Postpartum Care: What to Expect

I’ve had the baby, now what?

The postpartum period after having a baby is an exciting and exhausting part of life.  There are so many changes, both physically and emotionally, that are happening to you and your body. So how do you take care of yourself?

Vaginal Birth
If you’ve had a vaginal birth, you most likely have stitches/sutures somewhere on your perineum.  Using a peri bottle to squeeze warm water over your perineum when you urinate and placing witch hazel pads along your pad will help relieve the discomfort.  Your vaginal bleeding can last anywhere from 2-6 weeks. Your flow can change depending on your activity level and if you are nursing your baby.

C-Section Birth
If you’ve had a C-section, it is important to keep a close eye on your incision. Your vaginal bleeding can last anywhere from 2-6 weeks as well. Keeping the incision dry and clean is important for the healing process.  If you start to notice and redness, discharge or concentrated warmth around your incision area, you need to call your doctor.

When to resume sex
Regardless of what type of birth you’ve had, it is important not to resume sexual intercourse until your doctor says it is ok. It’s important to let your body heal from this change its just gone through.  It is also important to monitor your vaginal bleeding.   If you start to have heavy bleeding (which would be saturating a pad in one hour; 2 hours in a row) or if your vaginal discharge has a foul odor, it is important to call your doctor.

Emotional Changes
Another change to watch out for is your emotional state of mind. It is normal to have a roller coaster of emotions after having a baby.  Your hormones can take months to balance themselves out.  It is normal to have anxiety, sadness and irritability for the first couple weeks.  However, if your symptoms of depression persist, it is important to contact your doctor. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are experiencing postpartum depression.  Your doctor is there to help you.

Help is ok!
Don’t be afraid to accept help from other people.  Having a baby is a big life change and its ok to have people support, help and guide you along the way.

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Additional article from Advice & Aid:
Dealing with Postpartum Depression

It’s important that if you are experiencing postpartum symptoms that you feel may be out of the ordinary – or if you have questions or concerns at all – that you have someone you can talk to.

Your doctor is always a great place to start. But if for some reason you aren’t ready to discuss your concerns with your doctor, feel free to make an appointment with us. We have a trained and licensed nurse on staff at all times.

Sometimes, simply talking over your concerns with someone who both understands and has the medical knowledge you need is exactly what can put your mind at ease!

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