Postpartum

If you've already had your baby or you're due any day now, here is some helpful information about what to expect immediately after the delivery as well as some long-term information.

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The Postpartum Period

The postpartum period is from the time your baby is born until about 6 weeks after. Following the birth of your baby, your healthcare provider here at Greenville OB/GYN will meet with you a few more times in order to discuss what happens next.

You will remain in the hospital for 1-2 days after delivery so your healthcare provider can monitor what’s going on with you. Many requirements must be met before the mother and child can be discharged. The baby must be able to comfortably breathe on its own and vitals must remain stable for about 12 hours. Your doctors will keep you well informed on the status of your baby. You will also receive assistance in breastfeeding techniques, general care of your baby, establish a feeding routine and learn to care for your body so that it heals properly and quickly.

In about a month, you will have another appointment with Greenville OBGYN to follow up on your new baby’s progress, your mood and health, and any updates on medications you may be taking. Your provider will also help you if you need to learn to use a breast pump.

A general examination will check your vitals, including blood, gynecologic examination, and urinalysis. Also, your provider will perform any standard tests that you have not taken since you’ve been pregnant, i.e. pap test.

What is the APGAR Test?

After your baby is born, the doctor will perform a series of examinations to see if the baby is healthy. One in particular is called an APGAR test, which will test Appearance (color), Pulse, Grimace (reflex), Activity (muscle), and Respiration. The results of the test will help doctors know what steps to take next if is something wrong, or if your baby is just fine.

Losing Weight

Having a baby is a lot of work. Your body will, likely,be exhausted and need to recuperate. While you probably want to start losing some of the weight you gained, it is best to let your body heal a bit for a couple of weeks before beginning or resuming a strenuous workout program. Your uterus weighs about 2 1/2 pounds right now. In two weeks, it will weigh approximately 2 ounces. Remember that you are also losing weight during delivery: roughly thirteen pounds, given the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid. Your body has to rebuild its blood supply. All kinds of adjustments have to occur to get your body back the way it was, so let it happen! Catch up on sleep. Take it slow for a while. Eventually, you will be able to find the optimal workout program and start exercising again.

Postpartum Problems

While most women will adjust normally to their postpartum stage, there may be some complications. Here are a few symptoms that need to be reported to your doctor immediately if they occur:

  • Fever over 100.4 degrees
  • Heavy bleeding or discharge
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Panic attacks
  • Long-set feeling of hopelessness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in abdomen

Your Baby

SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, poses the most danger in the first five months of the baby’s life. There are no specific reasons for SIDS, but the instance of death is higher if the mother smoked during pregnancy. This is best prevented by letting your baby sleep on his or her back and monitoring the baby’s sleep. Avoid using an exceptionally soft mattress in the baby’s crib, including ones stuffed with Styrofoam beads or the like, and choose a firm, fragrance-free mattress that meets national standards.

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