How to care for yourself after delivery:
Following delivery, your body begins a four to six week process of returning to a non-pregnant state. Some of these changes will be obvious, others will not. To help you be more comfortable and minimize or prevent problems, you should plan to include the following in your daily activities:
Balance Rest and Activities. Especially during the first couple of weeks after the baby is born, the majority of your time should be spent at home taking care of your baby and yourself. Get as much rest and sleep as you can. Rest or sleep when the baby does. Limit your visitors. Consider asking friends and relatives for help with household tasks such as cooking or washing clothes. As you feel better, gradually increase your activities.
Be prepared for the “Baby Blues”. As your body returns to its non-pregnant state and you adjust to your new family, you may experience mood swings, crying spells and feelings of being overwhelmed. Talk about these feelings with the baby’s father, your doctor, or someone you feel comfortable talking with. For most new mothers, the “baby blues” are hardly noticeable and last only a few days. If you are concerned about “baby blues”, contact your physician. While being a new parent is hard work, it should be an exciting and enjoyable time.
Eat Right. A balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and liquids will help prevent constipation, minimize fatigue and assist your body’s return to its non-pregnant state. Ask your physician if you should continue taking your prenatal vitamins or other supplements.
See Your Doctor. Medical care after the baby is born is just as important as care before the baby is born. Seeing your doctor after the baby is born will allow him to identify and treat minor problems before they become serious. Be sure you know when he wants you to return to the office following delivery. If you have any problems before that office visit, don’t wait. Be sure to contact your physician if you notice any of the following: