What physical side effects should I expect immediately after my baby is born and into the first few months post-baby?
After a vaginal delivery, your entire bottom; vagina, rectum will be very swollen and sore. That is very normal. If you've had a tear, there can be sutures there, and those can be irritating postpartum. You can also have a lot of swelling within the first week or two, because of all the fluids that we give you during the labor process, as well as afterwards, you have all these fluid shifts from your body being in a pregnant state with lots of hormones to lower hormones.
What types of foods and nutrition are the best for me and my baby?
Postpartum, you can eat whatever you want. Especially if you're breastfeeding. Breastfeeding requires a lot of calories, so you should feel hungry all of the time. Making and producing milk takes a lot of effort and energy for your body. You should eat as much or anything that you want.
If I’m planning on breast feeding, what things should I expect?
If you are planning to breastfeed, you need to understand that it is a process and there are two people involved, one who does not speak, and it can be very hard for the baby and for the mom. Both of you need to work together. Milk production does take a couple of days to come in. So the first thing that is produced by the breast is called colostrum and it is very calorie dense. So it may not seem like your baby is getting very much, but they really are. They're getting everything that they need until that milk is produced and in higher quantities, that actually looks like breast milk. Also, another thing - nipples can become very, very sore, especially if you're a first time mom and you've never breastfed before. This is normal, but we would highly encourage you to use a Lanolin cream which can be bought over the counter. Or we can write a prescription for you to help with this soreness.
When is it safe to take my baby out in public?
I would only take the baby out in public if you felt comfortable. Most of the visits immediately will be to the pediatrician's office. So take the same precautions that you would going anywhere else - good hand hygiene and wearing masks.
What precautions should I take with visitors who want to visit my baby and me?
Visitors are a good thing, but I would definitely have them wash their hands before touching the baby or holding the baby. And if you are concerned, have them wear a mask.
How frequently should I take my baby in for checkups?
Postpartum, the baby will need to go see the pediatrician. This process starts in the hospital. The pediatrician will evaluate your baby, and then they will set a plan with you for follow up in the office and going forward. So that is a discussion to have with your pediatrician, but that does start in the hospital.
How do I set up a pediatrician appointment after my baby is born?
After the baby is born, the pediatrician will see you in the hospital and depending on what day that is, so on the weekend, they would probably have you come in Monday for an appointment, or if it's during the week, they will tell you to come in later that week or the following week.
What should I expect in terms of bleeding post-birth?
So after you've had your baby, you've gone nine to 10 months without having a period. It is very normal to bleed postpartum. It's called lochia. That can last up to six weeks, and that is very normal.