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Life After Delivery

Infant Care & Safety

Life After Delivery

  • Bonding with your baby is important and satisfying. Make time for yourself even for a few minutes every day. You may experience emotional ups and downs for the first 6 weeks. Talk to someone about your feelings and concerns.
  • Try not to take on too much. Just be a mother for a few weeks.
  • Ask for help, accept it when offered. Don’t worry about trying to keep the home clean. Ask a friend or family member to help.
  • Make simple meals. Use foods from the freezer or have friends or family bring meals over.

 

Sexual Activity/Family Planning

  • No tampons, douching or sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks.
  • Talk to your doctor about family planning. You can get pregnant as soon as 4 weeks after delivery.
  • Breastfeeding is not a method of birth control. Pregnancy may occur before normal periods start.
  • Due to hormones released during breastfeeding, vaginal dryness is common.
  • The use of water-based, “over-the-counter” vaginal lubricant may be needed during intercourse.
  • Do not use oils or Vaseline as they do not wash away well and can damage condoms.
  • Bleeding, healing stitches, fatigue, and hormonal changes all affect a woman’s comfort and interest in sexual activity.
  • Only you can decide when you’re ready.

 

Activity

  • Try to nap when your baby is napping.
  • You may go outdoors, as soon as you like after delivery. (If bleeding increases with activity, you may need to rest.)
  • Fresh air and sunshine are good for you and your baby.
  • Kegel exercises can be started at anytime.
  • Exercise may begin 2 weeks after delivery. Leg lifts, sit-ups and walking are good exercises to start with.
  • Other types of exercise can be resumed 6 weeks after delivery or as directed by your doctor.
  • Sitz or tub baths are safe following delivery, unless otherwise instructed by your Doctor.
  • You should not lift anything heavier than your baby for the first 4 weeks.

 

C-Section

You may increase your activity as soon as the first week after surgery. Only you know how much you are able to do. Your incision is still fresh and you need to rest to recover and heal.

It is important to keep the incision clean and dry. It is unsafe to drive a car for the first 2 to 3 weeks after a cesarean delivery. Take pain medication when needed.

 

Diet

  • Fluids (about 8 glasses or more per day) are important to replace blood lost during childbirth and to avoid constipation.
  • Eat healthy. Be sure to include bran/whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, vitamin C (helps with healing), and calcium. If diabetic, follow the diet as instructed.
  • Continue to take your prenatal vitamins as directed by your doctor.