POST PARTUM CARE

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

 

Using an abdomen belt

Using an abdomen belt with moderate pressure at least for 4 – 5 hours a day helps to strengthen back, supports uterus and ligaments.

 

Follow-up visits

Ask your caregiver when to return for a follow-up visit. Often, caregivers will want to see you six weeks after having your baby. Your caregiver may do a vaginal exam at your visit. Tell your caregiver if you are having any pain or other symptoms. Keep all appointments. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.

 

Activity

After having a baby, you may be very tired. It is very important to get enough rest after having a baby. For a while after delivery, try to keep all activities short. You may be able to do some exercise soon after having your baby, such as walking. Kegel exercises may help your vaginal and rectal muscles heal faster. You can do Kegel exercises by tightening and relaxing the muscles around your vagina. Kegel exercises help make the muscles stronger, and may prevent gas and urine from leaking out. Talk with your caregiver before you start exercising. If you work outside the home, ask your caregiver when you can return to your job.

 

Breast care

When your milk comes in, your breasts may feel full and hard. If you plan to breastfeed, ask caregivers to show you how to hold and breastfeed your baby. Ask caregivers for more information about how to care for your breasts even if you are not breastfeeding. Also ask your caregiver about breastfeeding while taking medicines.

 

Constipation

Do not try to push the bowel movement out if it is too hard. High-fiber foods, extra liquids, and regular exercise can help you prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber foods are fruit and bran. Prune juice and water are good liquids to drink. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work. You may also be told to take over-the-counter fiber and stool softener medicines. Take these items as directed.

 

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in or around your rectum. Pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids to stick out or swell. You may have rectal pain because of the hemorrhoids. Ask your caregiver about preventing and caring for hemorrhoids.

 

Perineal care

 Your perineum is the area between your vagina and anus. To help heal your perineum, keep the area as clean and dry as possible. This will also help prevent infection. You can wash the area gently with soap and water when you bathe or shower. Ask your caregiver about any special wound care needed if you had an episiotomy. An episiotomy is an incision (cut) in your perineum.

 

Vaginal discharge

You will have a vaginal discharge, called lochia, after your delivery. The lochia is bright red the first day or two after delivery. By the third or fourth day, the amount decreases, and it turns a red-brown color. About 7 to 14 days after having your baby, you may have a heavier flow of blood. Sometimes the color of the lochia changes to a yellow-white color and may have an odor (smell). You may need to wear a pad and change it many times each day. You may be able to use tampons if you can insert them without any problems. Caregivers may advise you not to use tampons at night time to lessen the risk of infection. It is normal to have lochia up to eight weeks after your baby is born.

 

Monthly periods

Your period may start again within 7 to 12 weeks after your baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, it may take longer for your period to start again. You can still get pregnant again even though you do not have your monthly period. Talk with your caregiver about a birth control method that will be good for you if you do not want to get pregnant.

 

Mood changes

Many new mothers have some kind of mood changes after delivering their baby. Some of these changes occur because of lack of sleep, hormone changes, and caring for a new baby. Some mood changes can be more serious, such as severe (very bad) postpartum depression (deep sadness). Talk with your doctor if you feel unable to care for yourself or your baby after delivery.

 

Sexual activity

You may need to avoid having sex for 6 to 7 weeks after having your baby. You may notice you have a decreased desire for sex or sex may be painful. Caregivers may suggest you use a vaginal lubricant (gel) to help make sex more comfortable for you.

 

 

Going home after a C-section

You are going home after a C-section. You should expect to need help caring for yourself and your newborn. Talk to your spouse, parents, in-laws, or friends.

 

What to Expect

You may have bleeding from the vagina for up to 6 weeks. It will slowly become less red, then pink, then have more of a yellow or white color. Bleeding and discharge after delivery is called lochia.

At first, your incision will be raised slightly and pinker than the rest of your skin. It will likely appear somewhat puffy.

Any pain should feel a lot better after 2 or 3 days, but your incision will remain tender for up to 3 weeks or more.

    Over time, the scar will become thinner and flatter and turn either white or the color of your skin.

 

You will need a follow-up appointment with your health care provider in 4 - 6 weeks.

Incision Care

 

If you go home with a dressing, change the dressing over your incision once a day, or sooner if it gets dirty or wet

    Your doctor will tell you when to stop keeping your wound covered.

    Keep the wound area clean by washing it with mild soap and water. You don’t need to scrub it. Often, just letting the water run over your wound in the shower is enough.

    You may remove your wound dressings (bandages) and take showers if sutures (stitches), staples, or glue were used to close your skin.

 

Keep the incision clean. Keeping the incision area as clean as possible, and keeping it dressed properly, reduces the risk of infection.

 

*** The incision should only be touched when the hands are clean, and at times of dressing changes.

*** The incision should be dressed according to the doctor's orders.

 

    Do not soak in a bathtub or hot tub, or go swimming, until your doctor tells you it is okay, usually not until 3 weeks after surgery.

 

If strips (Steri-Strips) were used to close your incision:

    Cover them with plastic wrap before showering for the first week. Do not try to wash off the Steri-Strips or glue.

    They should fall off in about a week. If they are still there after 10 days, you can remove them, unless your doctor tells you not to.

 

Activity

Getting up and walking around once you are home will help you heal faster and can help prevent blood clots.

 

You should be able to do most of your regular activities in 4 - 8 weeks. Before then:·

 

    Do not lift anything heavier than your baby for the first 6 - 8 weeks.

    Short walks are okay. Light housework is okay. Slowly increase how much you do.

    Avoid heavy housecleaning, jogging, most exercises, and any activities that make you breathe hard or strain your muscles. Do not do sit-ups.

 

Do not drive a car for 3 weeks. It’s okay to ride in a car, but make sure you wear your seat belt. Do NOT drive if you are taking narcotic pain medicine.

 

Other Self-care

Try eating smaller meals than normal and have healthy snacks in between. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drink 8 cups of water a day to keep from getting constipated.

 

Any hemorrhoids you develop should slowly decrease in size. Some may go away. Methods that may help the symptoms include:

    Warm tub baths

    Cold compresses over the area

    Over-the-counter pain relievers

    Over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointments or suppositories

 

 

After C-sections that follow a difficult labor, some moms feel relieved. But others feel sad, disappointed, or even guilty about needing a C-section.Many of these feelings are normal, even for women who had a vaginal birth.

    Seek help from your doctor, if these feelings do not go away or become worse.

 

When to Call the Doctor

Call your Doctor

if you have vaginal bleeding that:

    Is still heavy (like your menstrual period flow) after more than 4 days

    Involves the passing of large clots

    An increase in red bleeding for a day or so about 7 - 14 days after delivery, when the scab that forms at the site of the placenta is shed

You have pain or tenderness in one area of the breast that's not relieved by warm soaks and nursing, or swelling or redness in one area, possibly accompanied by flu-like symptoms or fever.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

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