After childbirth, it’s normal to feel postpartum effects. Taking care of your baby is important but so is taking care of yourself; your baby needs you to be healthy in order to take care of them.
Postpartum Effects to a Woman’s Body
If you ignore your postpartum symptoms, your health could be at great risk which could lead to your baby’s health declining. When a mother endures the miraculous journey of childbirth, a woman’s body can react in different ways; some are normal but some effects can be harmful if not treated.
Postpartum Examples a Mother May Endure:
- Breast Changes – Typically breast milk begins to come in between days 3-4 after birth. Prior to this, you will produce colostrum. If you intend to breastfeed it is useful to take advantage of the lactation specialists while in the hospital. Mercy also provides outpatient lactation consultation postpartum if you run into any difficulties or need extra guidance. If you don’t intend to breastfeed then a tight-fitting bra is recommended in the immediate postpartum period to reduce your discomfort and inhibit milk production. If you have concerns about low production, breast lumps, or signs of mastitis you should contact your OB/GYN.
- Red Flags – If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, thoughts about hurting yourself or others or are passing large blood clots, contact your OB/GYN immediately and go to the emergency room.
How to Improve Your Health
No matter how you’re feeling after giving birth, be sure to schedule a postpartum appointment with your OB/GYN by six weeks post-delivery. Your doctor can inspect your health to ensure you are not experiencing severe health complications. During this appointment, it’s important, to be honest with your OB/GYN about how you’re feeling. Based on your symptoms, your OB/GYN can advise you on what is normal and what steps to take to help improve your symptoms.
Exercising does not affect your breast milk production, but if you are breastfeeding, make sure to feed your baby prior to exercising so you don’t experience discomfort.
How West Des Moines OB/GYN Can Help You
As your comprehensive women’s health center, our OB/GYNs are there for you through prenatal care, delivery, and postpartum check-ups.
We will let you know when and how often to schedule your postpartum visits but typically we see cesarean sections at 2 and 6 weeks postpartum and vaginal deliveries at 4-6 weeks postpartum. If you had any complications with your delivery or health we may ask to see you more frequently.
During your postpartum appointments, we will assess and discuss your:
- Mood and emotional well-being
- Baby’s health and nutrition as well as any concerns with breastfeeding.
- Contraception options
- Sleeping habits/fatigue
- Recovery from giving birth
- Chronic disease management
- Health plan/Annual visit
Having a child is a blessing, but to take care of your child, you have to take care of yourself too. Schedule your initial postpartum appointment and from there, we can create your healthcare plan. As your women’s health clinic, West Des Moines OB/GYN specializes in caring for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our OB/GYNs.