Pregnancy and you blog

After delivery: When can I have the baby to myself?

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. July 16, 2013

You just had your baby.

The baby is on your chest, blinking at the light and listening to your voice. Your partner is cooing over the baby and telling you how amazing you are. There's a glow around everything. It's such a relief to have the baby here.

Then your attention is taken by some cramping and the need to deliver your placenta.

Next thing you know, your provider is looking at your bottom to examine any tears. Then you need stitches. If you haven't had an epidural, you need an injection of numbing medicine. Then the stitches need to be placed and you have to be cleaned up. Then someone checks your uterus to make sure it has firmed up (translate into mashing on your tummy). Then you get all straightened up in bed.

During this time you've been trying to get to know the newest member of your family but you keep getting interrupted. If you're lucky, nobody has wanted to do anything to the baby on the other side of the room.

You do so much to get ready for the birth of your baby that you might not think about all the things that happen after the baby is born. When I was the new mom, I remember being so ready for everyone to leave me alone with the baby that I told the midwife I didn't want stitches unless I had a large tear. Probably not one of my best decisions, but I just wanted it to be done!

When it's your turn, try to be patient with your care team and ask them to be patient with you.

Include that early postpartum time in your birth plan. Make sure you know the usual routine — including what can be modified or postponed and what can't.

Most importantly, love and kiss your baby and know that all the fuss will end. Cherished quiet time with the new baby will soon be yours.

July 16, 2013