Whether you are a new mother or an experienced one, each birth is a different and special occasion. After your delivery, it can be helpful to know what to expect both in the hospital and after you return home. Talk to your physician or midwife if you have any questions about your health or the health of your new baby.
Changes to Expect
After labor and delivery, your body will go through many changes as your hormones readjust after pregnancy. You may experience some physical discomfort, such as sore breasts, post-labor contractions, hot and cold flashes, hemorrhoids, constipation, and urinary or fecal incontinence. Women also experience vaginal discharge for up to a few weeks after giving birth. Keep in mind that any discomfort you feel is temporary and will improve over time. Additionally, many new mothers experience “baby blues” that cause irritability, sadness, and anxiety after giving birth. These mood changes often begin a few days or weeks after birth but will even out within one to two weeks. If you are still experiencing feelings of sadness after two weeks or you have intense feelings that interfere with your daily life, talk to your OB/GYN or family physician.
Tips to Speed Healing
There are many ways you can help to speed the natural healing process after labor and delivery. Drink plenty of water and avoid activities such as going up and down stairs, heavy lifting, and driving until you are cleared by your doctor. Keep clean by taking baths—even sponge baths—or bring a seat or stool into your shower. Check any incisions or stitches daily and notify your doctor immediately if incisions become red, swollen, or very painful.
After your labor and delivery, the staff at St. Petersburg General Hospital will continue to provide the care you and your baby need. Our midwives offer prenatal, postpartum, and newborn healthcare services in a supportive and state-of-the-art setting. If you’d like more information about giving birth at St. Petersburg General Hospital, call (888) 741-5122 or click through our website.