After you have your baby you may be transferred to another unit (every hospital calls it it’s own name) and today we’re talking about how to get the MOST out of your care in that spot.
Today’s guest is Kara the Baby Nurse. Kara has been a registered nurse for 4 years and works in mother baby at a large hospital. She is also a mom to 2 (soon to be 3!) and the TikToker of @karathebabynurse. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Myles. Her biggest goal as a nurse is for moms to feel confident to speak up for their needs and be educated about birth so they can advocate for the birth they want!
Get a consult with Kara here: https://karathebabynurse.com/consultations-with-kara/
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — I have a whole chapter on what to expect when you’re on the postpartum floor and what to expect there.
In this episode
What is a postpartum unit? Every hospital calls it something different
Who will be coming in your room?
What you can refuse?
What to bring with you for that part of the hospital stay (I have a postpartum packing list)
Other things that might interest you
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
[00:00:00.130] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 144, we’re talking about where you go after you have a baby. Some people call it postpartum, some people call it couplet. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:22.410] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary. Erickson, the curly head behind The Pulling Curls Podcast, where we untangle pregnancy, parenting, home, and even travel. We know there’s no right answer for every family, but hopefully we can spark some ideas that will work for yours. Life’s tangled, just like my hair.
[00:00:45.010] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, before we get started, I just want to transfer you over to Apple podcasts so you can leave a review. Okay, I can’t transfer you, but it would be great if you left a review and you don’t even have to use a wheelchair to get there. Thank you.
[00:00:56.160] – Hilary Erickson
I’d love to introduce today’s guest. I actually found her on the Tikkity Tok where she is Kara the Baby Nurse. She is a postpartum nurse and gives so much good information on there. I absolutely love it. So definitely check her out. I want to introduce today’s guest, Kara.
[00:01:13.250] – Hilary Erickson
Do you feel prepared for your delivery? In just three short hours, you can be prepared for the confident, collaborative delivery you want. You’ll know what to expect and how to talk with your health care team. And there are no boring lessons in this class. I’ll use humor stories from my 20 years in the delivery room to engage both of you. I love how Alyssa told me that she found herself laughing at things that used to sound scary. Most of all, you guys are going to be on the same page from bump to bassinet. Join the online prenatal class for couples today. You can save 15% with coupon code UNTANGLED. You can find the link in the show notes.
[00:01:48.570] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, Kara, welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:01:51.180] – Kara
Hey, thanks for having me.
[00:01:53.680] – Hilary Erickson
It’s so fun to interview people that I’ve seen a ton on TikTok, right?
[00:01:58.080] – Kara
Yes, I know. I’ve never done a podcast ever. So this is all new to me, but really cool.
[00:02:05.130] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I have so many podcast. Virgin nurses that come on. I love it.
[00:02:09.250] – Kara
I love it.
[00:02:09.700] – Hilary Erickson
I love it because you guys have all the good information.
[00:02:13.890] – Kara
[00:02:14.820] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Okay, so today we’re talking about the transition from to postpartum. So hospitals all do it differently. There are some hospitals that do labor, delivery, recovery, all in the same room. Do you have any local to you that do that, Kara?
[00:02:28.120] – Kara
Yeah. So I actually live like five minutes from the hospital. It’s like the sister hospital to the one I work at. They do LDRP, but the one I’m at, which is about 30 minutes from me. It’s like the big one downtown. That one is a split unit, so we have like, high risk is one floor. Labor and delivery is one floor. And then postpartum where I work is its own floor. So we’re all separate.
[00:02:50.630] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, so the Lbrp is probably a smaller hospital.
[00:02:53.910] – Kara
Yes, it is. It’s smaller. And then there’s a lot of sister, like, smaller hospitals still when I’m with and they’re all like Lbrp, so it’s kind of funny, but yeah, I’ve noticed that they’re all smaller that do it like that.
[00:03:07.830] – Hilary Erickson
So the labor room is so specific to labor. I think they like to keep all that technology available for people that are walking in off the street, whereas postpartum, they don’t need as much stuff in the room. So I think it’s easier for those small.
[00:03:19.280] – Kara
[00:03:19.810] – Hilary Erickson
So check with your hospital. Maybe you won’t be going to postpartum, but either way, your care will change. And, like, how we visit you changes. So even if you don’t go to a different floor and you might not be on even a different floor, I used to just wheel people past the elevators postpartum. They didn’t go up or down at one of my hospitals. So, yeah, sometimes it’s different, sometimes it’s the same.
[00:03:38.860] – Kara
The one you’re at now, what’s their set up?
[00:03:41.120] – Hilary Erickson
It’s just upstairs.
[00:03:42.210] – Kara
[00:03:42.590] – Hilary Erickson
But that unit is all it is separate from the hospital. So while I work for the hospital and when we call a Cove Blue, they run from the main hospital. Like, we get ICU nurses that come to us. We’re entirely separate, which is awesome during Covet because we were a closed unit and we couldn’t get any of their cooties over with us less often when you’re waiting for them to come during a code. But some hospitals are so big that you wait a long time for ICU nurses to get there anyway.
[00:04:11.190] – Kara
Yeah, we have like three separate buildings, so if we have anyone from ICU come, it’s going to take them at least ten minutes to get there.
[00:04:20.970] – Hilary Erickson
That feels like 6000 years.
[00:04:24.520] – Kara
Yes, it does. But even though we’re separate, I do feel like we’re very well prepared, though. Like, the L&D nurses who I work with are super smart and I feel very confident with them. So not to make anyone feel scared. I trust them very well.
