Newborn baby feet parent holding in hands

Our experienced team of nurses and doctors can help answer your day to day questions as you begin your postpartum journey.

We will also help you decide on your next move to help you plan your family and provide a full spectrum of contraception.

You will experience many different changes after having a vaginal birth. The first few days you feel very sore and tired. You will also notice that your uterus continues to cramp for several days after having the baby and that you continue to bleed. It is not uncommon to bleed up to six weeks after giving birth. You will notice that some days the bleeding may seem heavy, while other days it is very light or none at all. This is typical. It is important during this time that you do not put anything in the vagina (no tampons, sex or douching), and that you call your doctor if you develop a fever more than 100.4 or begin bleeding more than two pads per hour for two hours.

 

If you had an episiotomy or vaginal tear, you will notice that these areas will be very sore and tender. They may even burn when you urinate. It is not uncommon for these areas to swell the first few days after delivery. It is important to use the pericare bottle the hospital gave you to clean this area regularly. You may also use Tucks pads or sitz baths to aid in comfort.

 

If you delivered by cesarean section, you may find you are very sore in the abdominal area for several weeks. This will gradually improve. To promote a speedy recovery, it is important to continue to be as active as your body will allow. During the initial two weeks you should:

 

-not lift more than 10 pounds

-not drive a car yourself

-avoid abdominal exercise for at least 4-6 weeks after your surgery

-keep your incision area clean and dry

-only take showers, as baths will affect the healing process

 

Initially you may notice some drainage from the incision, but this should stop within the first few days. If you notice a large amount of drainage from the incision, redness of the skin, or a fever greater than 100.4, you should call your doctor immediately.

During the first few weeks, it is common for your emotions to be all over the place, much like they did during the beginning of your pregnancy. During this time you will experience many hormone changes, exhaustion and the feeling of being overwhelmed with the care of your newborn. These all lead to the mood swings known as the “baby blues.”

 

The baby blues will usually resolve within a few weeks. However, if these feelings continue, you may be developing postpartum depression. It is important to talk with your doctor about these symptoms as you may require treatment. If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression, this is a good information resource.

Engorgement – Three to four days after having your baby, your breasts may become swollen, heavy and sore. This is a sign that your milk production has increased, and your breasts are now accumulating milk. This will usually lessen within 24 hours. If you are breastfeeding, having the baby feed every three hours will help to improve the symptoms. If you are not planning to breastfeed, then wearing a tight-fitting bra, even while sleeping, will help to lessen these symptoms. Avoid expressing the milk, as this will allow the symptoms to continue longer. Cold compresses or cabbage leaves will also help with the discomfort.

 

Blocked Ducts – Blocked milk ducts occur frequently in breastfeeding mothers. When this occurs, you will feel a hardened area or lump that is often red and sore to touch. In order to resolve the symptoms, it is important to continue to feed frequently from both breasts, including the one with the clogged duct. While the baby is nursing you need to massage the affected area towards the nipple. Between feedings, apply warm compresses to the affected area and continue to massage the area towards the nipple. These techniques, when done diligently, will usually unclog the duct.

 

Mastitis – If the blocked duct persists, it may become a breast infection. At this point, you may develop a fever, chills and aches, and feel similar to when you get the flu. You may notice streaks of red in the breast or the breast may become entirely red. If you think you have mastitis it is important to contact your physician, as this does require antibiotics. It is also important to realize that breast tissue, not the milk, is infected. It is safe and recommended to continue feeding your baby from the affected breast. To help cure the infection, you want to continue frequent feedings and apply warm compresses to the affected area.