After delivery, there will be much to do to care for your newborn. In all of the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to take time for yourself.
Virtua offers a variety of expert-led maternity classes and support groups for moms, dads and grandparents. Topics include childbirth preparation, prenatal yoga, labor basics, breastfeeding, postpartum depression support and more.
As a new mom, you will experience many physical and emotional changes. Find out what to expect as well as get important nutrition and exercise advice.
It’s all the information you’ll need to take good care of yourself, so that you can take better care of your newborn.
It’s important to resume normal activities, but do it slowly. Start by gradually increasing your activities and resting if you feel tired. Follow these guidelines to get yourself back on track:
Having a baby places a huge demand on your body. Getting enough rest and sleep helps you recover quicker.
After delivery, bleeding amount and time varies from person to person. Use the following as a guideline:
The return of your first “normal” period depends on many factors. Breastfeeding may delay your period; however, it does not stop you from getting pregnant. Your period will most likely return four to eight weeks after delivery. At that point, it’s okay to use tampons.
Discuss plans for birth control with your healthcare provider before discharge from the hospital or at your follow-up visit. He or she will advise you when it’s safe to resume intercourse. Resuming intercourse before being advised is okay but may result in:
Following a healthy diet will help you rebuild your strength and get back to normal.
As your body heals, drinking adequate amounts of fluid helps carry away waste products and helps prevent urinary tract infections.
To assist your recovery, your healthcare provider may prescribe or suggest that you take a prenatal vitamin daily. Contact your provider before taking any medications.
It may take three to five days post-delivery to have a bowel movement; your normal pattern may not resume for several weeks.
Hemorrhoids may develop during pregnancy or from the pressure of delivery. They normally go away several weeks after delivery if you follow these suggestions:
If you do develop hemorrhoids, here’s how to treat them to get relief:
The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and uterus, so it’s important for you to keep these muscles strong throughout your life. In addition to helping you prepare for delivery, these exercises may also help prevent urine leakage (incontinence) that may occur as a response to the normal aging process. To maintain the tone of your pelvic floor muscles, make Kegel exercises a part of your daily routine.
Whether or not you had an episiotomy, proper care of your perineal area (area between the vagina and anus) is important in promoting comfort and preventing infection. If you had stitches, they will dissolve on their own and therefore, do not need to be removed.
As your uterus contracts and shrinks back to its normal size, you may feel after-pains or cramps. These contractions actually help decrease bleeding. You’ll feel after pains the strongest for the first two to three days after delivery, and breastfeeding will stimulate these pains. If needed, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed. Depending on the intensity of your pain, your healthcare provider may also prescribe medication.
If you experience any of the following, call your healthcare provider immediately: