Post-Partum Instructions

Congratulations on the birth of your baby!  Once you get home, try to get as much rest as possible.

Episiotomy Care:  The stitches will dissolve in about 4 weeks.  Taking tub baths is safe and will soothe any discomfort that you have.  We do not recommend any douching.

Lower abdominal cramping is normal and will be more apparent when you are breast feeding.  This is how the uterus gets itself back to normal size.  You can use ibuprofen to help with this discomfort.

Breastfeeding:  Wear a good supportive bra during the day.  Keep your nipples clean and dry.  Soreness and cracking of the areola (brown skin around the nipple) is common and will usually resolve in a couple of weeks.  If you decide to wean the baby, bind your breasts tightly and apply ice packs to your breasts.  The pain and engorgement will subside in a couple of days.

Constipation may be a problem.  You can use Miralax, Metamucil, or other OTC laxatives or stool softeners.  If you have hemorrhoids, soaking in the tub is helpful and you can use Preparation H for swelling.

Some bloody discharge is common for up to 4 weeks after delivery.   If you do not breast feed, you can expect a period in about a month from delivery.  If you are breast feeding, you may not have periods for several months after delivery.

You will have an exam by your doctor 4 weeks after delivery.  Wait to have intercourse until after this exam to be sure your body is ready for sex.  Your doctor will discuss options for birth control at your visit.  You can begin a light exercise program after 2 weeks and can return to work after that time as well.

If you had a C section, your incision is sealed by the time you leave the hospital, so it is fine to shower or bathe. Some patients will have steri-strips on their incision, which can be removed after 2 weeks, if they have not already fallen off. Some numbness, itching or skin sensitivity is normal. The incision should be
fully healed by 4 weeks post-op. Limit any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for 2 weeks after a C/S. You can then gradually increase your activity, as you feel comfortable.

Please call our office if any of the following occurs:

  • Temperature greater than 101 F or chills
  • Excessive, heavy, or prolonged bleeding
  • Frequency or burning with urination
  • Swelling and/or tenderness with redness in one area of your breast
  • Marked depression or anxiety