[00:04:43.530] – Hilary Erickson
I will say that the main reason the ICU nurses would come is in case we had to transfer them back to ICU, because when they come, they would just kind of stare at us and be like, do you need an alcohol wipe? I’m not.
[00:04:56.190] – Kara
I know they’re so scared of pregnant people.
[00:04:59.610] – Hilary Erickson
They’re like, get that baby out and then we’ll figure it out.
[00:05:02.650] – Kara
[00:05:04.470] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, so like we’re saying, and postpartum might be called so many different things at your hospital that you’re delivering at. There’s a couple of care. That’s what we call it at the hospital. I was last at postpartum mother baby. I bet they’re getting away from mother baby because of the connotations of everyone being a mother.
[00:05:19.850] – Kara
Yeah, we do call our floor is technically mother baby. Like, if you’re going to the floor listed on the directory on the wall, it’s called mother baby floor. That’s what we call it. And then I guess, like, in the computer system, like any of our scheduling stuff, it also calls us mother baby. Yeah, you’re right. Postpartum nursery. But I do do couple of care, so I usually have my three moms and my three babies.
[00:05:44.490] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. Three and three. Yeah, we do four. Four and four.
[00:05:47.830] – Kara
Bless you. Do you all have text at least?
[00:05:52.770] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, depends on how helpful they are or.
[00:05:57.690] – Kara
Yeah, see, we don’t have tech, but honestly, I would rather have me personally less patience and then not have a tech than have more patience and maybe have a tech and maybe not have a good tech, but I’d just rather do it myself.
[00:06:17.070] – Hilary Erickson
So right off the bat, we talked about a big difference between postpartum and labor and delivery, because essentially, in labor and delivery, you’d have one, maybe two patients that are in labor. And once you get an active labor and you’re pushing, you only have one patient as a nurse. I mean, fingers crossed, there have been days where.
[00:06:33.930] – Kara
Oh, my gosh hunting across the hall.
[00:06:35.890] – Hilary Erickson
But that’s the standard of care. It’s really that you’re just working with one patient once you’re in active labor and progressing and going to have your baby.
[00:06:42.840] – Kara
[00:06:43.330] – Hilary Erickson
Whereas Kara, when you go to postpartum, she has several patients. So care is obviously going to be different, right?
[00:06:48.530] – Kara
Right. Yeah. I mean, most of the time I start off the day already. I have six patients with three moms and three babies. But sometimes it may be I come in and I only have four, but then they’re like, you’re going to get an admission in, like an hour or a couple of hours. But sometimes it can be crazy, though, because just for staffing reasons, like, maybe I have a couple of Nicky moms or like, one Nicky mom, and then I have, like, four or five babies. So it’s not always even, like, ideal would be three moms and their three babies. But if maybe a baby is in the NICU or we have a NICU nurse who floats to help us, they can only take care of the babies. They can’t take care of the moms. So I may have that NICU nurse has all six babies and I have all six moms. So that’s not, like, ideal. We don’t like to do that because then obviously it’s just a little more annoying if you have, like, two nurses assigned you. Let’s say you’re the patient and you have your baby and you have a nurse who has you, and then you have a nurse who has your baby.
[00:07:49.360] – Kara
That’s like two nurses who are both coming in and checking on you, and we try to be really good about it and come in together, like, if we come in around on you or whatever. But it’s just a little like there’s not as great a communication because you as the patient may say something to the mom may tell you something, and then the other nurse misses it, and there’s just like, miscommunication.
[00:08:11.150] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I definitely agree. But one of the hospitals I worked at, we had entirely separate mom nurses and baby nurses, and then most of the hospitals I worked at, the nurses do both. It just makes it so much easier. Also, it makes it easier to know everything because while you’re in there, mom will go, oh, is this normal? If you don’t know babies at all, you just be like, I don’t know. And how reassuring is that, right?
[00:08:32.500] – Kara
I know there’s, like, a big hospital close to me where they’re split, and I have a friend who worked there, so she just says mom. So she just does the mom. And I’m like, so do you like that? Do you like it being split like that? And she was like, oh, I love it. And I’m like, I just feel like it’s so much easier if you just have, like, to me, at least from when we’ve had to be split on my floor where I work. Like, if I have to have all moms, I just feel like it’s way more chaotic. I don’t know what’s going on because maybe the baby is, like, okay to discharge and the mom has to stay, and there’s just, like, miscommunication. So I don’t know. I just prefer it like you’re the nurse for both people. To me, that makes more sense. And I think the evidence based practice supports that. But I don’t know. Everywhere is different.
[00:09:17.320] – Hilary Erickson
You’ll find that staffing makes nurses do crazy things if they bring over a pizza. We definitely don’t want her not having any idea where your fund is at. So obviously we want to take the best care of you. So sometimes you may end up with wonky nursing staffing, but true. The other good thing is it always changes that nurse isn’t there forever.
[00:09:37.110] – Kara
Yeah, that’s true.
[00:09:38.710] – Hilary Erickson
All right. What else happens when you go to the postpartum floor?
[00:09:41.270] – Kara
Well, one of the first things I would like people to probably just kind of know. It’s kind of what happens when you first get there. So you’re Ellen Dean, or at least for me, that’s on my floor, labor and delivery will drop you off, and either they text or call me that they’re coming. Then once they get there, they tell me that you’re there. So I’ll come in the room, we do bedside shift report. So that looks like the L and Dana telling me all about you and your history, like, your previous medical history, and then also how everything went in your labor. They’re going to go over, like, how your blood pressures work, how your funuses are now, and how it’s been in the last hour. We just talked about everything.
