Care After Birth

Congratulations on meeting the newest member of your family. Now that you've had your baby, your body will undergo some changes. Here are a few of the things you can expect over the next several weeks and months.

After delivery

Changes in your body 

  • The bleeding you experience after delivery can last from four to six weeks, decreasing gradually over time.
  • Over the next several weeks, your uterus will gradually decrease in size.
  • During the first week after delivery, many women experience the baby blues. You may feel tired and sad. This is completely normal. This can be caused by your body's sudden change in hormone levels and fatigue. The blues should only last for a few days and should not interfere with your ability to care for yourself or your baby. If these feelings continue for longer than two weeks, let your doctor or midwife know.
  • You may notice swelling in your hands, feet or ankles or an urge to urinate more frequently. This means your body is carrying excess fluid. The swelling should go away in a few weeks.
  • You may not have a bowel movement for several days after giving birth. Listen to your body when you feel the need to move your bowels. It will not tear your stitches. Your health care provider will talk to you about laxatives.
  • If you have hemorrhoids, we may recommend using a topical cream or ointment.
  • If you find you have gas pains, try walking and drinking warm liquids to relieve this discomfort. Also avoid very cold beverages and drinking straws.
  • Mothers who are nursing can expect eight to 12 feedings every 24 hours and to nurse on demand. 
     

Women's Services is here to help you through the weeks and months after giving birth. We understand the changes your body is going through. We provide breastfeeding support through Maternal Expressions Boutique, with lactation consultants available even after you return home. A follow-up visit can be made in Maternal Expressions Boutique. Call 252-847-1749 or 252-847-7439 for an appointment.