Rely on Birthways to help with the transition home. Birthways offers classes and extensive resources for parents, including breastfeeding support and First Nurse, a free 24/7 call service staffed by registered nurses for those middle of the night questions that may arise.
Protect your baby’s life with a car seat. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the seat you’ve chosen when it comes to installation procedures. Remember that infants should be placed in rear-facing car seats, in the back seat of your vehicle.
"All the ladies are so nice there. I just love it.
They treat you with respect
and are understanding.
They do whatever you need."
- Aime, Birthways mom
There are a number of reasons your new baby should be vaccinated against diseases. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has an immunization schedule to help you understand what each vaccination does and when your baby should receive it.
Get support throughout your baby’s first year with free text messages! Each message is relevant to what your baby is going through at particular stages of development.
Read to Your Baby
According to KidsHealth, once your baby turns one, he or she has learned all the sounds they need to speak. This means that the more books you read and stories you tell, the more words your little one hears, and the better language skills they’ll have.
Raising Readers, an area early literacy program, partners with a variety of local organizations to promote reading and language skills in young children. Families receive a "Books for Babies" bag provided by the Ames Public Library, which includes a board book for the baby and information about library and parenting resources.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a concern for all parents of newborns. It’s unexpected and sudden, and typically cannot be explained. There are, however, steps you can take to keep your baby safe while they sleep.
- Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back rather than on the stomach or side. This is the most important thing you can do.
- Don't use tobacco, alcohol or drugs while you are pregnant. Don't expose your baby to secondhand smoke during or after your pregnancy.
- For the first 6 months, have your baby sleep in a crib, cradle or bassinet in the same room where you sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you don't ever sleep with your baby in the same bed, especially if you smoke or have used alcohol, illegal drugs or medicine that makes you sleep very soundly (sedatives).
- Never sleep with a baby on a couch or armchair. It is not safe to place your baby on a couch to sleep. It is not safe to place your baby in a car seat, sling, swing, bouncer or stroller to sleep. The safest place for a baby is in a crib, cradle or bassinet that meets safety standards.
- Keep soft items and loose bedding out of the crib. Items such as blankets, stuffed animals, toys and pillows could suffocate or trap your baby. Dress your baby in sleepers instead of using blankets.
- Make sure that your baby's crib has a firm mattress (with a fitted sheet). Don't use bumper pads or other products that attach to crib slats or sides. They could suffocate or trap your baby.
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature so that your baby can sleep in lightweight clothes without a blanket. Usually, the temperature is about right if an adult can wear a long-sleeved T-shirt and pants without feeling cold. Make sure that your baby doesn't get too warm. Your baby is likely too warm if he or she sweats or tosses and turns a lot.
- Breastfeed your baby and have your baby immunized.
- Consider giving your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. This may help prevent SIDS, though experts don't know why. If you breastfeed, wait until your baby is about a month old before you start giving him or her a pacifier.
- Consider using a sleep sack, which Birthways will send home with you. It swaddles your baby and keeps them warm. It also replaces loose blankets in their crib, so it keeps them safe too!
While you are getting to know your new baby, your body is recovering from pregnancy and birth. As with pregnancy changes, postpartum changes are different for every woman. It’s completely normal for you to feel tired and overwhelmed when you get home, but postpartum depression (PPD) is different. It seems to be caused by changes in hormones, and the stress of a new baby can also play a role. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, in fact nearly 15 percent of women suffer from PPD at one time or another. The important thing is that you seek help if you suspect you are suffering from it.
Call your doctor if you are concerned about any of your systems during the period after you give birth, the postpartum period.