Why Do Women Need Postpartum Care?
As women prepare to head back home and adapt to their new lives, women tend to experience a flux of emotions and symptoms that will greatly affect them during the first six months to a year after giving birth. Labor is an intensive, life-changing experience, and no matter how the delivery went, the body goes through some serious trauma and will need time to recover. Postpartum recovery is just that; it’s about giving women the tools they need to feel more like themselves and take the time to overcome the challenges ahead.
The Physical Changes – Women after labor can experience numerous complications with their bodies. Those changes can include:
Vaginal Bleeding – The bloody discharge, also called the lochia, will gradually decrease from bright red to pink, and then finally from brown to yellow. Women tend to bleed as long as six weeks and will need a vaginal checkup from their Nurse Practitioner to check for any issues.
Difficulties Urinating – Urinating can become difficult due to the pain surrounding the pelvic area. Use peri bottles to help with urination, and if you cannot empty your bladder, then call the emergency room.
Bowel Movement Problems – Problems with bowel movements are also difficult during this time, especially because the risks of hemorrhoids increases with labor. Sitz baths can provide relief for pain in the bowels, and taking in fluids can help soften stool..
Perineum Tears – Tears in between the vagina and anus can cause considerable amounts of pain, and there are multiple ways to help relieve this pain, including Sitz baths, cooling pad, peri-bottles, and taking in liquids to soften stool.
Sore Breasts – Hormonal changes in the body will trigger a surge of milk supply from the breasts, and sore nipples and enlargement will occur as a result. It’s recommended that babies receive breast milk for the first six months to provide optimal nutrition. Use form-fitting bras, ice treatments, and avoid stimulation if you don’t plan on breastfeeding.
The Emotional Changes – Women after delivery also tend to experience changes that affect their overall mood. They can experience a fluctuation in emotions, and in many cases, rest, sleep and maintaining a healthy diet to exercise ratio can help manage these emotions.
Postpartum Blues – Postpartum blues are a normal response after delivery, where frequent crying and irritability are common. These occur during the first ten days after labor, and will generally subside with sleep and rest.
Postpartum Depression – While not uncommon, it’s also a serious condition. Symptoms such as hopelessness, severe anxiety, thoughts of self-harm, crying spells, and the inability to bond with the child can last from 2 weeks to 6 months if not managed. Please call our office if you are experiencing any thoughts of self-harm or harming others, and we’ll help you to the best of our ability with our support groups and services.
The Benefits of Postpartum Instructions
Women’s clinics and hospitals that provide postpartum instructions give many benefits to the overall well-being of women and their new families, including:
- Providing the tools, they need to recover
- Give women knowledge and confidence as they heal
- Prepare new mothers with baby tips
- Give expectations on their recovery and overall moods
Common Questions about Postpartum Instructions
How can my partner help with my recovery? – They are one of the most crucial aspects of your recovery because they can provide physical and emotional support as you heal. They can help drive you to your Nurse Practitioner appointments, provide medicine to help you heal, and give you emotional support through your mood swings.
How can postpartum depression be treated? – Antidepressants can be prescribed to help balance the hormones that control your mood. With antidepressants, it may take up to four weeks before they take effect.
What other support can I receive while I recover? – You can find support groups at your local hospital, health care center, or women’s organization to help you as you recover from delivery.
How We Can Help With Postpartum Instructions From menstrual periods to new motherhood, we’re here for all aspects of a woman’s life. Postpartum instructions are just a small aspect of what we can provide. If you have any questions regarding your recovery, call us and schedule an appointment at our practice today to learn more.