Postpartum Care

Caring for Yourself and Your Baby

A mother smiles while holding and looking at her baby.

Caring for Yourself and Your Baby

The time after having a baby can be special — and sometimes overwhelming -- for you and your newborn. At Scripps, we offer support to help you adjust to the changes that will take place over the next few weeks and months. We offer postpartum recovery, education and services to help you and your baby get off to a good start.

Care for your newborn at home

Bringing your baby home for the first time can be incredibly exciting; however, the first few days together can also feel intimidating. Relax – we’re here to help.

 

Watch this short video for tips on how to take care of yourself and your baby, including nutrition and activity, emotional changes, baby safety, when to call the doctor and more.

Keep your baby safe at home

You want to bring your new baby home to a warm and welcoming environment. Preparing your house for baby safety early can help prevent future injuries.

Creating a safe nursery

While planning your nursery keep the following in mind:


  • Look for a crib that is sturdy and well-constructed with slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
  • Keep bedding to a minimum and avoid pillows.
  • Make sure all furniture is stable and cannot be tipped over. While infants cannot yet crawl or pull themselves up, having sturdy surfaces is still an important aspect of baby safety. Do not place furniture under windows.
  • Install window locks.
  • Use safety gates to block off dangerous areas like stairs.

Baby-safe kitchen and bathrooms

  • Set the water heater in your home to less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub or bath ring, even if there is very little water in it. Children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
  • Never leave your child alone in a room with an open heat source such as a fire, lit stove, candles or heaters.
  • Keep sharp objects such as scissors, razors, knifes, knitting needles and cooking utensils out of reach.
  • Keep all hazardous materials, including alcohol, medications and vitamins, cleaning products, fertilizers and poisons out of reach and/or in locked cabinets. Install safety latches on drawers and cabinets that are within a child’s reach.
  • Never heat baby food or bottles in the microwave. Microwaves can create dangerous hot spots. Be sure to check the temperature of prepared bottles on your arm before giving to your baby.

Baby safety throughout your home

  • Make sure all the paint—including walls, railings and furniture—is lead-free.
  • Remove all houseplants that are toxic.
  • Prevent access to pet food and water bowls.
  • Do not allow young children to play with toys or household items that are smaller than 1 ¼ inch in diameter.
  • Drapery and mini-blind cords present a hazard in every room. Keep them out of reach.
  • Keep long cords for computers, phones or other electronics up and out of reach. Appliance cords should not dangle from the counter top.
  • Cover unused electrical outlets with safety caps.
  • Install a smoke/fire detector in each room and CO2 detector.
  • Post emergency phone numbers by the phone or on your refrigerator.
  • Do not use pest or weed control poisons when your child is present.
  • Install a fence around the pool if applicable. Never leave a child unobserved in a pool.
  • Always use a car seat when transporting your child. A properly installed infant car seat is required for driving your baby home from the hospital. Never leave your child alone in the car.
  • Never leave an infant in a carrier unattended on a counter top or high surface.

Taking care of yourself is important

In order to give your baby the proper care, you need to take care of your own needs, too. Learn how to care for yourself after having a baby.

Postpartum depression

Feeling depressed after childbirth? You’re not alone, and help is available. Learn about postpartum depression and find support and help.