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What to expect AFTER you’re Expecting
- November 27th 2013, 12pm
- by Steffi Heintzeler
Ever wondered how those first few days with your newborn would turn out or what it would be like to have a doula by your side during labour and birth.. Did you know that Doula care can reduce cesaerean deliveries? Stephanie Heintzeler, a certified bi-lingual doula, provides some excellent advice and insights on birth and beyond in the following two articles posted below. Stephanie works with women and their partners before, during and after birth to ease their experience and welcome their new baby. She is an experienced midwife licensed to practice in Germany and the USA. You can contact her through Citykinder by sending us an email or get in touch with her directly via her contact details listed below the articles.
Many parents plan their birth weeks in advance. They look into where to give birth and with whom, what kind of delivery they would like, and what to bring to the hospital. Funny enough, many childbirth classes mostly focus on those questions—and they are very important. But birth is actually a 12-hour phase in your life while the postpartum phase lasts at least 2 months. So I always like to prepare “my parents” for this very sensitive time after birth. Here are a few things to consider beforehand:
- Check with your hospital if there are family rooms and how often they are actually available. Many hospitals offer them but they are always overbooked.
- Make sure your partner can spend unrestricted time with you and your baby. Strict visiting hours should not apply to your partner.
- Check if the hospital has a lactation consultant and how often he or she is available. If you are planning to breastfeed and a lactation consultant is only available once a day, or not at all, consider working with a doula who can visit you in the hospital and get you off to a good start.
- If you are breastfeeding, tell the staff that you don’t want your baby to be given any formula.
- Spend as much time with your baby as possible. It’s very tempting to bring the baby to the nursery for one to two nights, but your baby will feel lost and you won’t get the same connection if you don’t spend the first days with your baby.
- Have lots of frozen (but fresh) food prepared at home. Don’t cook much once you are at home. Have things precooked and frozen. You should eat two warm meals a day when breastfeeding.
- Stock up on sanitary pads and toilet paper.
- Once at home, turn off your phone as much as you can.
- Don’t invite visitors in unless they are there to help. Even if you have friends coming over, you will feel you are a hostess and your baby won’t get the needed feeding cues. Everyone will comment on what you are doing, and your hormones are usually off balance during the first ten days, so it will affect you much more than usual. How about telling everyone, “We have an open house from 8 to 9 this Saturday. Everyone is welcome to stop in during this hour, but please understand that we need time to ourselves.” Everyone who has a baby will understand—and maybe even bring you food…
- By the third day, your breast milk should kick in. Make sure you have a doula or lactation consultant on hand to get tips on how to breastfeed efficiently.
- By this time baby blues also often kicks in. This is because of a hormonal shift that will make you cry because you are so happy, overwhelmed or for no particular reason at all.
- If possible, your partner should take a few days off from work. The three of you should rest once you are at home. You all experienced a birth. Moms tend to do stuff at home postpartum, dads go run errands—and there goes this wonderful time. Stay in bed and get to know your baby! This time won’t come back, so really take it in!
Please join Stephanie at the next Expecting in NYC Seminar or one of her upcoming childbirth classes where you and your partner will also learn what to expect after birth.
Create the possibility of getting the birth you want!
Stephanie Heintzeler is a German midwife, US doula and lactation consultant (IBCLC). She is the owner of the New York Baby – a team of 20 professionals – and provides birthing wellness with a full range of services including: finding a doctor or midwife who supports what you want for your birth, creating a birth plan, childbirth workshops, birth doulas, postpartum doulas, baby nurses and lactation consultations.
She also is the head speaker at the “Schwanger in New York” seminar with CityKinder. Sign up for the next informational seminar, held in German, here.