[00:10:23.240] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And that is an awesome time for you to ask any questions about your delivery that you have, because once that delivery, nurse leaves, you may not get her back. Like, if all of a sudden you’re like, why did this happen? And then you’re going to be postpartum, and you’re going to be sitting on your couch, breastfeeding, and be like, did they do something wrong? My other friends didn’t have it that way. So that is the time to get out all the questions you’ve ever thought of.
[00:10:44.330] – Kara
[00:10:44.830] – Hilary Erickson
Don’t hold anything in, because that’s really what bedside report is there for, is to answer questions, too.
[00:10:49.940] – Kara
Yes, I’m Super happy for people to ask, like, interrupt. I’m like, don’t feel bad about interrupting us. This is the point of bedside shift report is for you to also be included. So also jump in. So usually that process just takes, like, five minutes. It’s super quick. I do a fun little rub on the mom while the L&D nurse is there to just so I can kind of be like, hey, was this what you felt? Also? And we can confirm with each other, then the L & D nurse usually leaves, and I kind of spend, like, a good I would say probably 30 minutes in the room at that point because I go and explain what now the next couple of days are going to look like to the patient. So they’re prepared. So the first thing I usually tell them is, okay, that was our first bundle check that we did now, and I’m going to have to do three more. So we’re going to do 1 hour for a total of 4 hours. So I’m like, this is one we’re going to do three more. So I’m sorry, I’m going to be in your room, like, a lot for the next 4 hours.
[00:11:46.780] – Kara
But then after that, I promise I will try to leave you alone.
[00:11:50.430] – Hilary Erickson
And let’s just define funnel checks, because I’ve been getting a lot of hate on the TikTok from people about funnel checks. So we’re just making sure that your uterus is clamped back down.
[00:12:01.600] – Kara
[00:12:01.920] – Hilary Erickson
And that you’re keeping all of your blood inside instead of it coming out. That’s really all we’re doing it. Therefore, I think they think we like to be mean, but we really don’t.
[00:12:09.290] – Kara
Yeah, I know. And I know I feel so bad, and I apologize to them, and I have some little I’ll tell my patients, we’ll breathe in together, I breathe out, and I push with you. So I have some ways to kind of, like, distract and not make it hurt so much. But yeah, the reason we do it is because you’re most likely to hemorrhage in that first few hours, and that’s the only reason we’re like, it’s very rare for you to hemorrhage. I don’t want people to think like, oh, my gosh, I’m going to hemorrhage. But it’s just that you’re more at risk to in the first few hours, and that’s why we do them so frequently at the beginning. So then after that, we’re going to still do them, but just like a lot less frequently. So then after I explain the funnel checks and I usually have them, we have a postpartum depression screening. So I have them go and fill that out. It takes like 1 minute to do it. I go over all the infant safety and security stuff, like keeping the baby away from the elevators and that they have an ankle monitor on so we know where they are.
[00:13:05.000] – Kara
I just make sure that they have like water and snacks and kind of explain how the room is set up. If they need to call me, how to get a hold of me, I give them a menu because that’s like anyone cares about hungry after you have a baby. Yes. It’s like the most important thing. So we go over how to call and order food and all that. So then I usually I back off and I tell them I’ll be back and at this point I’ll be back in 30 minutes and then we do the second hourly check. So that’s kind of like what that first little bit of time looks like.
[00:13:37.860] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So in my hospital, we kept moms for 2 hours. How long does labor keep your patients?
[00:13:44.430] – Kara
Same 2 hours, 2 hours.
[00:13:45.950] – Hilary Erickson
But one of the hospitals I worked at, it was 1 hour. So we were Holland up real fast.
[00:13:51.110] – Kara
Dang. Yeah, that is quick. One of the other things I want to bring up too is I think something that catches patients offguard is like how many people come in your room. So I wanted to kind of address that because I think that’s good to give people a heads up. So of course you have your nurse in your room a lot. Like I was just saying that 1st 4 hours is like the most busy, but we’ll still check on you and round on you. At my hospital, we’re supposed to round every 2 hours. Do you all have a specific requirement at yours?
[00:14:21.790] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I mean, I’ve faked a lot of those.
[00:14:24.530] – Kara
Yes, I know. If they’re sleeping, I tell them like, look, if you’re going to sleep, I won’t wake you up. I’ll just peek in, make sure you’re breathing, make sure the day is breathing.
[00:14:32.910] – Hilary Erickson
I’ll just say to work or even if they say they’re going to go to sleep, I give them like an hour, an extra couple of hours off.
[00:14:40.200] – Kara
Just because for sure, definitely. And then you have the doctors. That includes your OB and the pediatrician. So that’s a couple of different people there. You have the hearing screener, which they usually come like the day after delivery. At my hospital, I don’t know, sometimes they show up the day of if you deliver, like early in the morning.
[00:14:58.920] – Hilary Erickson
Especially with COVID with people wanting to leave after 24 hours, they’ve been trying to get in there as soon as they can. I feel like, oh.
[00:15:06.160] – Kara
My gosh, yes, that’s totally true. You have the lab come in. Usually they come in at 04:00 a.m. At my hospital, like the next morning after delivery because they’ll check your hematocrate, which is a blood, like, it’s a blood level, to make sure that you haven’t been losing blood and there’s no internal bleeding or any bleeding that we can’t see, but also to make sure you haven’t been losing too much vaginally. And then you have, like, the newborn photographer. They usually stop by and ask if you want pictures, although you do usually sign a consent form for that, like during the labor and delivery process. So they already asked you if you wanted to do that, but they’ll come by, you have the managers coming by round on you to ask how your experience has been. You have the birth certificate coming by to have you fill out all that paperwork you might have witnessed in your room to ask if you need to sign up with them so that you can get like, food stamps and formula vouchers. You may have social services stop by my hospital, we have physical therapy comes and sees all of the C-sections, so they come by.
