After Birth: What you and your Family needs to do!

When it comes to days after birth, mothers still need to take a rest. Some get to be discharged from the hospital a day after childbirth but some may take a few days or a week. Below are situations of mothers after birth.

The Postpartum period is the time you need to recover from the postnatal condition to your original condition. In general, the postpartum period ranges from 6-8 weeks after delivery. You have to be extra vigilant so that your body can fully recover.

At the Day of Delivery

Natural Labor

· Due to extreme fatigue, sleep as much as you can.

· Edema (Swelling) is normal.

· Lochia (Vaginal Discharge) will be discharged 3 hours post-delivery.

· Sit down in the shower 2-3 times a day.

· Wear cotton underwear, socks, and scarves with high water absorbing ability as you will feel cold easily.

· You can take a look at newborn nursery if you feel OK.

· Stretch your body from your toes and fingers, and then gradually do some more postpartum exercises.

C-Section

· You will feel pain on your surgical site when anesthetic fades away.

· Gradually do some postpartum exercises, starting with moving your ankles.

· When lochia discharges, change your pads per 2-3 hours.

· You must not eat anything before you fart. You can only moist your lips through cotton balls.

· You will feel pain on your surgical site, often intense enough that you can barely move.

· Sleeping is important to ease swelling.

· Practice constant deep breathing.

Tip: Post-Delivery Exhaustion

You will experience extreme fatigue after delivery. Generally, people will experience headache or blurry eyes, as well as numbed or pain hands and legs.

The Day after giving Birth

Natural Labor

· You will feel uneasy due to hardening breast, or even pain during lactation secretion. Massage with vapor and the pain will ease.

· Do breastfeeding, it will accelerate uterus contraction.

· Touching your stomach or lying on your stomach will alleviate the pain triggered by uterus contraction.

· Change your pads 2-3 hours when lochia discharges.

· Wipe your body with wet towel since you sweat a lot.

· Take a shower within 5 minutes. This is because your waist is weak, and bending your waist when you wash your hair will increase the stress at your waist, hence must be careful.

· There will be an increase in urine amount but you might not be able to feel your urge to pee due to loosened bladder, therefore pee regularly.

· Brush teeth and wash hands regularly.

· Shower by sitting down, shower2-3 times a day.

· Do some easy exercises. Try to extend your hands above your head with your fingers straighten up, bend in your ankle and then extend straightly outwards.

C-Section

· You can walk to the restroom with help from others.

· Even if it hurts, gradually learn to walk. It helps recovery.

· You will have slight anemia, which is a complication of surgery. You may have a fever 1-2 days post C-Section, if there is continuous rising in body temperature, immediate checkup is required.

· Because of hormones, you start to lactate. However, antibiotics prohibit you from lactating smoothly.

· You have to do massage to prevent mastitis. Baby sucking helps.

· You can drink water or rice milk before you fart but some doctors suggest not to drink or eat (fasting) before you fart. It depends on each doctor’s prescription.

That’s all for postpartum information needed to know by pregnant women and their relatives. Make sure to seek help from your relatives when you feel that you can’t do some chores yet.

3-4 Days Post Delivery

Natural Labor

· Discharge from the hospital.

· Lochia decreases in amount and gradually becomes brown on the 4th day. Even if that is the case, you should still change your dressings frequently. Sometimes red lochia may be discharged.

· You will sweat a lot as before. Change your underwear frequently. Be careful not to catch a cold.

· Eat easily digestible food since you will suffer from frequent constipation.

· Keep your body fresh. You can take a tub bath since your wounds have healed to a certain extent.

· Get enough sleep.

· Stomachache is gone for good at a certain level.

C-Section

· You can start to eat after you fart. Eat easily digestible food in this order: Rice milk, porridge, and rice.

· You can increase your walking distances since you don’t need support when you walk and pain has gradually faded away 4 days post delivery.

· Massage your breasts and feed your infant with colostrum.

· You can wash hands or brush teeth. However, avoid washing your hair and showering since your wounds will be exposed to water.

· Since you sweat a lot, wipe your breast with towels frequently and change your underwear often.

· Though pain on the surgical site has been somewhat alleviated, you should still use a maternity belt.

· Postpartum depression emerges which is a little later than that of a natural labor.

Tip: Taking Good Care during Postpartum Will Promote Speedy Recovery After Giving Birth

During 10 months pregnancy, a pregnant woman has experienced various physiological changes. Other than uterus and breast expansion, the whole body has experienced a big change. “Postpartum Period” signifies that those physiological changes will gradually disappear and return to the original condition before pregnancy.

Averagely, there will be 6 to 8 months time after delivery that the pregnant women’s body will be a lot weaker and easy to get infected by viruses, leading to health threat. Therefore, to prevent illness or infections as well as to promote health, special care is required during postpartum period.

