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The role of the Registered Nurse or Newborn Care Provider is to feed, soothe, bathe, change & provide all other gentle care to baby through the night.

Before Delivery Day: Things to Consider Before a Hospital Birth

This is a guest post to help expecting parents plan for a smooth hospital birth. It’s written by Brittany Cotton a freelance writer who focuses on health and wellness. 

As you’re setting up the nursery, researching the best baby car seats, and filling your freezer full of meals for the postpartum months, you’re definitely in “go” mode and if you are like nearly 99% of expectant mothers in the U.S., part of your birth plan is to deliver your baby at your local hospital, but you probably haven’t thought much beyond that. While you’re likely to have your hospital bag packed and know the fastest route to get there, do you know what else to expect when you get there?

Your doctor and parenting books can give you lots of answers, but maybe you have a few unanswered questions. Consider these tips and things to expect when giving birth in a hospital to ensure that you’re better prepared for the big day:

Research Your Hospital

If you live in a smaller community, there may be only one local hospital close by. Regardless if there’s just one or a small handful, it’s always a good idea to do some research on the hospital. Check out things like overall grade or ranking. Ask friends or family about their experience with delivering at the hospital. Check out all doctors who are part of the labor and delivery team.  Keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different. It can be disheartening if a doctor or maternity unit doesn’t get five-star reviews, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Just make a note of the not-so-shiny reviews.

Take a Tour of Your Hospital

If you’re signed up for a childbirth education course, part of the class may include a tour of the maternity ward. Many people are familiar with their local hospital, but it always helps to get a tour before you go into labor.

Ask Questions

During your tour, try to come with a list of questions that cover topics like visiting policies and whether or not there is a birthing center. The goal of your tour is to leave feeling more confident about giving birth. Questions are likely to pop up after your visit, so write them down and ask your OB or nurse. 

Some common questions that expectant parents ask include: 

  • Can your partner or another person stay with you in the room before, during, and after the delivery?
  • How does the hospital keep new mothers and their babies safe?
  • Are their specialists and ICU units on-site for newborns?
  • How long is the average hospital stay?
  • If your newborn needs special care, can you stay in the hospital after you’re discharged? 

It’s important to note that the answers to these questions are likely to change depending on your delivery, the health of you and your baby, and if there are other things happening beyond your control such as a natural disaster or a pandemic like COVID-19.

Have a Backup Plan

While many soon-to-be mothers create a birth plan that they want to follow to a “T,” it’s good to have a backup plan. As many labor and delivery experts will tell you, babies don’t care about plans and will do what they want. This can include everything from not being able to stream your favorite playlist, having a different doctor delivering your baby, or delivering at a different hospital than planned.

Plan For Any Hiccups or What To Do If You Have Insufficient Care

No parent wants to (or should have to) think about things that could or might go wrong before, during, and after delivery. Like having a backup birthing plan, you should think about what to do if there are complications during the delivery. It’s also important to consider that you could receive insufficient care before, during, or after delivery. Accidents happen, bedside manners aren’t always stellar, and there’s sometimes the issue of miscommunication. Delivering a baby is a life changing event that will likely have you on the roller coaster of emotions.

If at any time you aren’t comfortable or happy with the care you are receiving, or if you feel like you are in danger, you or your birth partner need to speak up and document your experiences as best as you can (or have your birthing partner help you).

Try To Go With the Flow

Planning ahead is difficult, and thinking about all the different scenarios during delivery can be overwhelming. While it’s important to think things through ahead of time to ensure that you have the best care possible, it’s also essential to immerse yourself in this experience as you enter motherhood.

50 Activities to do with Baby in Chicago

Congratulations and welcome to parenthood!

Now that you’ve got the lay of the land, you’ve probably noticed you’re incredibly busy yet also somehow bored. You might be feeling isolated -especially during this time of lockdowns and quarantine- but at the same time inundated with advice and pictures of perfect families. We hope this blog 50 Activities to do with Baby in Chicago can give a inspiration to get out of Groundhog Day or just get out of the house safely. Here are 50 activities you can do with a newborn and infant that are also fun for parents. 