[00:16:05.910] – Hilary Erickson
Oh, that’s awesome.
[00:16:06.880] – Kara
Yeah, we just started doing that. Actually, one of the doctors at our hospital was super advocating for it. So they just started.
[00:16:14.020] – Hilary Erickson
I love that.
[00:16:14.700] – Kara
Yeah, it’s like been really awesome. So they just started that like a couple of months ago, but one more person to come into your room and then you have food and nutrition. So, yeah, that’s a lot of people. But I do want to say, like I said, you can always get a do not disturb sign and don’t feel bad to ask for one. I offer it to people all the time. I’m like, look, if you need to sleep, we’ll do what we need to do to get you to sleep and not be bothered. So never feel bad to ask for that.
[00:16:42.410] – Hilary Erickson
And the good news is most of those people work during the day, like, they are not on night shift. So we do try and prioritize sleep, but that your nurse will still be in the night.
[00:16:52.890] – Kara
Yeah, they got to do what they got to do.
[00:16:56.220] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I would agree, though, in general, don’t be afraid to be like, I need to sleep because I transferred up with my last baby at like 02:00 A.m.. Oh, that’s so rough. And they knew I was a labor nurse and she was just like, can we just get your teaching out of the way right now?
[00:17:13.890] – Kara
[00:17:14.340] – Hilary Erickson
And I was just kind of like, I do want to get it out of the way because I don’t need any teaching, but leave me alone. I’m so tired. And then they wanted to Bate the baby in the middle of the night anyway. Oh, no, you are completely within all your rights to be like, no, not right now.
[00:17:31.300] – Kara
Yeah, I know. People don’t want to be rude, but I’m always like, look, I usually preface that before we do it. Start anything that may take a little minute. I’m like, we can always do this later. So don’t be afraid to say, leave me alone. Like, respectfully, you can be like, get out of here and I’ll be fine.
[00:17:47.310] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. That being said, there are things I mean, you can leave whenever you want, obviously, but there are things that we’re supposed to check off, like making sure you do that postpartum depression. We have a don’t you take your baby form that they need to fill out? Like, there are things that we have to check off.
[00:18:01.790] – Kara
[00:18:02.200] – Hilary Erickson
You really can’t tell the doctor, not now. Like, good luck with that because they’ll never come back.
[00:18:05.900] – Kara
Yeah, I know. Those are like the doctors and the lab are like kind of the two things. I feel like you’re just like, sorry, we got to do this. We got to do it.
[00:18:14.950] – Hilary Erickson
Yes. We have a lot of doctors that don’t order the H and H. So if they feel like they did all right, that’s good. If needles are a thing and you feel like you didn’t bleed very much, you could ask to refuse that or whatever.
[00:18:27.590] – Kara
[00:18:28.200] – Hilary Erickson
But I would definitely check with the staff to make sure that they felt like your blood loss wasn’t crazy before you just flat refused it, especially if it’s a standard.
[00:18:37.480] – Kara
Yeah, that’s true. I would agree with that for sure.
[00:18:40.940] – Hilary Erickson
Does your lab draw the baby PKU in the metabolic screen?
[00:18:45.270] – Kara
Yes, they do. We do that the day that they’re supposed the day of discharge that we expect they’re going to leave.
[00:18:52.340] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And they have to be 24 hours old before you can do that, right?
[00:18:55.420] – Kara
Yeah, right. So we kind of changed that recently. It’s kind of annoying. So, like, let’s say a mom has a C section. She has planned for a three day stay. So we would do the baby’s PKU. We do it like, right at 24 hours. Now, we used to wait and we would wait and draw the baby’s billi and the PKU at the same time, just like on the third day, the day that she leaves. But recently they said that the PKU is most accurate if we do it right at 24 hours. So we do the PKU, which is like one stick, and then we do the billi and wait to do that closer to usually the day they leave that morning. So it’s kind of annoying because that’s the second stick. I was like, why can’t we just wait and do them all together? But I guess they said it’s more accurate if we do the PKU right at 24 hours, and then they don’t usually want to do the billi then, too, because that’s a little like if she’s not going to leave, if the mom or baby isn’t going to leave for 48 or 72 hours, that’s a little on the early side.
[00:19:57.780] – Kara
And they usually like to wait to do the billi, like, later because then the results are more likely to be better because the baby has been pooping more and eating more. So it’s usually typically a better number than the older the baby is. It’s just annoying.
[00:20:12.480] – Hilary Erickson
We actually do them both together at 24 hour-ish
[00:20:14.940] – Kara
[00:20:15.214] – Hilary Erickson
[00:20:15.250] – Kara
Yeah, I wish we did that, because now we had a lot of people complain about that recently. They’re like, why is my baby having to get stuck twice? I’m like, I know. I think it’s kind of silly.
[00:20:26.190] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, maybe I do feel like we catch maybe more billies than we need to, and they end up getting another 6 hours later just to see if they’re still in the high moderate.
[00:20:37.380] – Kara
[00:20:38.030] – Hilary Erickson
Just to catch you guys up. In case you don’t know what we’re talking about, the metabolic screen catches. There are syndromes that your baby might have or genetic propensities, where if they have protein at all, they can eat at their brain. That’s what PKU is. And so those are things that we obviously want to catch very early. And the States pretty much mandated that babies get this early on. Even if you had a home birth, the midwife does it at your home birth. It’s really important that we get this. And then we also check babies for jaundice, which is where the baby turns a little bit yellow because they’re, like, excreting all their red blood cells out of their body, so that’s a little more intensive. But anyway, these are two labs that most babies get before they go home from the hospital, right?
