Maintaining Mom’s Health
Your body has been through a lot. It’s vital you rest as much as possible after you’ve given birth to ensure your return to optimal health.
Slowly get back into your daily routine. Ask family and friends for help with meals and babysitting while you rest.
Other guidelines to maintain your health:
- Take it easy. Rest often and try to keep everything you or your baby will need within your reach. Avoid lifting from a squatting position or lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first few weeks.
- Eat well. Eat foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals to restore your body and build strength.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water and other fluids will help replace the fluid you lost during delivery and will lose breastfeeding. Fluids also prevent constipation.
- Take medication as needed. Your doctor might recommend Tylenol or other medications to relieve pain. Ask your doctor which pain relief medications are safe for women who are breastfeeding.
- Avoid sex if you’ve had a C-section. Generally, it’s safe to resume sex about four to six weeks after surgery or after your doctor gives you the go-ahead.
- Keep in mind postpartum depression may occur. Postpartum depression, moderate to severe depression experienced after the birth of a child, is a common complication. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first three months after delivery. Signs include:
- Severe mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Loss of interest in sex
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Lack of joy in life
When should you contact your doctor? Call your doctor immediately if you think you're depressed. It's especially important to seek help if:
- Your signs and symptoms don't fade on their own.
- You have trouble caring for your baby or completing daily tasks.
- You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
What are other signs that you’re not recovering well? Call your doctor if you notice:
- Signs of infection, such as a fever higher than 100.4 ° F, severe pain in your abdomen, or redness, swelling, and discharge at your C-section incision site.
- Breast pain accompanied by redness or fever.
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
- Painful urination.
- Bleeding that soaks a sanitary napkin within an hour or contains large clots.
- Leg pain or swelling.