Questions to ask your doctor about post pregnancy care
What to ask your doctor about home care for mom; Pregnancy - what to ask your doctor about home care for mom
You have given birth to a baby and you are going home. Below are the questions you may want to ask your doctor about how to take care of yourself at home and the changes that may follow post-delivery.
Are there possible complications I should be aware of once I go home?
- What is postpartum depression? What are the signs and symptoms?
- What should I do to help prevent post-delivery infections?
- What should I do to prevent deep vein thrombosis?
- What activities are safe to do in the first few days? Which activities should I avoid?
What kind of changes should I expect in my body?
- For how many days will vaginal bleeding and discharge occur?
- How will I know if the flow is normal or not?
- When should I contact my health care provider if the flow is heavy or doesn't stop?
- What are the ways to ease pain and discomfort after childbirth?
- How should I take care of my stitches? What ointments should I use?
- How long will the stitches take to heal?
- How long with I have a belly bulge?
- Are there any other changes I should know about?
- When can we resume sex?
- Do I need to take contraceptives or birth control measures when the bleeding stops?
How often should I breastfeed?
- Are there certain foods or beverages I should avoid when breastfeeding?
- Should I avoid certain medicines while breastfeeding?
- How should I care for my breasts?
- What should I do to avoid mastitis?
- What should I do if my breasts get sore?
- Is it dangerous if I fall asleep while breastfeeding my baby?
- How often should I follow up with my health care provider after giving birth?
- What symptoms indicate a call to the doctor?
- What symptoms indicate an emergency?
How you feed your baby is a personal decision, but if you breastfeed you're choosing to give your child a natural, nutritional food source that can benefit you AND your baby. Let's talk about breastfeeding. Many women ask me, What's so good about breastfeeding? Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for a baby. It contains just the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. And they vary over time within each feeding and over the months as your baby grows, tailored. Breast milk also gives your baby the digestive enzymes, minerals, vitamins, hormones and flavors they need. Plus your baby gets antibodies and other immune factors from YOU that can help your baby resist some infections. Infants who breastfeed are less likely to have allergies, ear infections, gas, diarrhea, and constipation, skin problems, stomach or intestinal infections...and are also less likely to experience wheezing, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Breastfeeding helps mom too! You form a unique bond with your baby. You might lose pregnancy weight faster and, you have a lower risk of breast cancer, some types of ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis. Your baby will need to be fed a lot, often nearly around the clock during the first few weeks after birth. It's perfectly normal. Some mothers find that bringing the baby in bed for feedings at night or placing a bassinet within reach, allows them to meet the child's needs while losing minimal rest. During the day, nap after feedings if you can. If you need to return to work soon after your baby is born, or you're a stay-at-home mom that needs some time to herself, there are plenty of pumping and storage systems available that let you continue to breastfeed your baby as long as you want. Breastfeeding goes smoothly for most people, once mother and baby get the hang of it. For others, it may take time and practice. If you run into any problems, contact a lactation consultant, a person who specializes in breastfeeding.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. After the baby arrives.
Isley MM. Postpartum care and long-term health considerations. In: Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, et al, eds. Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 24.
Ormandy J. Antental and postnatal care. In: Magowan BA, ed. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 5th ed. Elsevier; 2023:chap 23.
Last reviewed on: 7/2/2022
Reviewed by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.