Postpartum Care


 

When to follow up with your physician:

 Vaginal delivery: 4-6 weeks after your delivery.

Cesarean section delivery: 2 weeks after your delivery and 4-6 weeks after your delivery.

*Please call our office to make an appointment for follow up.  Simply let us know when you delivered and how you delivered; our staff will schedule the appropriate time for follow up.  If your doctor asked you to follow up earlier, please notify our staff when you call to make an appointment.

WARNING SIGNS (should these occur, you need to see your physician earlier than your scheduled follow up):

  • Fever >100.4
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding (e. changing one pad an hour)
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge, especially if it appears purulent
  • Increasing abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Increasing pain over your perineum
  • Redness or drainage of your C-section incision
  • Redness or pain of your breasts
  • Swelling and pain of your calf
  • Difficulty or inability urinating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breathe or chest pain
  • Feeling hopeless, unprovoked crying, feeling sad and down for a prolonged period of time, or any thoughts of hurting yourself or your newborn child
  • Any symptoms that just do not feel “right,” please call our office for further advice

Common issues during the postpartum period:

  1.  Breast engorgement
  2.  Mastitis
  3.  Breastfeeding
  4.  Weaning from breastfeeding
  5.  Postpartum blues
  6.  Constipation

Less common but potentially serious issues during the postpartum period:

  1.  Breast abscess
  2.  Wound infections
  3.  Wound separation
  4.  Venous thromboembolic events

–Deep vein thrombosis

–Pulmonary embolus

  1.  Postpartum depression
  2.  Delayed postpartum bleeding
  3.  Delayed preeclampsia/eclampsia
  4.  Pubic diastasis – separation of the pubic bone

You have been through one of the biggest stressors of your life.  Your body has gone through tremendous changes and need to recover back to your normal.  Here are some tips for a good healing process:

  • Rest well and get as much help as you can get around the house.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
  • Eat a balanced diet.  Especially if you’re breastfeeding, producing breast milk exhausts a tremendous amount of energy and depletes your body of essential nutrients.
  • Continue with prenatal vitamins and calcium, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
  • Under the direction of your physician, you might need to continue with iron supplementation.  You will need to keep yourself hydrated and continue to have a good dose of fiber to avoid constipation that can be caused by iron supplementation.
  • Keep a good posture.  Women often suffer from low back pain and it is often due to poor posture.  Find a good place to breastfeeding.  Once you are able to exercise, strengthening your core muscles (e. your abdominal muscles) will decrease stress on your back.
  • Abdominal binder: if placement helps with pain and backache, you may continue with the binder for as long as you like.
  • Intimacy: you may resume normal sexual intercourse starting 6-8 weeks after your delivery.  Take it slow and easy at first and use lubricant if you encounter vaginal dryness.
  • Exercise: you may resume normal exercises starting 6-8 weeks after your delivery.
  • Kegel’s exercise: you can start performing Kegel’s to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.  Ask your doctor about details of performing Kegel’s.
  • Birth control: Not having your period DOES NOT mean you cannot get pregnant.  Breastfeeding as a birth control method is only reliable for the first six months after your delivery, but only if you do it correctly.  Please see our Birth Control section for more details.
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