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Going Home After Your Delivery

From the hospital discharge TO your six week check up

Breast Milk
Recovery
Swelling
Bleeding
Activity & Exercise
Intercourse & Contraception
Six Week Check Up
Breastfeeding Class

The postpartum weeks are marked by a variety of experiences – medical, emotional and logistical. The process of taking care of a baby is wonderful, demanding, and occasionally overwhelming. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t appear until six weeks. And things may not really get easier until three months. In the meanwhile, here is a description of some things to expect.

Breast Milk

It takes about three days until the milk comes in. This means that most women are home when engorgement sets in. Breast feeding mothers will find no shortage of advice and recommendations when it comes to how and when to breast feed. The essence of breast feeding may be: “an empty breast and a wet diaper; everything else is just a detail.” Of course, sometimes it is “all about the details.” The best way to figure out timing, position, and all the details is trial-and-error. Lactation consultants and Breast Feeding Classes are available…

Recovery

Patients are frequently given a list of things to look out for, when it comes to monitoring their recovery – watch for this, look out for that, etc. Often it is easier to make sure you just keep getting better. As long as the pain and the bleeding get less from one day to the next, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Women should expect shoulder and neck pain, usually related to how long they pushed. The epidural site may be a little achy as well, which is normal.

Swelling

Swelling will usually gets Worse before it gets better. The turning point is usually 3-4 days after delivery. While lying in bed, the vaginal area can get Very swollen. Hand swelling and tingling in the ring finger can be worse in the morning, while ankle swelling may get worse through the day. This is all normal, and it can be super uncomfortable.

Bleeding

Bleeding can last six weeks, but it usually only lasts for about 2-3 weeks. Overall, bleeding should get less and less, from day to day. Women can have a heavy afternoon, or a heavy day. But things should not get heavier from one day to the next. A heavier bleeding episode with cramping can come at three weeks after delivery. This single episode is short, lasting a few hours or half a day, and should go away on its own.

Activity and Exercise

Nature is probably your best guide to activity after delivery. If it hurts, do less. If it does not hurt, continue doing, but use caution. Remember, strength and stamina are Low immediately after pregnancy and delivery. Take it easy. Doing too much too soon can lead to muscle strains, pain, and prolonged recovery.

Intercourse and Contraception

Couples can resume intercourse when it is comfortable. Many will wait an arbitrary six weeks, most will wait until the postpartum bleeding is less, usually around 2-4 weeks.  Couples should be reminded that intercourse without contraception leads to pregnancy, always. Breast feeding is NOT reliable contraception. There are many choices for postpartum and lactation contraception, including the simple and (mostly) reliable condom. Women who don’t want to get pregnant MUST do something to prevent pregnancy (nature’s rule). More contraception options…

Six Week Check Up

The last appointment of the pregnancy is a six week postpartum visit. That visit usually includes a wrap up discussion of the pregnancy and labor, an exam to make sure you are all healed, and a decision about contraception.


ADDITIONAL TOPICS

Breastfeeding Class

Designed for both new and experienced parents, this class will take you step-by-step through breast- feeding basics and beyond. Learn proper technique…Read More.

Mommy & Me Class

Being a new mom can be challenging and uncertain for some. Learn, laugh, and grow with other new moms just like you. Network and discuss…Read More.

Contraception

There are many choices for postpartum and lactation contraception, including the simple and (mostly) reliable condom. Women who don’t want to get pregnant MUST do something to prevent pregnancy (nature’s rule). Read More…