All the doula placements are COVID vaccinated.
Postpartum care: What to expect after a vaginal delivery
Your newborn may be your top priority — but postpartum care counts, too. From vaginal soreness to urinary problems, here’s what to expect as you recover from a vaginal delivery.
Pregnancy changes your body in more ways than you might have guessed, and it doesn’t stop when the baby is born. Here’s what to expect after a vaginal delivery.
If you had an episiotomy or vaginal tear during delivery, the wound might hurt for a few weeks. Extensive tears might take longer to heal. In the meantime, you can help promote healing:
- If sitting is uncomfortable, sit on a pillow or padded ring.
- Use a squeeze bottle to pour warm water over your vulva as you’re urinating. Press a clean pad or washcloth firmly against the wound when you bear down for a bowel movement.
- Cool the wound with an ice pack, or place a chilled witch hazel pad between a sanitary napkin and the wound.
- Take pain relievers or stool softeners as recommended by your health care provider.
While you’re healing, expect the discomfort to slowly improve.
Contact your health care provider if the pain intensifies; the wound becomes hot, swollen and painful; or you notice a pus-like discharge.
You’ll have a vaginal discharge (lochia) for a number of weeks after delivery. Expect a bright red, heavy flow of blood for the first few days. The discharge will gradually taper off, becoming watery and changing from pink or brown to yellow or white.
Contact your health care provider if:
- You have heavy vaginal bleeding
- The discharge has a foul odor
You have a fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
You might feel contractions, sometimes called afterpains, during the first few days after delivery. These contractions — which often resemble menstrual cramps — help prevents excessive bleeding by compressing the blood vessels in the uterus. These contractions tend to be stronger with successive deliveries. Your health care provider might recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Contact your health care provider if you have a fever or if your abdomen is tender to the touch. These signs and symptoms could indicate a uterine infection.
Hemorrhoids and bowel movements
If you notice pain during bowel movements and feel swelling near your anus, you might have hemorrhoids — stretched and swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum. To ease any discomfort while the hemorrhoids heal, soak in a warm tub and apply chilled witch hazel pads to the affected area. Your health care provider might recommend a topical hemorrhoid medication as well.
This author could have used a postpartum doula, reassuring and showing her how to easily care for her newborns fingernails and all the other little things you need to know …. What A Fingernail Taught Me About Being The ‘Perfect’ Mom
“And her newborns tiny fingernails, ragged and sharp from months in my womb, and I just could not bring myself to cut them.”
We recommend using a emery board and file the baby’s sharp nails.
Prepare now for bringing your baby home; it’s the launching pad for successful breastfeeding
Many surveys have shown that hands-on support from an experienced postpartum doula particularly for breastfeeding and understanding normal newborn behavior can provide a solid basis during the adjustment to parenthood. Preparation for Breastfeeding Your Newborn
- Breastfeeding is learned for the mom and has come naturally to mothers as they saw and discovered from their own mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends. As society changed, and as more and more the caring for babies became largely hidden some expectant parents are likely never to have even seen a child nursed or changed a diaper or soothed a newborn.
Your postpartum doula provides easy solutions to common problems.
- A great deal of misinformation remains in our culture about the first week’s home with your newborn and breastfeeding, new parents find that, even after going to prenatal classes, they are not ready for the reality of caring for a child.
This is where your postpartum doula comes in, there for you, reassuring as you learn nursing and learning your baby’s basic needs.
Clients frequently ask when is the best time to meet their postpartum doula?
- The 3rd trimester is the best time to start making your plans for after the birth and meeting postpartum doulas, buying books about newborn care and breastfeeding!
- Sometimes new parents realize after the first night home, they need a postpartum doula. YES, we can help you any time you call us and have a doula for you in 24 hours.
- It’s always a smoother transition for clients who interviewed their postpartum doula while pregnant and reserved her time on-call, then your doula is ready to meet you at home after the birth
During your pregnancy being occupied with the birth is normal, by your 3rd trimester is the time to start making plans for after the birth, thinking about who will be helping you with your baby, breastfeeding and recovering from the birth. Planning for a doula when your partner returns to work.
. . . Breastfeeding, While Natural is still a Learned Skill for the Mother . . .
With the Support of A Postpartum Doula, Studies Have Shown the Transition is Easier
- Like anything worth doing, it takes practice and support. A postpartum doula does affect that you have a better experience.
- Healthy newborn babies instinctively know what to do if they are placed skin-to-skin on their mother’s body after the birth. Some women breastfeed easily from the first day, and never have a problem, but many do meet hurdles somewhere in the early days home and need support and guidance.
- That is where postpartum doulas come in, by helping you have the best start to parenthood, someone to address all your questions and any concerns as you learn about your baby.
Your Doula helps around the house as you settle into your new routine
After being busy with your career and working full-time being at home with your newborn is a big shock. Coupled with the feeling if you are doing things right!
Make plans for after the birth when you need help
learning about your baby, breastfeeding and recovering
. . .