5-6 Days Post Delivery

Natural Labor

· Though tiredness from labor has relieved somewhat, still take plenty of rest.

· Uterus shrinks back to its normal size and position.

· Since you lactate, you have to be cautious about nutrient intake. Colostrum transforms into fully mature breast milk after 7-10 days.

· You can do some simple postpartum exercises.

· Doing some exercise is so much better than lying in bed all day long.

· Brown lochia has decreased in amount.

· Stomachache has been soothed and vagina has been healed to a certain extent.

C-Section

· You can eat as well as excrete. If you still don’t excrete 6 days post delivery, you will have to take an enema.

· You can walk to the restroom or newborn nursery without the support of others.

· You will lactate around the 5th day after delivery, despite the fact that it’s a little later than that of natural labor.

· Someone can help you wash your hair when you stand up straight.

· Your surgical site has almost fully recovered and your pain has been relieved to a certain extent.

· It’s more convenient for you to walk around. However, avoid exhausting activities.

Tip: The Postpartum of C-Section and Natural Labor

There are no much differences between natural labor/delivery and C-section delivery. For a smooth natural labor, the perineum will be slit to separate the anus and vagina; while for C-section, the abdomen will be slit, the difference is only at the location that requires post delivery inflammation care. If you want the perineum to recover faster after natural labor, the lower part must be kept as clean and dry as possible to prevent virus inflammation. For C-section delivery, it requires lesser care or management as what needed by normal operation.

1 Week Post Delivery

Natural Labor

· Stretch marks have gradually vanished. You can sit up straight because your swollen vagina has healed to an extent.

· You can do some simple household chores.

· You can do some simple postpartum exercises when you lie in bed.

· You cannot take a shower or wash your hair alone. You need some tools for support.

· Ask others to help your baby take a shower since it drains your energy.

· You must take sufficient rest within 1 week after delivery.

C-Section

· Your surgical sutures have been removed and disinfected.

· You can be discharged from the hospital.

· Though you can walk without any support, don’t push yourself too hard to do household chores.

· You can lactate and feed your baby.

· You can take a simple shower but disinfect your surgical wounds thoroughly afterwards.

· You feel pain when you move your body. Please be careful when you exercise.

2 Weeks Post Delivery

· Brown lochia has become yellow lochia, 10 days post delivery.

· Lochia secretion has decreased in amount, the yellow lochia has become even lighter in colour.

· The amount of lactation becomes stable. Massage before lactating and milk the remaining part out completely.

· The uterus shrinks back to its normal size and position.

· Take a rest at any time since you can easily feel tired when you do household chores.

· Pay attention to body temperature 2 weeks post delivery. Be cautious with cold wind, ice water and cold food.

3 Weeks Post Delivery

· Lochia has almost completely gone, you will feel refreshing.

· Mothers who previously experienced postpartum depression have slightly recovered. If the symptoms still persist, check with your doctor.

· Do some household chores, take care of the baby, and cook some food.

· Don’t push yourself too hard. Take a rest if you feel tired.

· You can take a shower. However, you can only take a tub bath 4 weeks post delivery.

· You can prepare to be back on track.

4 Weeks Post Delivery

· Your vaginal wounds or surgical wounds have fully recovered.

· You will have better appetite so beware of weight control. If you breastfeed, maintaining a balanced diet is essential.

· The 1st health examination for the baby and mother. Not only paying attention in baby growth, you must also try to observe for bone dislocation as well as other abnormal symptoms as earlier as possible, and apply necessary vaccination.

· Mothers have to go through blood pressure, anemia, and uterus recovery check.

· You can do some household chores and raise the child if you don’t feel too tired.

5 Weeks Post Delivery

· You can be back on track if there are no anomalies found.

· Lochia is gone for good.

· You can have sexual activity but don’t push yourself too hard.

· You still have to take contraceptive measures since you can ovulate, even if you don’t observe your period.

· Avoid crowded public places like public baths and department stores.

6 Weeks Post Delivery

· The uterus has recovered to its original size and position.

· You can make a move to back on track.

· You can take a tub bath.

· You can dye your hair or go shopping.

· Do exercises to lose weight.

· You can take a stroll with the baby at a nearby park with sunshine and fresh air before noon or in the afternoon, provided if the baby is not born during autumn or winter.

Those are the bits of information as guide for mothers after birth.

Part 3: Postpartum Care: Seasons, Selection & Instructions

Postpartum Care in Summer versus Postpartum Care in Winter

There are a lot of issues to deal with when you run into postpartum care in either summer or winter. If you know the key points to succeed in different seasons, you can take good care of your body. The seasonal postpartum care method can effectively help you with a healthy recovery. Want to stay at home or in a postpartum wellness center? Read on below as well.

Sandra Henderson
 

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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