[00:21:18.370] – Kara
Yeah. Something else I wanted to bring up, too, is a lot of people will ask me if they want to leave early, let’s say, but even if they don’t, they’re just kind of like, what do we need to have done before we leave? They’re like, what are the things we have to check off? So usually for the baby, it’s that they’re eating well, we want to make sure that they’re eating okay, that there aren’t any issues that we foresee, because we don’t want you to take the baby home. And you’re like, My baby’s not nursing at all, or they won’t take a bottle, or there’s just something wrong. We want to make sure that they’re peeing and pooping adequately, and then we want to make sure they’ve passed their hearing screen or if they don’t pass, which also is normal, don’t freak out. If that happens, then they will schedule an outpatient visit for you to come back, like, usually in a couple more weeks and retest them. So that’s very normal. So don’t be worried if your baby doesn’t pass in the hospital. It’s very common. We want to make sure that that Philly ribbon is okay, which we just talked about, that it’s within a normal range, or if it is a little on the higher end, we want to make sure that you are going to see your pediatrician and follow up soon so that we make sure that we have a game plan for that.
[00:22:21.660] – Kara
The baby has to have their newborn screen done, which we talked about. If you do want to have your baby circumcised, that that’s taken care of, and the baby has to pass their CCHD screening, which is just a little test where we put, like, a monitor on your baby to check their oxygen level and their heart rate. And we just want to make sure that it’s okay. It’s looking for a heart defect. So that’s why we check that. It takes a few seconds to do it. It’s not invasive. It’s just putting a little monitor on their foot, kind of like an outlet. It’s like an Owlet. We just check their little oxygen, and that’s it. Those are the things that have to be done for the baby. For the mom, it’s a lot simpler. It’s just that her pain is well controlled. We don’t want you to go home, and your pain is just like, totally not controllable. And make sure that the meds we have for you’ve been working okay, that your vitals are within normal limits. Like you don’t have any high blood pressure or anything. And make sure that your bleeding is okay and it’s normal.
[00:23:19.530] – Kara
That’s pretty much it.
[00:23:21.000] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And you have to have a doctor’s order, which is a lot of times we’re waiting only.
[00:23:27.630] – Kara
The most important thing.
[00:23:29.000] – Hilary Erickson
Which obviously I can state it again. You guys can leave whenever you want, but we can’t give you the AOkay to actually leave the facility until you have a doctor’s order, especially for baby requires that they’re seeing you, right. For mom. A lot of times if they’ve seen you once and you had a vaginal delivery, they’ll just say, can discharge tomorrow, and you don’t have to wait for them to come around. But babies got to get seen, right?
[00:23:52.920] – Kara
Definitely. Does. Your hospital. Let me ask you this. If someone leaves, let’s say they refuse something being done, and they’re like, I’m just going to leave. So I don’t know if this is just my facility or this is like the state I’m in, but your insurance won’t cover your stay if you leave against medical advice.
[00:24:13.130] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, I’ve always heard that, but I’ve never actually heard that a patient ended up having a problem. I think most often we would call social services, and they would probably call the state just to be like, hey, they left against it depends on what we’re waiting for. If we’re just waiting for something silly or a pediatrician who’s never going to come. Right, I understand. But if there was something, a drug test or that they weren’t waiting for, then we might call CPS, just because those are the people that follow up to make sure baby is safe, which is the main thing we’re concerned about.
[00:24:44.800] – Kara
Yeah. I think it’s good to bring that up because I’ve had people waiting on the hearing screen and they’re like, sometimes our hearing screeners are terrible at communication. We didn’t realize that there was no one there that day. And we’re like waiting. And I’m like, just leave. You can leave a message with them and have them make you an outpatient follow up, but just say something if you’re concerned about or you don’t want to wait. I totally get that.
[00:25:10.340] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. But also make sure that you’re starting the process early. Let your nurse know if you’re planning to go home that day, especially with C sections. It’s kind of like variable. A lot of people go home on three, but you can stay at sale four. So let your nurse know your plans. The worst is when all of a sudden you’re thinking they’re leaving tomorrow and then they’re like, we’re going. You’re like, oh, my gosh, I have all this stuff to get done.
[00:25:31.930] – Kara
Yes, actually, thank you for bringing that up. That’s like super helpful to tell people because one of my biggest things I’ll tell people is like, my friends. I’m like, please tell them if you want to leave early, literally tell your labor delivery nurse when you get there and tell the postpartum too. If you told OMD, make sure you tell your postpartum. Because sometimes it just gets met. Like, we just forget to pass it off. Even I’ve done that. I’ll forget to tell. I try to be good and write it on the paper, but I’ve even forgotten to tell the next shift like, hey, they want to leave early, so they’ll leave tomorrow instead of in two days. So, yeah, the sooner you can tell us, the sooner we can get things done and the sooner we can get you out.
[00:26:13.940] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I think people get frustrated because the doctor will come in, somebody will do their rounds at 07:00 A.m. And they’re like, great, you’re good to go.
[00:26:20.880] – Kara
[00:26:21.290] – Hilary Erickson
And I’m like, no, Dang, you don’t say crap like that. You’re not the one filling out all these forms.
[00:26:27.930] – Kara
[00:26:28.730] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So just something to be aware of. The nurse is going to be the only one that can give you a realistic idea of when you’re actually going to be able to leave. We’re really the controller for sure.
[00:26:38.290] – Kara
And I was going to even mention that, too, that you never quite know when you’re going to be discharged. Because sometimes if you’re GBS positive, that can affect things. Like in my hospital, you have to stay a minimum of 48 hours if you’re GBS positive, which is hard for some people if they want to have a 24 hours discharge, like the neonatologists or the pediatricians won’t let the baby go yet because we want to monitor for risk of infection.
[00:27:02.450] – Hilary Erickson
Which again, is interesting because we don’t have that.
[00:27:05.550] – Kara
No, we’ll see. I’m glad I bring that up because you’re like, don’t worry about it. If you come to my hospital, you’re fine. I don’t know.
[00:27:14.100] – Hilary Erickson
I think a lot of it is dependent on the area. Right. Like, are these people going home? Are they seeing a pediatrician? Does it look like it ends up being a problem in the community? And if it is ending up being an issue, then that’s something that they’re going to want to protect against.
[00:27:28.050] – Kara
Yeah. I do know that. I feel like in the area I am in, there is like a poor I don’t know how to say this. There’s not a lot of trust for people to follow up always. I mean, just from just proven, like from how we see how it is in the community. And so I think that that’s the only reason. They just want to be extra careful to make sure that your baby is safe. If they’re slightly worried about you not following up.
[00:27:53.440] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So what do you do if somebody wants to leave at 24 and their GPS, especially like during COVID, because everybody wanted to.
[00:28:01.190] – Kara
They would have to leave. They’d have to leave AMA, which did happen like one time that I know of. But I mean, most of the time, if we explain the reasons and the risk, this is why we do it. I’m like very apologetic, I know you want to leave, but this is why we do it for the sake of your baby. And most people are like understanding. So yeah, we had one person who was like, no. And I honestly got it though, because she had like two other kids maybe at home, and she just needed to get home to them. And I totally get that. So I can’t really blame you if you do that.
[00:28:34.300] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Especially during Kobe, if dad wasn’t allowed to come and go or any of those kind of things, that’s a big deal when you’ve got other kids. So we understand. Again, the key is communicating, like letting them know why. And probably on something like that, you probably wouldn’t end up calling CPS because they have other kids. Whereas if she just like up and left and you’re like, I’m worried about your baby. Something like that, right.
[00:28:56.950] – Kara
For sure. What’s at your hospital, how long do people typically stay? Like, what’s your normal?
[00:29:04.020] – Hilary Erickson
It’s been 24 with it really.
[00:29:06.190] – Kara
Like everybody pretty much.
[00:29:07.500] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, as soon as COVID was and the stricter we are with visitation, I think people especially if you have other kids at home, which I totally get because it’s hard leaving his mother’s babies at home.
[00:29:18.560] – Kara
Oh, I know. What about C sections? Can they leave it 24 hours?
[00:29:23.240] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, most of them don’t want to because they barely feel like they can really take care of themselves at that point. So probably more like 48. But we have that depending on when your C section was like, let’s say you have your C section Tuesday morning. You might leave Wednesday evening like a day and a half.
[00:29:39.430] – Kara
[00:29:39.880] – Hilary Erickson
And if you’ve already had a C section, you know, some tips.
[00:29:43.140] – Kara
Yeah. You’re kind of like they know what they’re doing. Yeah, that’s funny. The soonest the C section is allowed to leave is at 48. Like, you can’t leave it 24 hours. That’s funny. But I mean, I’ve had people who are, like, ready to go. They have a C section. They’re literally up and running around and they’re ready to go. And I’m like, you’re amazing. Like, I probably wouldn’t be me, but you’re amazing. I know.
[00:30:07.230] – Hilary Erickson
What did you do to be so up with it? And then you’ve got the other lady down the hall that you’re, like, carrying her on your back to the toilet.
[00:30:15.630] – Kara
I know. It’s just like, so funny how everyone’s so different.
[00:30:19.380] – Hilary Erickson
[00:30:19.800] – Kara
[00:30:20.160] – Hilary Erickson
Any other postpartum tips?
[00:30:21.900] – Kara
Yes. Okay. This is my last one. So I just have some things that I think that I would just think I would recommend that people bring because I see all the things that people regret, like things they wish they had brought and the things that people are always asking if we have them because they forgot them at home. So people always forget hair ties. I don’t know why, but they’re always forgetting hair ties. So make sure you have lots of hair ties or scrunchies.
[00:30:47.520] – Hilary Erickson
And we do not have any. Like, no, we don’t. I’ve cut them off scrub caps before, but they get caught in your hair. They’re rubbery, so they’re not awesome.
[00:30:55.860] – Kara
Yeah, exactly. I’m like that’s. Like, the one thing I feel so bad about when people forget. I’m trying to think what other big things people forget, but definitely the things that I hear, people tell me that they’re really happy that they brought with them is their own blanket, like their own cozy blanket from home. Because if you have your own blanket and pillow, you’re just going to be a lot more comfortable because the ones at the hospital, they’re fine. If you’re in your own environment, you’re going to be more comfortable. I would definitely bring a sound machine because it can be loud in the hospital, outside in the hallway. Like we were doing construction for the last six months. And so there would be, like the occasional jackhammer or something.
[00:31:38.850] – Hilary Erickson
We have that, too.
[00:31:39.850] – Kara
Yes. That’s the worst. So I would bring a sound machine just because I know not everyone likes sound machine, but I think that they’re nice to have in case there’s just.
[00:31:48.760] – Hilary Erickson
Like, noise out in the hallway and handy that one is handy to have a baby later on, too.
