Postpartum Care

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Baby

Giving birth is a beautiful, natural process, but it can also take quite a toll on your body. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and products out there designed to make your recovery easier. Here is what nurses and experienced moms everywhere recommend.

Instructions & Activity

  • Pelvic rest for 6 weeks. (No douching, tampons, or sexual intercourse.)
  • No vigorous exercise for 6 weeks.
  • If you have had a C-section, no heavy lifting greater than 10 lbs. For 6 weeks.
  • No driving for 1-2 weeks (if you have had a C-section) or while taking any Percocet.
  • If you have had a 4th degree tear, nothing in the rectum (suppositories, etc.) for 6 weeks.
  • Use a stool softener for 2-3 weeks after your delivery, such as Colace (which is sold over the counter)
  • For C-section patients, keep your incision clean and dry. Let the water/soap run down on the incision in the shower. Do not apply soap on a towel and directly scrub your incision. Do not apply any creams/lotions/Neosporin to your incision. Your steri-strips may fall off on their own, otherwise we will inspect and/ or remove them at your 1-2 week appointment.

Follow-Up Appointment

  • In six weeks for a vaginal delivery, unless otherwise specified at the time of discharge.
  • In 1-2 weeks, if you had a C-section, for an incision check. You will then have another appointment 4 weeks later for your 6 week post partum exam.

When to call the office

    • Signs of mastitis including: reddened, hard, and exquisitely tender areas to the breast accompanied by a fever greater than 100.4.
    • Excessive vaginal bleeding greater than 1 soaked pad per hour. (You will have vaginal bleeding for 4-6 weeks after delivery. This may slightly increase 2-3 weeks after delivery, but will then taper off.)
    • An extremely tender abdomen accompanied by a fever greater than 100.4.
    • Any signs or symptoms of postpartum depression.
    • For Cesarean section patients
      • ~ Any opening of your incision.
      • ~Any drainage from your incision.

       

Medications

  • Percocet, 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed for pain.
  • Ibuprofen 600 mg every 6 hours as needed for pain.
  • For constipation: Colace, Milk of Magnesia
  • Continue your prenatal vitamins as long as you are breast feeding or for 30 days after delivery.
  • For hemorrhoids, use Tucks pads, Preparation H, Proctofoam as needed.
  • For cracked/sore nipples you may use Lanolin cream.

Postpartum Depression

Considering the many chemical changes that happen before, during and after childbirth, it really should come as no surprise that many pregnant women and new mothers experience confusing mood swings. While this is normal, there does come a point when the sadness has lasted long enough and been severe enough to cause concern.