You get postpartum care in the hospital after your baby is born. You may also get postpartum care from a nurse visiting your home or from your doctor or midwife.
Postpartum care in the hospital
After the birth of your baby, the same nurse will care for both you and your baby. You will also be seen by your doctor or midwife and a pediatrician. While you are in the hospital you will learn about caring for your baby including:
Feeding your baby
Bathing and diapering your baby
Tracking your baby’s feedings and wet and soiled diapers (often called input and output)
How to tell if your baby is sick or hurt
How to soothe your baby
Immunizations and other newborn care
You will also learn about caring for yourself including:
Recovery and healing from vaginal or cesarean birth
Emotional changes after birth
How long to expect pain and how to feel better
Options for birth control
MaineHealth hospitals encourage moms to keep their baby in their room with them in the hospital. This is often called rooming in. Rooming in:
Helps you best learn about your baby and what normal newborn behavior looks and sounds like
Allows you to bond with your baby
Helps get breastfeeding off to a good start by being able to respond quickly to your baby’s hunger cues
MaineHealth encourages moms to provide their babies with the best nutrition possible by breastfeeding. Each hospital has staff trained in breastfeeding and can help you with any breastfeeding problems you have in the hospital or after you go home.
Special care for your newborn
If your baby needs more specialized care after birth, he or she may go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). If the hospital your baby is born at does not have a NICU, your baby may be transferred to a hospital that does.
Postpartum care at home
Having a baby is a big change. You may need a little extra help learning how to care for your baby. Sometimes babies struggle with feeding or have health problems that need extra care. If you or your baby need care after you leave the hospital, your doctor or nurse may set you up with a visit from a home health visiting nurse.
Your baby will see his or her doctor in the office within a week or so after birth. You will also see your midwife or doctor about six weeks after your baby is born. Your doctor or midwife will make sure you are healing as expected and answer any questions you may have.