Giving birth to your baby may signify the end of your pregnancy, but it also marks a time of change and recovery for new mothers. Your body will need to recover from your pregnancy and the physical exertion of labor and delivery. You will also experience a plethora of emotions during this time. This is normal. Allow yourself to rest as much as possible, ensure you nourish your body and accept help from family members or close friends as you adjust to your new addition. Our practice is dedicated to educating new mothers on what to expect during their postpartum care journey.
Focus on Healing & Bonding
For the first 6 to 8 weeks of the postpartum period, you should be focused on allowing your body to heal while bonding with your new baby. Even if you experienced the easiest delivery possible, your body needs an opportunity to mend. For a vaginal delivery, you will feel soreness in your perineum and bleed for several days after giving birth. The bleeding will subside, but you may still experience vaginal discharge, called lochia, for up to 6 weeks. Contact us immediately if you experience postpartum hemorrhage, a life-threatening heavy bleeding that does not subside. If you had a cesarean section will require at least eight weeks for the incision to heal and will also be limited on some physical activities. Make sure to follow all your healthcare provider's instructions to ensure a smooth recovery.
Rest is Imperative
After your baby is born, you will not be able to get the same amount of quality of sleep you were used to. Although your newborn will sleep a lot, they will also need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, and their sleep schedule will be highly unpredictable for a while. While it may seem simple advice, try to sleep when your baby sleeps. Even just closing your eyes for 20 minutes may allow you to recharge a bit before your baby is awake and needs to be changed, fed, or simply comforted. Let your partner, other family members, or friends take on household chores. Make sure you eat nutritious meals filled with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Drink an ample amount of water to stay hydrated. If you are breastfeeding, you will need to increase your calorie and water intake to continue nourishing your body and your milk supply.
The Postpartum Checkup
This medical checkup usually occurs 6 to 8 weeks after childbirth. Even if you feel good and had a delivery and pregnancy free of complications, you will still need to schedule this appointment. It is an important component of your postpartum care that could prevent complications from arising after giving birth. You may need to be seen sooner if you had a cesarean section or experienced other complications.
The postpartum checkup helps ensure your body has healed from the delivery experience. We will check your weight and blood pressure and perform a physical and pelvic exam. If everything is healing as it should be, you will be cleared for physical activity, including vaginal intercourse.
At this time, you may want to discuss your birth control options. Becoming pregnant too soon after giving birth can harm your health, so preventing pregnancy for at least 18 months is ideal. Be open about the emotions you have been experiencing. If you have postpartum depression, we can connect you to the help you need.
Schedule Your Appointment
Turn to our practice to guide you throughout your pregnancy journey, including postpartum care. Contact us to schedule an appointment.