[00:31:53.140] – Kara
Yes. I’m super big on sound machines for babies. I know some people are, like, not weird. Some people don’t like to use them. That’s totally fine. But I’m like white noise, like, all the way up. And then I would bring your own toiletries just because we do have them. We have shampoo, we don’t have conditioner, we have shampoo. We truly do have everything you need. Like if you showed up and you had absolutely nothing, we would have everything that you need to take care of yourself. But I would just bring your own shampoo and your own stuff that’s just going to be more comfortable. Like your own lotion.
[00:32:29.020] – Hilary Erickson
It’s so gross. Don’t use our stuff. It’s really I always feel bad when somebody was at work and all of a sudden their water breaks and they just show up and I’m like, we have this thing that they call lotion.
[00:32:39.990] – Kara
Yeah, I know. It’s not all. It’s like really watery. It’s not even adorable. Our toothbrushes are terrible. They shed. You only brush your teeth with them and all these bricks in your mouth is so gross. I felt terrible. And then I would bring your own Depends. I know a lot for me personally, I did like the ones in the hospital, like the big yellow ones for the first day just because I was bleeding. You’re bleeding more heavily the first day. So it was just like easier to change those out and just use the big ones. But then I think like day two and on it’s just nice to have the Depends because they come all cover everything. They have better coverage. So I would bring some like.
[00:33:23.300] – Hilary Erickson
You don’t have to bring a lot.
[00:33:24.300] – Kara
Maybe just bring six of them or something, but it’s just more comfortable to me to have those.
[00:33:29.890] – Hilary Erickson
I would also say, especially if you’re a bigger girl, our mesh panties, I mean, they’re really stretchy, but some of them, I feel like it does kind of dig into their size. You can buy mesh panties if you don’t want to go full on Depends. You can buy the mesh panties on Amazon.
[00:33:43.980] – Kara
Oh, nice. I didn’t know that. That’s good info.
[00:33:46.650] – Hilary Erickson
And they’re just nicer. Our mesh panties are like fish net panties.
[00:33:50.680] – Kara
Yeah, they’re so flimsy. They’re too big for me. So they would always slide down. I would pack them with I put the yellow pad, I put the ice pad and then the tucks and everything in them and they would just be like tagging. They wouldn’t stay up where I needed them.
[00:34:06.580] – Hilary Erickson
That’s not helpful.
[00:34:08.250] – Kara
No, I’m like it needs to be right up against me. And then the last thing I would say, bring your own water cup just because we have them there. But if you just bring your own. A lot of people own water cups. Just keep your ice or keep your drink cooler longer. The ones we have literally melt ice in like 2 seconds. I just think it’s nice if you have your own double insulated cup or like a Hydro jug or just something big that’s like your own. It’s just a little more. You’re just more likely to drink more water, which you need to stay hydrated after delivery.
[00:34:42.170] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, we do provide cups, like fairly nice cups with our name on it.
[00:34:46.620] – Kara
[00:34:47.380] – Hilary Erickson
But I would agree that it doesn’t hold ice very well. And yeah, people like them, though. I mean, we like them because they’re in every shot with the baby. Right. They’re always, like, holding the Honor Health cup.
[00:35:00.090] – Kara
That’s cute. Ours are the thin gray. You can put the picture in it.
[00:35:06.430] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, we had those for a couple of years, and I was like, we are missing a marketing opportunity here, people. I don’t know how much the cups are.
[00:35:13.560] – Kara
Dude, I didn’t even think about that. That’s so smart that it does, like, advertised the hospital.
[00:35:18.360] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And they’re nice to take home whatever you have, make sure that you have some way to get hydrated after the baby, because it’s so important that you’re drinking lots of water, breastfeeding or not, you’re just going to want to flush all your hormones out.
[00:35:30.540] – Kara
Yes. And to keep it help when you need to have your first suit after birth to stay hydrated.
[00:35:38.310] – Hilary Erickson
There’s just not enough water in the world.
[00:35:40.610] – Kara
No, I know. How was that experience bad for you after your kids
[00:35:46.190] – Hilary Erickson
On my first, because I had a fourth degree.
[00:35:47.980] – Hilary Erickson
I had also taken, like, a boat of narcotics, and I didn’t poop for, like, a week. Oh, no, I needed the epidural for that.
[00:35:55.650] – Kara
Oh, my gosh. Bless your heart.
[00:35:57.740] – Hilary Erickson
I did take the stool softeners. My sister in laws had always said religiously take the stool softeners.
[00:36:02.500] – Kara
[00:36:03.010] – Hilary Erickson
And I would encourage you guys, if you’re listening, to keep taking the stool softeners, if you’re like, a week out and it’s all been soft and it’s not something you usually have a problem with, you could probably stop. I would take him for that first week, regardless of what’s going on.
[00:36:15.010] – Kara
Yeah, I tell my patients at discharge, just go ahead and take Coles in the morning and at night, whether you think you are going to need it or not, just, I think staying ahead of it, like, Proactive about it makes a big difference. So go ahead and just start taking it early.
[00:36:30.910] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Don’t be me. Although I don’t know what I could have done better.
[00:36:34.310] – Kara
Okay. I can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was ten days with my first one, and I literally thought I was going to die. Like, I was Googling. Like, if I have a poop in ten days, am I going to die? I was so scared because I was like, how can I keep living like this and not pooping now? I didn’t work in postproduction at the time, but now what I would’ve done differently is probably after four days, I would have called my doctor and got an order for it or got her to send in a prescription. First Depository.
