Going Home

Home Sweet Home

Going home is exciting, but for new parents it can also seem like a pretty daunting task. 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.

Below we’ve picked a few topics that may help you along the way.   

Bringing baby home

Infant and child car seats can save your baby’s life, so it’s important that you 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, and a rear-facing car seat should never be placed in the passenger seat. 

Baby Boy Birthways at Mary Greeley Medical Center

"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

Keeping baby healthy

There are a number of reasons your new baby should be vaccinated against diseases, but we know that questions may still arise. We also know that the number of immunizations a new baby needs can be a little overwhelming, and hard to keep track of. Your doctor will help you, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also put out an immunization schedule to help you with what each vaccine is for and when your baby should have it.

You can also 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.

Keeping baby safe

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, some things you can do to keep your baby safe while they sleep.

  • The most important thing you can do is to always place your baby to sleep on his or her back rather than on the stomach or side.
  • Don't use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs while you are pregnant. And 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. And 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.

Birthways also sends you home with what’s called a sleep sack. It swaddles your baby and keeps them warm. It also replaces loose blankets in their crib, so it keeps them safe too!

The next six weeks

The period after you give birth, the postpartum period, is an exciting time. 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. Call your doctor if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

More than baby blues

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% 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. 

Your brainy baby

According to KidsHealth, once your baby turns one, he or she has learned all the sounds they need to speak. Translation? The more books you read and stories you tell, the more words your little ones hear, 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.

More ideas on Pinterest

Check out our pins on our "Parenting" board on Pinterest!

Follow Mary Greeley Medical Center's board Parenting on Pinterest.

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding Support Group

Share and learn with breastfeeding moms in a friendly, supportive atmosphere:

Breastfeeding Support Group

Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook

National Breastfeeding Hotline: 800-994-9662

We Can Help

First Nurse

  • First Nurse: Talk to one of our nurses 24 hours a day for free health care advice, resources and referrals! Call 515-239-6877 or 800-524-6877.