This is the time following your delivery, and it is a time of many changes. It is a very exciting time, but can also have many challenges. You are now dealing with an infant who may not sleep and you may have health concerns. There are changes in your body which take some time to get back to normal. All of this can lead to changes in your relationships. Since many new moms do not have families nearby, they have limited options for help. Several options do exist, and we can help you to navigate them as well as review your concerns.
If your baby has been or is in the NICU, you have more emotional stress. Please let us know how we can help.
If you have a 3rd or 4th degree tear (involving the muscle that controls stool continence or the skin inside the rectum) you should stay on stool softeners for at least 2 to 3 weeks after delivery, and we would like to check the area about 2 to 3 weeks after you go home, as well as at the 6 week visit.
Kegel exercises; the muscles you use to stop your urine stream are interconnected with many muscles in the region of the vaginal opening. These exercises help this area to have better tone, and to help lessen risk for incontinence later. You can find instructions on line, but essentially it involves the tightening of the muscles you would use to stop your urine stream, hold as long as you can, 10 times in a row, 3 sets a day. It may
take a few weeks until you have enough normal sensation and muscle return to do these.
Avoid extreme lifting (20 lbs.) if possible for 6 weeks; this helps these same muscles and tissue get back to more normal tone and strength.
Vaginal rest for 6 weeks
After your postpartum visit at 6 weeks, if you are still having weakness in these muscles, you may benefit from a pelvic floor physical therapy referral.
Minimize juice and soda, try to get at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. If you are
nursing, this helps your milk supply too.
Have 4 to 5 servings of fresh fruits and/or vegetables a day.
Eat a relatively low fat diet; this means more lean meats and avoid or lessen fried foods. Healthy fats include olive oil and canola oil. Both are healthier than vegetable oil.
These principles will help you to have healthier choices in your food selections, and exercise is key as well.
We recommend you have a plan for after the delivery. Do you have options to plan ahead and have people lined up to help? If not, check what community services may be available. Allow yourself permission to have a break here and there. Maybe a nap, a massage, a shower with no one yelling, "Mom, where are you?"
Things to have at home when you get home with your newborn: