Postpartum Depression

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. 

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.

What Sets Postpartum Depression Apart?

It is completely normal for new mothers to have mood swings, sadness, irritability, trouble sleeping and anxiety -­ some people call these the “baby blues.” However, when a new mother's symptoms go on to include severe mood swings, withdrawal from friends and family, fatigue, intense anger and a lack of interest in life, something more serious may be the cause: postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can even cause thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby.

Postpartum depression affects 10­-15% of women every year, making it a very common condition. Postpartum depression isn't the mother's fault, but she and her family may suffer if she doesn't receive the treatment she needs.

If you begin to see things that aren’t there or feel confused and paranoid, you may be suffering from a more rare and severe postpartum psychological disorder, and should contact a doctorimmediately.

Causes of Postpartum Depression

No one is 100 percent sure what causes some women to get postpartum depression while others slide into motherhood blissfully. However, doctors think that the condition can be worsened by:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Lack of sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Lifestyle changes while caring for a newborn
  • Genetic predisposition

Women who have a history of depression, who are undergoing a stressful period, who lack a strong support systems, or whose pregnancy was unintended are at an increased risk, though postpartum depression can happen to anyone.

If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression, you aren't alone, and there is hope. Call your doctor if your symptoms don't lessen within two weeks, if they are getting worse, or if you are having a difficult time doing routine tasks and caring for yourself and your baby. Call your doctor immediately if you are thinking about harming yourself or your baby.

Treatment

Treatments for postpartum depression range the gamut from counseling and talk therapy to medications such as antidepressants. Your doctor may also recommend simple lifestyle changes to improve your symptoms, but, make no mistake, postpartum depression must be treated by a doctor.

Postpartum depression is a serious condition that can last for months or even years if not treated. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms such as those listed above, call your OB/GYN today.