Postpartum Physical Aspects

Postpartum Physical Aspects

Abdominal Weakness

-Pelvic tilts, tightening exercises
-Good posture, good body mechanics
-Good diet
-Patience to give body time for normal restoration

Afterbirth Pains

-Slow breathing
-Relaxation techniques

Sore Nipples, Breast Pain or Difficulty

-Call for help: Lactation Counselor
-LaLeche League
-Childbirth Educator
-Nursing mother/friend
-Read one of the breastfeeding books on reading list

Constipation

-Drink lots of fluids
-Eat fruits, whole grain food, fiber rich foods
-Exercise: walking, pelvic tilts
-Stool softener

Dizziness

-Move slowly
-Lie down frequently
-Elevate legs
-Have you eaten lately?
-Contact care provider if continues after a day or two

Episiotomy Pain

-Sitz bath
-Ice pack or witch-hazel compress (TUCKS)
-Kegel exercise to promote circulation
-Topical anesthetic spray or ointment
-No tampons; no douching
-Good hygiene; wipe self from front to back; pat gently to avoid irritating area

Gas

-Drink warm fluids
-Avoid use of straws
-Exercise; walk, abdominal tightening

Hair Loss

-Use conditioner
-Good diet, vitamins/minerals

Hemorrhoids

-Keep stools as soft as possible
-Use hemorrhoid preparation care
-Apply topical anesthetic
-Use witch-hazel compresses (TUCKS)
-Kegel exercises to promote circulation

Fatigue

-Nap when baby naps
-Go to bed early for a few nights
-Reduce or eliminate visitors
-Make conscious effort to stay in bed; do only absolutely necessary work for several weeks
-Get help from family, friends, or professionals for housework, laundry, shopping, childcare, and cooking
-Improve diet; increase foods rich in vitamin B, whole grains, eggs, brewers yeast
-Make use of relaxation techniques, meditation and visualization
-Exercise to stimulate circulation; walk with baby in backpack or stroller
-Devote time to yourself; read, bubble bath, shop

Episiotomy Care

-Observe color change: bright red, pinkish red, rusty-brown, whitish-yellow, dwindles until all gone
-Call care provider if bright red color returns
-Use sanitary napkins/panty liners
-No Tampons
-Keep fresh by showering daily - wash perineal area with soap and water
-Use peri-bottle each time at toilet

Weight

-Eat good diet - reduce unnecessary calories, but keep energy up
-Exercise: walking and swimming are great
-Patience: much of your pregnancy weight will be lost in the first week - the rest may take up to 3-6 months to drop away