Taking Care of Yourself
Plan to see your healthcare provider two to six weeks after
your baby is born for a regular post-partum check up. Make
your appointment as soon as possible. It's important that
you take care of yourself too!
What to Expect
The first six to eight weeks after delivery your body will
undergo many changes. Click on the following topics for more
Call your healthcare provider immediately if
- Heavy, bright red bleeding or large clots
- Fever greater than 100° F
- Painful cramps
- Hard, painful lumps in your breasts
- Increasing pain in episiotomy (stitches)
- Pain when you urinate (pee)
- Feelings that you might hurt yourself or your baby
Caring for Your Breasts
Whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, it is important
to take care of your breasts after the birth of your baby.
If you are breastfeeding, see the How
to breastfeed section for more information.
Women who bottle-feed their baby will also need to take
special care of their breasts following the birth of their
baby. Some mothers' breasts get very hot, hard and swollen
when their milk comes in and they are not nursing their babies.
The swelling usually goes down after a day or two.
There are some things you can do to increase your comfort:
- Use ice packs on the breast for 15 or 20 minutes
- Try a warm washcloth on the breast if the ice does not
- Put your baby to the breast for a few minutes
- Call your doctor or clinic if you have chills or fever
and your breasts are still swollen and uncomfortable after
Think About Birth Control
As surprising as it may seem, you can get pregnant again
just two weeks after giving birth! For your health and for
the health of your next baby, you and your partner need to
talk about birth control. Check out the Family
Planning section for more information.
More health information after pregnancy.
For more health information, search MedlinePlus
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Last updated: June 2012