Postpartum

Post Partum Instructions for Vaginal Delivery

General Activity – You may gradually increase your activities as your strength and comfort permits. The first week you return home, you should rest and care for only yourself and your newborn.

Take frequent naps - Avoid heavy chores, lifting greater than 25 pounds, straining or prolonged standing. Walking will help to prevent many complications and assist in your healing. You may walk up and down stairs, if necessary, but you will need to go slow and hold on to a handrail for support. Avoid intercourse until you are cleared by your physician at your follow up visit in 6 weeks. This allows your episiotomy and perineum to heal.

Bathing - You may shower and wash your hair. Short tub baths in warm water are allowed.

Diet - Eat a well balanced diet. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid constipation.

Driving a Car - Short car rides are allowed but avoid long car trips until you see your physician at your follow up appointment. Do not drive until after you have finished taking any narcotic pain medications and you are able to twist your body quickly to look over your shoulder and to step on the brakes without hesitation. You will find that this usually happens about two weeks after your delivery.

Perineal Care - Clean your perineum with every trip to the bathroom. After using the toilet, wipe gently from front to back. Rinse with a peri bottle filled with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel or tissue. Change your peri pads frequently. You may use Tucks or Dermaplast/Epifoam to ease episiotomy discomfort. You may soak briefly in a tub of warm water to ease discomfort, but avoid soap, bubbles or shaving the area.

Medications - Mild over the counter medications (like ibuprofen and naproxen) and stool softeners or laxatives may be used as necessary unless otherwise instructed. You may also be prescribed a mild narcotic to use for breakthrough pain in combination with the ibuprofen or naproxen. Resume all other home medications on discharge. Follow your physician’s advice regarding medication precautions while breastfeeding.

Returning to Work - Most patients choose to take 6 to 8 weeks off work for infant care and bonding. You will probably feel ready to return to work in 2 weeks, but it may take 6 weeks for your body to return to its pre pregnancy state.

Follow-up Appointment – Call for an appointment if it was not scheduled at your hospital discharge. You will be seen for your final post partum appointment 4-6 weeks after delivery.

Problems or Questions - Do not hesitate to call if you have any problems or questions. If your physician is not available, another physician will be able to help you. Promptly report any of the following problems: fever (temperature greater than 100.5 degrees) problems with the episiotomy, severe pain or nausea, red or painful breasts, pain or burning on urination, severe depression, and foul smelling vaginal discharge, excessive bleeding or passage of clots larger than an orange or any other unusual symptoms you may be having.