- Try not to lift, push or pull anything heavier than a baby in a car seat for the first two to four weeks after giving birth.
- Expect some cramping after birth as the uterus goes back to its normal size and position. If they become very strong, call your doctor. You can use Tylenol®, Motrin® or any medications your doctor prescribed for cramping.
- Rest often throughout the day, especially when the baby is sleeping.
- Try to avoid sitting in one position for more than one hour or standing for long periods of time.
- Call your doctor if you experience severe depression or depression that lasts more than three days! It is not uncommon, however, to have a day or two of depression after your baby is born due to the sudden change of hormones in your body and the demands of motherhood.
- Drink at least eight to 10 glasses of fluid daily. Have a glass of water, juice or low-fat milk each time you feed your baby.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes lean meats, poultry, fish, fresh fruit or juice, fresh vegetables and dairy products. If you breastfeed, you will burn about 300 calories per day, which will help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight.
- If you had a cesarean section, keep the incision clean and dry. You may use the cool setting of a hair dryer after showering to dry the incision. If you notice any redness, discharge or increased tenderness of the incision, call your doctor.
- If you are breastfeeding, it is normal not to have a period for several months or longer. If you do not have a period six weeks after you stop breastfeeding, call your doctor.
The full “Guide to Postpartum Recovery and Newborn Care” is available for download from GBMC’s website. Additional information about Maternal Newborn Health Services can be found at: www.gbmc.org/women.