What is postpartum?

It is the period following the birth — either through vaginal or Caesarian birth. It lasts about 40 days or 6 weeks; it is also called quarantine. During this period, the changes made during pregnancy (physiological, anatomical, and endocrine) will disappear little by little.

If the baby was delivered from the vagina and an episiotomy was performed , some discomforts may occur: inflammation, pain while urinating, and pain during the fist days, which will gradually disappear. A cold bag can be placed at the site, and on some occasions an analgesic should be taken. Stitches come off by themselves, but keep in mind:

  • Wash yourself as often as necessary, with lukewarm water and soap, preferably after urinating or defecating (do not use toilet paper), and take a bath every day and dry off carefully.
  • For Caesarian births, you can shower every day with water and soap; let the wound dry and then cover it in gauze. Make sure to follow your physician’s instructions.
  • The wound’s scar should be washed normally during bathing. Usually, stitches are taken off 7 days after birth.

After birth, some women develop sections of veins in the anal-rectal region called hemorrhoids, which can be painful; they usually improve gradually. If they are very bothersome, your physician must recommend a medication.

You may have problems urinating: it might take some time before the urine comes out. This is normal, and it is important that you don’t fight the urge to urinate, and drink enough liquid.

Breast milk is the natural way to feed your baby.  Breastfeeding will put you in intimate contact with your baby.  Breast milk meets all of your baby’s needs for healthy growth during the first 4 to 6 months of life, and also protects him or her against certain diseases.

Wash your breasts at least once a day with lukewarm water and smooth soap, drying well without rubbing. You can wash your breast with cotton or gauze soaked in camomile or lukewarm water. After breastfeeding, keep your breast dry and cover it. Cotton bras are recommended. Milk production is adapted to the baby’s daily demand.

It is recommended that you visit your physician prior to sexual activity, since most women do not have their monthly period during breastfeeding, and their fertility is reduced due to a lack of ovulation, but pregnancy is still possible, so they must take precautions.

See your doctor if you have:

  • A temperature over 37.5 degrees Centigrade.
  • Excess bleeding during menstruation.
  • Unpleasant-smelling discharges.
  • Intense pain in a specific point of the lower extremities.
  • Breast pain accompanied by fever.
  • Depression, sadness, and rejection toward the baby (depression or anxiety is normal during the first days).

  • The first days should include moderate rest and an avoidance of heavy domestic activities, especially for women who gave birth via C-section.
    Body temperature should be checked (in the afternoon) from time to time and should not exceed 37.5 degrees Centigrade.
  • Food must be healthy, varied, and rich in protein (meat, fish, milk, fruits, and vegetables), and spicy, spiced, acidic, and foods heavy in animal fat (such as canned meat, bacon, etc.) should be avoided.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to supplement your diet with a vitamin complex, iron, or folic acid, especially if you are breastfeeding; ask your physician.
  • An abdominal girdle of moderate compression can be used and can be gradually be removed as smooth exercises are done to help muscle tissue return to normal.
  • When you stand up, do so slowly to prevent dizziness; first, sit up, and then walk.
  • Wash your genital area 2-3 times per day with soap and water.
  • Early mobilization during the first hours after childbirth, always with the help of someone to avoid falls.
  • If afterpains are intense, take an analgesic as recommended by your physician.
  • It is normal not to defecate the first day due to the lack of food eaten or the use of an enema.
  • It helps to use a breastfeeding bra.
  • A shower can be taken the day after giving birth.