This post was written by Juna Advisor & Labor Nurse, Liesel Teen (@mommy.labornurse).
As a labor and delivery nurse for almost 6 years, I have attended hundreds of births and each is unique in its own way!
Even though every birth is different, there are definitely some commonalities between most of the births I have seen, including the words that come out of a woman’s mouth after her baby is born.
So here it is! The TOP 10 things that I hear MOST often in the first 2 hours after giving birth!
1. “Is my baby ok?” – I think this is the number one thing that I hear most frequently after a baby is born. Until we hear that first good cry, the only thing a mama is concerned about is whether her baby is ok or not. Just goes to show how deep and endless a mother’s love truly is!
2. “Thank goodness that is over!” – Having a baby is TOUGH! Whether you are a first time mom or this is your 10th child, I think all women can agree that giving birth is one of the hardest things they will ever do. As soon as baby makes its way into the world, one of the first things I hear is relief that delivery is OVER!
3. “When can I eat?!?!” – Food is usually the very last thing on your mind as you are giving birth, but usually around the 60 minute mark most mamas are asking for food! If you had a scheduled c-section you likely weren’t allowed to eat for 8 hours prior to surgery, so you can imagine the hunger pains that settle in once everything calms down. If you had a vaginal delivery you can usually eat something right after delivery. For those c-section mamas, you’ll first start with some clear liquids and slowly work your way up to solid foods.
4. “OMG why do you keep jamming your fist into my stomach?? That hurts!” – Ok, so after you deliver baby, your uterus *should* start contracting and shrinking down pretty immediately. Nurses do “fundal rubs” about every 15 minutes to make sure that the uterus is contracting down well, and that you aren’t having excessive bleeding. Fundal rubs don’t feel good, to say the least. But here’s some good news! As long as your bleeding isn’t too heavy, the frequency of those rubs decreases dramatically about 2 hours after delivery.
5. “These after birth pains are no joke!” – Some mamas actually have told me the cramping they feel after baby comes out is WORSE than labor itself! Most first time moms don’t feel after birth pains super intensely, but it seems the more babies you have, the worse the after birth pains are. We usually give extra-strength Motrin to help with the discomfort. If that doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to ask your nurse for something stronger.
6. “When can I start breastfeeding?” – I hear this one a lot from my breastfeeding mamas. You may start to see some hunger signs about 45-60 minutes after birth, including sticking the tongue out and rooting. Some babies will even start maneuvering themselves to the nipple! Pretty cool! We can help you get baby latched on as soon as you are comfortable. Usually about an hour after you give birth!
7. “How much does the baby weigh?” – For those wanting to do skin-to-skin with baby, we recommend at least one hour of baby on your bare chest. After that one hour is up, we will weigh baby, do a head-to-toe assessment and take a few other measurements. If you had a c-section, we usually weigh baby within the first 10 minutes of life, so you’ll find out that information pretty quickly!
8. “Can I get an ice pack?” – Pushing a baby out of my vagina was definitely not the most fun thing I’ve ever done! Not only does that part hurt, but sheesh the soreness, swelling and overall discomfort that comes after baby has arrived is no joke. If you are feeling uncomfortable down below, don’t be afraid to ask for an ice pack. Not only will it help decrease any swelling you may have, but the cold pack can be super soothing!
9. “When will I be able to feel my legs again?” – This one is usually heard from my c-section and epidural patients. If you received spinal anesthesia for your c-section, you likely will be able to start wiggling your toes and moving your legs slightly within 2 hours of giving birth. Though it will take several more hours after that to regain full function of your legs again. For an epidural, usually around the 2 hour mark most women are able to stand up and walk. Always make sure to have your nurse with you the first time that you try to stand up and move around. Even if they feel normal in bed, it’s not uncommon to feel super wobbly the first time you stand up.
10. “When can I take a shower?” – There is nothing that will make you feel better than hopping in the shower for the first time after delivering. For a vaginal delivery, as long as you are stable and recovering well, you should be able to get yourself cleaned up within 8 hours. For c-sections, it might take a little bit longer.
So there ya go! The most common things I hear come out of a mama’s mouth after they give birth!
Did you say any of these things??