Remain at home for 1 to 2 weeks.
LIGHT housework, laundry, meal preparation. Go up and down stairs slowly.
Limit visitors, especially those with colds, etc.
Rest several times a day. The more activity, the more bleeding may occur. Call the office to make your postpartum appointments. One at 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery.
2 week and 6 week appointments for patients with C-Sections.
You may go out, away from home and may drive at the end of that week.
You may begin Kegel exercises. They will help increase circulation to the area of your episiotomy repair (if you had one) and aid in preventing the stitches from becoming too tight. They also improve pelvic muscle tone. Mild exercise (such as walking) is recommended until 5 to 6 weeks. You may do stretching exercises, and moderate housework.
4th to 6th Weeks:
EXAM: You will have a pelvic exam. Plan ahead as to what method of birth control you will use – pills, diaphragm, condoms, jelly and foam. Intercourse may be resumed after your postpartum exam. Please note that breastfeeding mothers may also ovulate and are therefore not protected from becoming pregnant. You may experience vaginal dryness. This is due to the drop in estrogen hormone from the high levels during pregnancy, and is prolonged by breast-feeding. Use a lubricant as needed, such as Astroglide or KY jelly.
DIET: Keep your diet low in fats and high in protein (milk, meats, grains). Drink lots of fluids. Continue taking your prenatal vitamins especially if you are breastfeeding.
EPISIOTOMY or STITCHES CARE: You may use sitz baths 2 to 4 times a day and/or Tucks. A sitz bath is done by filling the tub part of the way with warm water (not hot), and soaking your bottom for 10-1 5 minutes. You may take Extra Strength Tylenol if needed.
CARE OF THE BREASTS: Breast-feeding: If your nipples become reddened, cracked, blistered or painful, try exposing them to air after each feeding. This will promote healing. You may use a hair dryer on Low. Soothe on pure lanolin or Masse’ Cream. (Do not use if allergic to wool products).
If you do not breastfeed, wear a tight bra or you may pack your breasts with ice to prevent letdown of milk. If your breasts become engorged, wear a full fitting tight bra, decrease fluids, use an ice pack and take Tylenol. The discomfort will take 24 to 48 hours to subside. Avoid nipple stimulation. When showering, let the water run down on your back to prevent stimulation of milk letdown.
Patients who have had a C-section will follow the same instructions. Look at your incision before leaving the hospital. Slight redness is normal. You will need to make an appointment two weeks after your delivery for an incision check.
CALL THE CLINIC IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. Fever of 100 degrees or more on two readings taken 4 hrs. apart.
2. Unusual heavy bleeding or clothing.
3. Foul smelling vaginal discharge.
4. Abdominal pain other than slight tenderness.
5. A burning sensation or increased frequency or urination.
6. Swelling, persistent pain in your episiotomy or abdominal incision.
Finally, accept the postpartum period as a period of recovery, a time for your body to heal and for you to get acquainted with your baby and your new role as a mother.