Below, we provide answers to the most common questions about postpartum recovery, finding support when you need it and making your home safe and ready for your new arrival.
Healing after Childbirth
After delivery, your body goes through many changes as you regain your strength and heal. Knowing what to expect can help you better manage these changes. Common concerns in the first several weeks postpartum include:
- Feeling irritable and crying easily—Childbirth causes hormone levels to drop rapidly in the first few days. Your emotions will stabilize gradually as your hormones return to normal levels.
- Being tired—The exhaustion of delivery combined with the lack of sleep while caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. Ask for lots of help and nap with your baby as much as you can.
- Still looking pregnant—You will still look about four to five months pregnant right after your baby is born. Your uterus is still enlarged and your muscles are loose. Breastfeeding will help your uterus shrink.
- Bleeding and healing—At first, your discharge will be bright red and heavy. Gradually it will become lighter and stop. It is normal for you to be sore, If you do have stitches, these need to heal. Your nurse will give you advice and instruction when you leave the hospital.
Parent Support Services
During your hospital stay, a parent advocate will visit you to discuss potential postpartum challenges. The "baby blues" are common, caused by the emotional and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and birthing, but there are many other concerns associated with the postpartum period as well. Our team is here to answer questions and offer support, whatever the issue, whenever the need. Our list of postpartum support services includes:
- Home Support
- Phone calls—a Parent Support team member will call to answer any questions and make sure you're aware of community resources and services
- Infant growth and development information—opportunities to meet other new parents and learn more about child development
- Lifestyle adjustments and postpartum changes—extra emotional support and information on baby care and your recovery
- Baby blues or postpartum depression counseling—phone calls and home visits, answers to your questions, and help connecting you to additional resources
- Connection to Home Health Care resources
Home Safety Tips for Baby
By the time you return home with your baby, you'll need rest, so it's best to think about home safety before you deliver. Tips for keeping your baby safe at home:
- Place your baby on his/her back to sleep.
- Do not smoke around your baby.
- Make sure your crib sheet fits snugly and overlaps the mattress so it cannot be dislodged. Never use an adult sheet on a crib mattress. It can come loose and present an entanglement hazard.
- Remove pillows, quilts, pillow-like bumper pads, stuffed toys, comforters and sheepskins from the crib.
- Keep your baby warm, but not hot. Consider using a sleeper instead of a blanket.