After your baby has arrived, you may feel a swing of emotions and wonder about your new, postpartum body. We will help you understand how to care for the emotional and physical changes that happen after the birth of your child.
While postpartum depression is common, it is serious and treatable. Many women experience the “baby blues” for a few weeks after having a child. If the blues last longer than two weeks, you may have postpartum depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
A member of your health care team from Clinic Sofia will call you about two weeks after delivery to assess for postpartum depression and address any other concerns. If you think you are suffering from postpartum depression, get help. Talk to your healthcare provider, call an emergency support line or ask a loved one to help you get the care you need.
It’s normal for first-time moms to find breastfeeding challenging. Before leaving the hospital, you can seek the help of a lactation consultant to evaluate you and your baby’s technique. Breast health is important during breastfeeding because of the potential for infection, or mastitis. Symptoms of mastitis include fever, chills, aches, redness or thickening on the breast. To avoid infection, keep the breasts dry and soft. There are various creams and products available at most stores. You can find more helpful information on the Breastfeeding for New Moms video created by Clinic Sofia.
During the course of your pregnancy, your skin stretches over your expanding abdomen. After pregnancy, it may take a little while for the skin to shrink to its pre-pregnancy state. Prior to delivery, core-strengthening exercises will help the delivery process and will speed recovery. Hydration, good nutrition and adequate sleep are vital to losing weight, feeling well and getting your body back after pregnancy. You should allow your body about six weeks to heal before starting any vigorous exercise. Exercising too soon could cause heavy bleeding or lead to infection. It is important that you take care of yourself so you are prepared to take care of your baby and family. We recommend that you:
You may have some concerns about your health and body after having a baby. Below are some common questions. If you have additional concerns, please email us.
Just after delivery, you may experience swelling and soreness on your genitals. Cool packs help with the initial discomfort. After a few days, try switching to warm packs and warm baths to promote circulation to swollen tissues.
You may notice bleeding similar to a period that lightens over time. Exercising right after delivery is not recommended, as increased activity can lead to more bleeding. Pads are the best option for postpartum bleeding. You can resume using tampons with your first period.
Some women experience urinary stress incontinence or the inability to empty the bladder after delivery. This is common and is related to decreased hormones, swelling and the effect of delivery on the genitals. This should improve over time. You can try doing Kegel exercises (tightening the vagina) and emptying your bladder every two hours.
You may also notice burning during urination. This is caused by swelling or repair to torn tissue. If it continues, call Clinic Sofia to be checked for a bladder infection.
The shift in hormones after delivery may cause your legs and hands to swell. This should resolve over time.
You may experience stinging when passing your first bowel movement due to the tenderness of your genitals after delivery. Allow the bowel movement to happen without pushing and try to relax as much as possible. Stool softeners can help significantly.
It is difficult to estimate how tired you will be when adjusting to having a new baby in your house. Lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety, unhappiness, inability to think, lack of judgment and more.
Sleep when the baby is sleeping and keep other children on a routine. Get help with chores like laundry, cleaning or preparing meals. Allow your partner to take a feeding and diapering at the same time every day. This helps the baby associate nourishment with the other person and allows the bonding process to occur.
If you have trouble sleeping, try taking Benadryl, drinking warm milk or decaf tea or taking a warm bath before bed.
It is usually safe to resume intercourse after bleeding has stopped. If you resume intercourse before your six-week postpartum check, use condoms and lubrication.
If you’d like to get exercise, short walks are usually acceptable. You may build up to more intense workouts 4–6 weeks after delivery.
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6545 France Avenue South,
Edina, MN 55435
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