What Can I do with Baby? 50 Activities in Chicagoland 

50 Activities to do with Baby in Chicago

  1. Create a pottery keepsake with baby’s hand or footprint at a “paint your own” cafe. They are now taking reservations to ensure social distancing.
  2. Blow up balloons and let baby hit them in the air…or see the cause and effect with helium balloons!
  3. Stroll a garden, zoo or nature center
  4. Make a video to share with family/friends
  5. Head to the library…for outdoor storytime
  6. Get on baby’s eye level for tummy time  
  7. Visit a park; babies love to watch older kids!
  8. Join a stroller fitness class
  9. Pack a picnic to let baby enjoy the sights and sounds
  10. Set up an email address for baby and email photos, memories and messages of love to open when he’s a teenager.
  11. Kitchen dance party! 
  12. Grow a baby-sized garden out of kitchen scraps…it’s very easy and you can do it indoors!
  13. Compose and record a personalized song 
  14. Give baby a daytime bath just for fun
  15. Let your solid-eating baby “paint” with baby food, yogurt or squishy fruit…add food coloring for more fun!
  16. Strap baby into a carrier and take a hike
  17. Put some food coloring into water and let baby mix the colors, or watch you make color changes. 
  18. Immerse yourself in baby in the visual beauty of an outdoor sculpture garden or park
  19. Manipulate some nesting cups or soft blocks
  20. Turn out the lights and play with a flashlight or neon glow sticks
  21. Put Cheerios, beads or rice in an empty water bottle to create your own shaker
  22. Mask up and shop at a farmers’ market
  23. Let baby’s inner artist come to life during tummy time
  24. Give baby a wooden spoon to “help” with cooking meals
  25. Lay on your backs under a tree and watch the leaves sparkle
  26. Enjoy learning a new skill by learning baby sign language for free 
  27. Stimulate senses with soft textures and squishy toys
  28. Make a puppet show starring baby! 
  29. Look at and talk about photos of friends and family members
  30. Join your neighborhood MOMS club – it’s only $25-$30 per year and they design paydates with social distance in mind.
  31. Gaze at walls of colorful fish and small animals at a pet store.
  32. Check out a drive in movie...bonus: baby falls asleep on the way so parents get to watch a grown-up movie!
  33. Play ball! Roll a ball back and forth with baby
  34. Watch the sky for airplanes, birds, and helicopters
  35. Take a ride on a kid-sized train…did you know there were so many choices?
  36. Make a reservation to explore the Morton Arboretum. Nature is endlessly fascinating to baby..and adults!
  37. Give baby a pony ride on your knees
  38. Let baby shake or bang some musical instruments at home, pots and pans are a classic!
  39. Go camping indoors
  40. Shake a parachute/blanket in different rhythms
  41. Take a historic walking tour with baby in the carrier.
  42. When baby is able to sit up on her own well, give her a ride in a laundry basket!
  43. Visit a sprayground, they are open and deemed safe right now
  44. Blow bubbles and let baby pop them
  45. Play dress up with different hats to make baby laugh
  46. Since you can’t get out to classes, bring Gymboree and gymnastics to baby
  47. Step up your nightlight game with an LED projector
  48. Collect flowers or leaves and dry them in the pages of a book
  49. Let baby kick in sand or dirt
  50. Let baby fall asleep while you’re holding her. We promise you’re not making any bad habits.

Are you in the Chicago area and have family friendly and toddler activities to add to this list? Let Erin know on Facebook or Instagram…she’s a mom of 3 and the owner of LMS Chicago!

COVID19: Additional Safety Protocols for Postpartum and Newborn Care

Last Updated, 9/1/2021

Updated, 10/26/2020

Updated 1/21/2021

 Let Mommy Sleep began serving the DC, Maryland and Northern VA areas in 2010 and as a company dedicated to evidence-based care, we follow the guidelines of organizations such as the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Institutes of Health. We’ve added COVID19: Additional Safety Protocols for Postpartum and Newborn Care and continually review and update our care practices and they now include coronavirus-specific recommendations. 

COVID19: Additional Safety Protocols for Postpartum and Newborn Care

When coronavirus/COVID19 began, Let Mommy Sleep closed down because we couldn’t guarantee the safety of our team, families and especially the newborns in our care. Now that we have had time to collect facts, we’ve opened back up, refined our practices and are proud to share our protocols here. Updates have occurred since the beginning of the pandemic and these are also noted below.

What we’ve always done:

  • Wash and sanitize hands upon arrival, continue handwashing and sanitizing through the night.
  • Remove shoes upon arrival.
  • Believe and adhere to the AAP statement  that vaccines for health care workers are “ethical, necessary and just” to protect vulnerable populations such as newborns and infants. Our team is updated on all vaccinations to minimize the risk of flu, whooping cough and the other illnesses to which newborns and immune compromised individuals are vulnerable. 
  • Provide free continuing education to all staff.
  • Staff does not report to a family if there is any sign of illness…. even if it’s “just allergies.”

What we do additionally, to minimize risks of covid19: (edited, 9/1/21- since we have all received vaccinations, monitoring still occurs but protocols involving quarantine, public transport and working with one family at a time have been relaxed.)

  • All caregivers wear masks.
  • Body temperature is routinely monitored; at a minimum the caregiver’s temperature is taken prior to beginning each shift.
  • Caregivers work with one family at a time to minimize exposure.
  • We are not taking public transport.
  • Quarantine for 7-10 days between each family 
  • We have begun the vaccination process in Virginia, Maryland and DC

What can we do together to keep each other safe?

  • Families can leave household cleaners and sanitizing products out for our team to use through the night. We know that routine cleaning and disinfecting of often-touched surfaces helps eliminate the spread of viruses.
  • Parents can wear masks when talking with caregivers, and caregivers will do the same. 
  • Practice social distancing when possible.
  • Vaccinate- team members and eligible members of the household can get vaccinated.

The safety and well-being of our babies, their families and our team members is our number one priority. In addition to earning the trust of parents in Washington and around the country, we’ve been awarded a government contract in Fairfax County to teach our postpartum and newborn care practices to students, families and Certified Nursing Assistants. As always, if we can provide more information or answer your questions, we are here for you

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