Postpartum Care

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 take Percocet.
If you have had a 4th degree tear, nothing in the rectum (suppositories, etc.) for 6 weeks.
Also, please 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. 

Your next appointment should be:
~ 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.

Call the office if you have...

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 exquisitely tender abdomen accompanied by a fever greater than 100.4.
Any signs or symptoms of post partum depression.
For C- section patients
~ Any opening of your incision
~Any drainage from your incision that is excessive, or any pus coming from the 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. 





Episiotomy and Laceration Care

“Sitz Baths” (simply sitting in a tub of warm water 15 minutes, 2-3 times per day) can help to relieve discomfort resulting from lacerations. Additionally, Tucks pads. Witch Hazel and Lanacaine, may be applied to the external vaginal area as needed. You may also use oral pain medications as described above. Stitches will dissolve in 1-6 weeks. You will be more comfortable if you are not constipated; please follow directions above to prevent/treat constipation.


Hemorrhoids

Sitz baths, as described above, can help alleviate hemorrhoid pain as well. You can aso use topical agents such as Tucks pads, Witch Hazel pads, or Preparation HC. Actively prevent constipation.

Reasons to Call Your Physician
Fever greater than 101
Cesarean incision that is red, draining or increasingly painful
Signs of a breast infection: red and painful area on your breast, especially if associated with fevers greater than 101 and/or flu-like symptoms
Foul- smelling vaginal discharge
excessive vaginal bleeding (see above section on vaginal bleeding)
Swollen, red, painful area on your leg
Chest pain
Persistenly painful urination or inability to urinate
Worsening vaginbal or rectal pain
Persistent headache not relieved with pain medication, changes in vision, and severe right sided painThe more you understand your body and how it functions, the better equipped you'll be at taking care of yourself to achieve optimal health. We've included the Patient Education section on our website to provide you with valuable, practical wellness information which you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve the quality of your life. We hope you will turn to these pages whenever you have a question about health related issues and urge you to contact our practice at any time to make an appointment with one of our doctors. 

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.

Pain Reduction

Find out if your hospital offers special ice packs to new mothers, and if they don't, make your own. They are bulky, but they will help. Dermoplast pain spray helps immensely too. Line your sanitary napkin with a witch hazel pad to ease the itchiness of any stitches. Recline or lay down rather than sitting straight up. It is normal to feel contraction, similar in pain to menstrual cramps, after birth. These tend to worsen with every successive pregnancy.

For the Bleeding

You will bleed for several weeks after birth. Either wear the underwear the hospital provides or your own underwear you don't care about with a giant pad. Some women opt for adult diapers. Your bleeding should gradually slow and turn from bright red to brown. Call your doctor right away if you soak a pad within an hour, you pass clots larger than a golf ball or your vaginal discharge smells foul.

For Your Breasts

Your milk probably won't come in for a day or two after birth. If your breasts are painfully full, you may pump or feed a little for relief, but be careful not to overdo it as your body produces milk on a supply -and­-demand basis.

It is normal for breastfeeding to hurt at first. Make sure baby is latched on correctly and use Lanolin cream to help with any cracking or bleeding. Alternate which side you feed on and wear nursing pads to catch any leaking, especially at first.

If you are not planning on breastfeeding, wear a compression bra and do not pump. Cold washcloths can help with the pain.

Using the Bathroom

Use a squirt bottle when you urinate for the first few days to relieve the stinging. If you find yourself leaking small amounts of urine throughout the day, doing Kegels can help. If you have hemorrhoids, witch hazel pads can soothe them. If your stools are hard and painful, be sure to drink plenty of water and consume enough fruits and vegetables. Your doctor may also recommend a stool softener. You may find it helpful to take a sitz bath afterwards.

Other

Rest as much as possible, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Do not drive or carry anything over 10 pounds for a week. Realize that mood swings are normal, but if you are worried you have postpartum depression, talk to your doctor right away. Worry about taking care of yourself and your baby before you worry about weight loss.

After about six weeks, you’ll check in with your healthcare provider. This is the time to discuss any symptoms still troubling you and look at your progress so far. All in all, take things at your own pace, and try to enjoy these first precious weeks after your delivery!