[00:37:11.160] – Hilary Erickson
[00:37:11.710] – Kara
Don’t be afraid to do that. If you’re like, oh, my gosh, I’m getting so uncomfortable. And this is just telling me, don’t be afraid to call them because they can call you in like an enema or a suppository or something more hardcore if the coalition or mere lax isn’t working well.
[00:37:26.320] – Hilary Erickson
And I would say even in addition to those is to keep up your fiber. So have some dried fruit that you just have every day. Or they have those metamusal bricks of fiber. They taste like Graham crackers, supposedly, but I find them hard to get down, so I would much rather eat just, like, some dried mangoes or something to try and keep my fiber plus the water, plus the Coles. You just want to keep it soft down there. It’s probably hard for my pregnant friends in there. You’re probably like, oh, my gosh. But it’s just good advice. We’re just giving you the good advice right now.
[00:37:56.490] – Kara
I know you might not have a problem. A lot of people are like, oh, I feel like in the hospital, I’m like, oh, my gosh, you’re amazing. So good for you. Most people don’t do that, though.
[00:38:06.820] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. All right, great tips. Anything else for new Mamas?
[00:38:10.230] – Kara
I can’t think of anything yet. No, I think I’m good.
[00:38:13.630] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So you guys definitely take a peek at Kara on TikTok. She gives so much good information. Are you on Instagram, too?
[00:38:19.730] – Kara
No, privately, I don’t have, like, a public. I should get one, though.
[00:38:24.670] – Hilary Erickson
[00:38:26.790] – Kara
I know I actually don’t love Instagram because now the ads are so heavy on it. They are so bad. I just don’t even feel like I can see any of my friends stuff anymore. It’s just ads.
[00:38:39.510] – Hilary Erickson
And I feel like the algorithm is so hard. My husband will be like, oh, did you see on someone’s Instagram? And I’ll be like, I totally follow them, and I’ve been through my feed and see nothing. And I hate that.
[00:38:50.000] – Kara
I’ve noticed that. I have a friend, actually, who I work with, a postpartum nurse, who she is, like, an influencer on Instagram, and I think she has about 35,000 followers, maybe, but she’s been on it for years. And she said that just trying to get new followers and just promote yourself on there. She said, It’s so slow. It’s just so hard. So I was like, yeah, that’s all right. Just, like, make a video and, like, you might get a million views. Like, no problem.
[00:39:19.990] – Hilary Erickson
Most random videos, you’re like, I had no idea. You’re like, I’m going to get the entanto music, and it’s going to be perfect go bomb. But then you do some weird one about a placenta’s, dab. And you’re like, okay, all right, sure.
[00:39:32.910] – Kara
Yeah. Dude, I know. It’s so random, which, like, I hate and love about it. I’ll make a video where I look, like, terrible. Like, I’m literally. I’m not wearing any makeup, and I look like a potato. And it’s like, that’s the one that gets a bunch of views. I’m like, Great.
[00:39:53.050] – Hilary Erickson
Oh, wow. The algorithm anyway, so definitely care of the baby nurse on TikTok. Look her up. She has so much good information. And you guys know I have the prenatal class, but it’s so important to get prepared for after baby too. So get all the information you can. And Kara is definitely a trusted source.
[00:40:09.050] – Kara
Thank you. That’s really sweet. I always enjoy your TikTok as well. I learned a lot from you too. So even though we work in the same area, it’s like we can all learn things from each other.
[00:40:19.110] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, that is something we should mention. So labor nurses can float to postpartum. It’s not our favorite. We’re not very good at it.
[00:40:27.370] – Kara
No, that’s not true. I think you are awesome.
[00:40:32.110] – Hilary Erickson
We have different skills, right?
[00:40:34.180] – Kara
[00:40:34.730] – Hilary Erickson
I’m not a great at latching on babies. I do.
[00:40:37.920] – Kara
[00:40:39.190] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, but you don’t float to labor and delivery.
[00:40:42.090] – Kara
No, I can go to the neck. You, though. Step down, nephew. We all have.
[00:40:49.370] – Hilary Erickson
Just so you know, it is separate. Pretty much. In most places, it’s separate teams that staff each different one. But we all seem sort of intermingle at times, right?
[00:40:58.180] – Kara
Yeah, but we’re all a team.
[00:41:00.820] – Hilary Erickson
That’s right. And you can always ask a question of anyone, even if your labor nurse comes up to say hello.
[00:41:05.700] – Kara
[00:41:06.120] – Hilary Erickson
And you have a question they might be able to answer, they can definitely slide down your nurse either way.
[00:41:10.750] – Kara
Yeah, for sure.
[00:41:11.730] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. All right. Thanks for coming on, Kara.
[00:41:13.400] – Kara
Thank you, Hillary. I appreciate it.
[00:41:15.400] – Hilary Erickson
I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. I think we spend so much time preparing for the labor and delivery part that a lot of people forget about in the hospital after you have the baby part. So I hope you guys really enjoyed this. And as a reminder, I have a whole lesson in the online prenatal class for couples about what happens on postpartum and how to get the most out of your state because I think a lot of patients kind of ignore that part when they could be learning so much about them and their baby. So come join me in the class. Big thanks to Kara for coming on.
[00:41:39.370] – Hilary Erickson
Do not miss next week’s episode where we are pivoting and talking about decluttering your kitchen and organizing it. So definitely stay tuned. And if you’re looking for more pregnancy information, the week after that, we were talking about what happens in admission in labor and delivery. So, see you then.
[00:41:54.670] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. We know you have lots of options for your ears, and we are glad that you chose us. We drop episodes weekly, and until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.
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