Going Home with Baby

Going Home With Baby Banner

Leaving Pella Regional

For your newborn’s safety, Iowa law requires all infants have a car safety seat when discharged. It is Iowa law that all infant car seats must be dated within the last 5 years. We have staff members who are specially trained in car seat safety. They will help make sure your baby is secure in the seat upon dismissal.

Mother/Baby Home Visit

After you get home and settled, we realize questions and concerns naturally arise. Within 48-72 hours a nurse will come to your home to assess both you and your baby, free of charge. The nurse who visits you is specially trained to answer whatever questions you have.

She will weigh your baby and assess how well the baby is eating and adjusting to the new environment. She will also give you the support you need during this new and exciting time of parenthood.

Home visits are not mandatory, but the majority of both new and experienced moms take advantage of this one-on-one time in the comfort of their own home.

Care for Yourself

You have heard of the saying, "rest when the baby rests." It is important to take care of yourself, especially in the first few weeks after delivery.

Tips to care for yourself in those first few weeks

  • Rest whenever you can. Sleep or rest when your baby sleeps
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby, especially if you have had a cesarean section
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Let family and friends help with cooking, laundry, household chores, and caring for older siblings so you can focus on caring for yourself and your baby.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom, diaper changes, and before feeding your baby.
  • Limit stair climbing as much as possible for the first week after delivery.
  • Wait to have intercourse until after your first check-up.
  • Discuss birth control options with your healthcare provider during your first postpartum check-up. Even though your periods may not resume while you are breastfeeding, you can still get pregnant.
  • Do not douche or use tampons until after your first check up after delivery.
  • Continue taking your prenatal vitamins every day.
  • Eat healthy meals every day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Light exercise will help with your recovery and energy levels.
  • Drink 8 large glasses of fluid each day. Water, juice, and milk are good choices.

Newborn Care

When you bring your baby home it can be an exciting and anxious time. Here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable.


  • Newborn babies sleep up to 20 hours a day. Their stomachs are too small to keep them full for long, so they need to be fed every couple of hours.
  • Practice Back is Best and remember the ABCs. Make sure baby is alone, on their back, and in their crib.

The ABCs of Safe sleep for infants. Alone. On their back. In a crib.


Newborns might cry for several hours a day. It may be their way of telling you they need something or that something is wrong. This is called Purple Crying. Newborns cry when they:

Are hungry

Are tired

Are too cold or too hot

Need their diaper changed

Need to be comforted

Have gas

Are over-stimulated

Are sick

It is also common for newborns to hiccup, sneeze, yawn, spit up, burp, and gurgle. Sometimes newborns cry for no reason at all. If this happens, try the following:

Skin to skin contact. Cuddling your newborn on bare skin is a great comfort to them. Your smell and the sound of your heartbeat is warm and familiar. This is also something your partner can do.

Swaddling and swaying. Babies spend 9 months in a confined and constantly moving environment. Swaddling can help recreate this environment. Movement is also a great way to calm your baby. Gently swaying or rocking from side to side, walking while carrying them or even taking a quick car trip can settle your baby.

Carrying baby in a carrier/sling

  • Facilitates bonding
  • Babies are calmer and cry less
  • Provides a great way to transition from the calm environment of the womb to the outside world
  • Allows for discreet nursing
  • Parents find it easier to carry on their normal daily activities


Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, if your baby is hungry, don’t wait for a scheduled time to feed them. We have a list of top bottle feeding tips and top initial breastfeeding tips to print to use as a helpful guide. You can also print the breastfeeding tips for home as well.

Breastfeeding Support

We have certified lactation consultants and educators available for questions any time, day or night, even after you go home. Please call the Family Birthing Center at 641-780-9857 to speak to someone about your questions or concerns.

Breastfeeding Basics

breastfeeding basics chart

Keeping Baby and Mom Healthy

Immunizations start at 2 months of age and will be given in a series. Staff offers birth dose Hepatitis B. Well-child checks are scheduled for 1-2 weeks after birth, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months of age. Well-child visits will then be yearly until 18 years of age.

Symptoms to have checked (mom)

Heavy bleeding or passing of clots

Fever greater than 100.4

Abnormal smelling vaginal discharge

A hard or painful lump in your breasts

An area around the stitches that is red, hot or oozing

Pain, tenderness or warm area in your legs

Postpartum depression. If you feel helpless, hopeless, or unable to take care of yourself and your baby, seek professional help.

A severe headache that interferes with vision

Pain I the calves that doesn’t go away

Dizziness, chills, or fainting

Symptoms to have checked (baby)

Difficulty feeding. If your baby is feeding less than 8 times in 24 hours, contact the doctor

Contact your doctor if your baby’s umbilical area or penis suddenly becomes red or starts to bleed

Less than 6 diapers per day after the age of 5 days

No bowel movement in the first 48 hours at home

Blood in the stool

Jaundice. Yellow color in the eyes, chest, abdomen, arms, or legs.

Temperature greater than 100.4


Vomiting. Occasional spitting up is normal. Vomiting occurs when the flow is forceful. Shooting out inches rather than dribbling from the mouth. Contact the doctor if your baby vomits forcefully after feedings or your baby has not been able to keep liquids down.

Breathing problems or a persistent cough


Inconsolable crying

Car Safety

Before taking your baby home from the hospital, install a rear-facing, infant-only safety seat in your vehicle.

As you child grows, you will need to adjust the safety seat. As a general rule, a child should only ride in a rear facing seat until age 2, or until they reach the seat’s upper weight or height limit.

Safety seats should always go in the vehicles’ back seat-never the front passenger seat, which is dangerously close to the airbag (If there is not backseat, such as in a pickup truck, make sure the airbag is deactivated).

Make sure the seat is properly installed-either secured tightly with the vehicle seat belt or using a lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) system.

Before using a seat for the first time, make sure you’ve read and understand all of the instructions.

Test the fit of the seat’s harness by pinching it at your child’s shoulders from top to bottom. If you can’t make a vertical fold in the harness, then it’s fitting correctly. Readjust the harness according to the thickness of your child’s clothing.

For more information about car safety seats, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has Car Seat Recommendations for Children to help make sure your child is in the right seat.

Julia Vanderwal PCT in OB is car seat certified and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. The number to reach her is 641-628-6613