Feeding Baby and You
Don't Nix the Nursery
Rooming in is great for bonding with your baby, but when you're sleeping, you won't be bonding -- you'll be sleeping! For safety's sake, it's best not to nod off with your baby in your arms. "With my second son, I used the baby nursery so I could sleep for a few hours. The nurses brought him to me whenever it was time for him to breastfeed," says Liz Richards, of Portland, Oregon. "But once you're back at home, you're on your own, so take advantage of the extra helping hands while you can." If you want to breastfeed only, ask the nurses to place a sign above the baby's bassinet that specifies "No Bottles." They'll then bring your little one to you when she cries.
Baby Your Body With Good Grub
You're going to be plenty hungry once you've had the baby, and the hospital tray isn't always brimming with the most appetizing options (understatement alert). So have vitamin- and antioxidant-fortified snacks on hand, such as granola bars, fruit, and juices. "Dairy can be constipating, which is why you'll want to wait until your normal bowel function returns before adding it to the menu," says Roberta Kline, M.D., an ob-gyn in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Healing requires adequate levels of zinc, selenium, and vitamin D, along with many other nutrients, and a good multivitamin helps, she says. If you're nursing, be sure to drink plenty of water. "To help you get into the habit of drinking when you breastfeed, keep glasses of water within easy reach of the hospital bed," says San Francisco nurse practitioner Barb Dehn. A refillable water bottle can come in handy too.