What can I expect after a Vaginal Delivery?
Following your delivery, you can expect a 24-48 hour hospital stay, barring any complications. Bleeding and passing of small clots (ping pong ball sized or smaller) are normal and not cause for concern. Fever, heavy bleeding- soaking though a pad in an hour or less (tampons should be avoided in early postpartum stages) and larger clots could be cause for concern and you should reach out to the office for guidance. Pain should improve with rest and medications that were taken in the hospital or given at discharge. If pain continues or worsens despite using given pain control medications, please let us know.
We absolutely encourage our patients to reach out to the office if something feels “off”- you know your body best, and we’re here to help! We recommend a schedule of light activity only for the first six weeks after delivery, including no heavy lifting, no excessive or strenuous exercise, and pelvic rest (no vaginal intercourse).
What can I expect after a C-Section?
Recovery from a vaginal delivery and a Cesarean-section delivery differ slightly. You can expect to stay in the hospital an extra day or so, with extra attention to your incision and post-operation needs. You should be able to ambulate with assistance within the day, but should be resting often. Lifting anything heavier than your baby is discouraged. Pain should be well controlled by medications given at hospital and at discharge.
Like vaginal delivery patients, C-Section patients can also expect vaginal bleeding and passing of small-to-ping-pong-ball-sized clots, but again, heavy bleeding and larger clots would be cause for concern and you should contact the office for guidance. We recommend a schedule of light activity only for at least six weeks, possibly up to 8, including no heavy lifting, no excessive or strenuous exercise and pelvic rest (no vaginal intercourse).
How will I feel?
You will feel tired and sore, but gradually improving with proper rest and support. A few weeks of “postpartum blues” are a normal part of the recovery process. While your hormones are readjusting to pre-pregnancy levels, you may find yourself feeling sad, or crying a random times throughout your day. Feeling sad, miserable, or depressed- like you cannot care for yourself or others- is cause for concern, and we would encourage you to reach out to us, your family physician, or a mental health professional for assistance with post-partum depression,
When do I make a follow up appointment?
A lot of patients schedule their postpartum visit before delivery, just to have one less thing to worry about once you are home with baby! After an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, we like to see our patients for a six-week postpartum exam, to ensure proper healing and recovery. Following a Cesarean-section delivery, we like to see our patients at one week post-delivery to check incision condition and healing, and then back in the office again at six weeks post-partum for a full post-delivery exam.
What happens at my follow up appointment?
At your postpartum visit will evaluate any incisions, complete a pelvic exam if necessary and get pap smear up to date if indicated. We will also review contraceptive options and address concerns for depression.
What is Postpartum Depression? Who can help me with Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is easy to mistake for the “post-partum blues” as many initial symptoms are the same. While the post-partum blues generally dissipate within a week or two of delivery, postpartum depression symptoms can continue for weeks, months or years if not properly diagnosed and treated. Symptoms such as excessive mood swings, changes in appetite, uncontrollable crying, difficulty bonding with baby, inability to care for oneself or dependents, and loss of interest in activities once previously enjoyed are just a few symptoms of postpartum depression.
If you have concerns you may be suffering with postpartum depression, please contact us or your primary healthcare provider, or a mental health professional.