Women’s Health A-Z

Postpartum Care

When you are recovering from giving birth, you will have so many joy-filled moments. Your primary focus will be caring for your newborn, but it’s important to care for yourself as well. Just like pregnancy and childbirth, recovery is different for every woman.

You may be sore and have bruising swelling and swelling, and you may also have stitches and feel cramping as your uterus starts to shrink. You may experience breast engorgement as your body produces milk for your baby. You’ll also have bleeding and vaginal discharge for several weeks to a couple of months. No matter what your symptoms are, it’s important to let your body rest and heal.

Rest & Healing

Resting will be very important as you heal from childbirth. It can be difficult to do this when you have a newborn, but do the best you can! There are also a few steps you can take to ease some of the pain and discomfort you may be feeling. If you are sore, you may want to sit on a pillow, soak in the bath, use an ice pack, or take medicine to help you feel better. Make sure you are eating well and staying hydrated, too. This not only benefits your baby’s health but also can improve issues with constipation or urination. Eating well can also help give you more energy.

Postpartum Depression

In the hours following childbirth, your estrogen and progesterone levels rapidly decrease, which can cause several symptoms including postpartum depression. You are also exhausted, which can contribute to feeling down. In the days after giving birth, you and your loved ones should be on the lookout for signs of this condition. While postpartum blues, which may include crying and trouble sleeping, usually resolve on their own, postpartum depression can last much longer.

If you have postpartum depression, you may feel sad or anxious to the point that it interferes with your daily activities. It’s important to remember that this can be treated, and you should see your physician as soon as possible. Postpartum depression can be treated with antidepressants to help balance brain chemicals. Therapy may also help you manage your feelings and talk through the challenges you are facing.

Postpartum Checkup

Even if you don’t experience any complications, it’s still very important for you to go to your postpartum checkup. At your checkup, you may discuss birth control with your physician, ask any questions or discuss concerns you may have, and get a physical and pelvic exam to evaluate how your recovery is going.