After Delivery- Postpartum Care Information
Please call you pediatrician with infant care questions!
You need to be seen in our office for your postpartum visit 4 – 6 weeks after delivery.
Call our office if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Temperature greater than 100.4
- Red area on breast associated with pain, firmness. It is normal to have fullness and pressure with slight warmth for a couple days when your milk comes in.
- Heavy vaginal bleeding requiring changing pads every hour or clots the size of a lemon
- Foul smelling vaginal discharge
- Severe abdominal pain unrelieved by pain medication
- Urinary tract infection symptoms: increased frequency with painful urination
- Redness, swelling, yellow or green discharge from any stitches you have
- Pain in the calves of your legs
- Depression or crying spells that last more than 3 days.
Expect to have bleeding like a heavy menstrual period for 3 to 5 days, whether you deliver vaginally or by cesarean section. This flow will taper off and become dark brown and then pink to clear in color. This discharge may continue for six weeks with intermittent spotting. Use only pads, no tampons. If your bleeding increases you need to rest more. Your first menstrual cycle after delivery is often heavier than usual. When you breastfeed you may not have a period for several months, however, do not consider this as your birth control method. If you do not breastfeed, you should have a period within 6 to 10 weeks after delivery.
Use only pads for two weeks after delivery, the cervix needs time to heal – no tampons, douching, swimming or tub baths. No vaginal intercourse until you come for your postpartum visit, sexual pleasure is fine as long as nothing enters the vagina. After urination, continue to use squirt bottle from hospital to cleanse the perineum. Clean the rectal area after a bowel movement, always wiping from the front to the back.
If you have stitches in the perineum, they will dissolve within a couple of weeks. For comfort, you can try an ice pack on the area, use a spray anesthetic or tucks pads.
Cesarean section requires a little extra attention. Keep your incision dry and notify our office if you have symptoms of infections: fever, tenderness, redness and discharge from the incision. Be very careful not to lift anything heavier than the baby.
Expect to have uterine cramping for several days after delivery. If you experience severe cramping that is unrelieved by the medication prescribed by your doctor, please call the office.
Constipation and hemorrhoids are a frequent problem after delivery due to pressure on the rectum during pregnancy, pushing and delivery. Drink plenty of liquids and avoid caffeine. Eat fresh fruits and raw vegetables as well as high fiber foods. You may use a stool softener for 2-3 weeks. Sitz baths, Tucks pads and Anusol are used to provide comfort for hemorrhoids and stitches.