Paperwork and Pain Management
Do Your Paperwork
When you go on your hospital tour, find out if you can preregister and fill out any information you can right then and there. Ask for copies of forms you'll have to complete, and pack the ones you've finished in your hospital bag -- tending to paperwork during contractions is a distraction you don't need. Also, talk with your doctor about your ideal delivery.
If you've delivered vaginally, your nether region will probably be sore and swollen. "Ice it immediately," recommends Jennifer Gunter, M.D., an obstetrician in Marin, California, who is also board-certified in pain management. While you're awake, ice it for 15 minutes, then take 15 minutes off. Some hospitals offer sanitary napkins that have a twist-activated cold pack inside so they cool while absorbing postpartum bleeding. If your room has a freezer, chill a witch hazel hemorrhoid pad and tuck it inside your sanitary napkin. After the first 24 to 48 hours, warm water tends to be more soothing. Chances are, the postpartum goody bag that the nurses give you will include a plastic bottle with a nozzle. Fill it with warm water, squat over the toilet, and use it as a portable bidet. The warm water makes it easier to urinate for the first time after delivery and reduces any burning sensation.