are two stories.
  3. Going off grid – unplug the house phone, turn your mobile phone to silent, let the email inbox pile up, and ignore the door. These first few days are the ideal bonding time for your new family. Of course, you should invite any guests you want round, but make sure that your private moments are uninterrupted. There is nothing worse than finally soothing your baby to sleep, only to have your hard work undone by a deafeningly loud phone ringing in the next room.
  4. Just in case – chances are, between childbirth and breastfeeding, you’re going to feel a little sore. You may not need them, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Have some breastfeeding safe over-the-counter painkillers in the house, as well as some heat and ice packs. If you’re planning to breastfeed, you may want to keep some soothing nipple cream in the house too, because your nipples may feel quite tender for the first couple of days. Even a bag of frozen peas might make a handy ice pack if you’re suffering from engorgement.
  5. Some baggies – you won’t be straight back into your skinny jeans, but you probably won’t need maternity wear anymore, either. Make sure you have lots of clean, comfy pyjamas to wear. Don’t forget, you’ll also want some clothes to wear for when visitors pop round, unless you don’t mind them seeing you in your pajamas.

The first few days as a new parent are exhausting, difficult and truly amazing all at the same time. Make sure you have the above items in the house, and if you discover any other useful must haves, be sure to share the advice in the comments below.

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Fiona PeacockReturning Home From the Hospital

Comments 5

  1. Subeyda

    That was really helpful advice and the beautiful comment that I couldn’t stop reading I’ve started papering since i was 6 months and slowly slowly I’ve got everything actually I wanted for my new born baby and me my husband and I live different country but I am with my family who were helpful at the beginning and up to now, I won’t let anyone give me problems or tell me am not doing the right I know the best for my baby and myself before anyone am a firs time mum who’s expecting a baby boy age of 19 am so grateful and happy that I went through my pregnancy and stayed strong 39weeks + 3 days 🎉

  2. Mapiah

    Nothing worse than people who think they know your baby better than you and put you down while you’re trying to figure out motherhood. My in-laws were so condescending late during my pregnancy but I didn’t say anything for my husband. Then they just took it too far. Decided they wanted to pick a fight with me while I was recovering in hospital! Ended up with PND and I’ve definitely learnt my lesson since then. And I found out who really cared for mine and my baby’s health (my parents and siblings really came through for me while I was down). The pregnancy and birth is all about mum and bub. No need to worry about anyone else and their feelings. They’ll eventually get over it but you will just be left with painful memories for what should’ve been a beautiful bonding experience with your first child. I definitely know who I won’t be including for the next birth!

  3. Dominique

    My husband and I just became new parents one week today. Some things that really helped us/me get through the first few days and continues now are
    lots of healthy easy to eat snacks. Yogurt cups, bananas, fig Newtons, fruit cups, granola bars ect…
    get a head of cabbage. When you are dealing with engorgement put one leaf over the breast you are about to feed on about 10 minutes before. Don’t ask me why but it really helps!
    NEVER LET ANYONE TAKE TIME AWAY FROM YOU OR MAKE YOU FEEL YOU CANNOT HAVE A MOMENT TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!! My mom was over the first day my engorgement started and she is overbearing. all I wanted was 20-30 minutes to myself to take care of the pain my breasts were causing me. Now I have a clogged milk duct that is on the brink of being infected because I didn’t force her to back off and leave me be.
    be open with your husband about everything you are feeling. Your hormones are still running rampid and he may not understand why your mad at him because you feel your doing it all alone. Remember he is taking care of the rest of the house hold so your only focus is the baby! Talking about any sour feelings you may have and him reminding you of everything he is actually doing to help out will keep you on planet earth.
    Just breath! Only you know what’s best for your baby! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

  4. Melinda

    I prefer to be alone at home. I hate it when people drop in to visit after I have a baby. I hope with this one people respect my wishes better. You wouldn’t believe the number of people that thought my request for no visitors didn’t apply to them.

  5. Daniela

    Make sure you’re not alone until you’ve settled into the new situation. My hubby wasn’t able to pick me up because he celebrated being a dad the day before and had to attend a special driving class for work anyway. So he sent a friend. Wow. Welcome home. I could have killed him, pictured myself as a single mom (not as a widow, but on the brink of leaving) and the sobbing got out of control. Luckily my mom was keen on visiting. Having a competent midwife with a knack for homeopathy also helped: pulsatilla was my best friend.