Postpartum Discharge Instructions
Congratulations on your delivery! Women's Health Care Associates feels honored to have been a part of your obstetric care and hope your delivery has been a memorable and rewarding experience. Here are a few important things to know upon your discharge from the hospital.
If you delivered vaginally, you may drive when you are able. If you had a C-section, no driving until you are off any narcotic pain medicine, and feel like you could brake quickly if needed. For most women, this is one to two weeks after delivery. Organize trips up and down stairs. Listen to your body and rest when you are able. Take advantage of friends and family to help with household chores and errands or the first several weeks after delivery. No douching, tampons, or sexual intercourse for six weeks after delivery. If you are sexually active before your postpartum visit, please use condoms and a lubricant such as K-Y Jelly. Walking is an excellent way to begin your recovery but avoid any strenuous exercise that may "pull” on your episiotomy stitches. Showering is preferable for the first two weeks after delivery. Avoid any perfumed chemicals or lotions as these can be irritating to any tears/incisions. Vaginal bleeding is normal after delivery for up to six weeks postpartum. It may appear to stop and start but you should never be soaking a pad or more an hour.
Continue your prenatal vitamins postpartum and the entire time you are nursing. Increased fluids are important for nursing success. You may resume a normal diet upon discharge from the hospital but be aware of the increased caloric needs while nursing. Most women need about 600 additional calories each day.
Sitz baths are useful in assisting episiotomy healing. The sutures used are absorbable and do not need to be removed. You may continue medications given to you in the hospital such as: Dermoplast, Epifoam, or Witch Hazel wipes. It is normal to find a stitch or two on your pad as your episiotomy heals. If your episiotomy begins to cause increasing discomfort after you are home, please call our office.
If you've had a C-section, do not lift more than 20 lbs. for four to six weeks. You may have absorbable sutures or staples at your incision site. Staples will be removed prior to discharge from the hospital and Steri-Strips applied. All Steri-Strips can be removed at home one to two weeks after surgery. A heating pad on a low setting can be used for discomfort. Remember to keep your C-section incision clean and dry to avoid a potential infection. It is normal for your incision to feel raised or numb, however please call our office if the incision becomes red, inflamed, painful, or drainage is noted.
If you plan to nurse, wear a bra at all times and avoid soap to the nipples. Allow them to air dry and use Lanolin cream if they become dry or cracked. Expect breast engorgement for the first one or two days after your milk comes in. Warm showers and expressing a small amount of milk before nursing can help. Engorgement usually lasts 24-48 hours. If you are not breast-feeding, wear a tight sports bra and avoid direct nipple stimulation. Ice packs may provide some relief and your milk supply should gradually decrease over the next 10-14 days. You should expect to resume your menses four to six weeks postpartum if you are not nursing.
Call our office for temperature above 100.4 degrees, breast pain with redness, increased vaginal bleeding, increased episiotomy or abdominal incision pain, redness or drainage from an incision, or difficulty emptying your bladder.
1. Prenatal vitamins, continue for six weeks postpartum or as long as you are nursing.
2. Stool softeners to prevent constipation such as Colace, 100mg twice a day. Increased fluids and fiber are equally important. Consider Milk of Magnesia if you still feel constipation is a concern. Avoid laxatives.
3. Pain medications include Tylenol one to two tablets every four to six hours and/or Ibuprofen 600-800mg every 6 hours as needed. You may also have been given a prescription for a narcotic pain medication such as Norco or Percocet. Follow the instructions as directed.
4. You may be advised to take an Iron supplement postpartum. This may be prescription iron or an over-the-counter brand such as “Slo Fe”. Take with orange juice to maximize its absorption.
** If you have any questions regarding a medication while nursing, please contact us or your pediatrician.**
Please call our office at (303) 795-0890 when you arrive home to schedule your six week postpartum visit. We may have you come in earlier if there is a concern. This is our opportunity to discuss contraception with you and assure the health of you and your baby!
Congratulations again from the physicians and staff at Women's Health Care Associates!