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Questions to ask your doctor about post pregnancy care

What to ask your doctor about home care for mom; Pregnancy - what to ask your doctor about home care for mom

You have given birth to a baby and you are going home. Below are the questions you may want to ask your doctor about how to take care of yourself at home and the changes that may follow post-delivery.

Questions

Are there possible complications I should be aware of once I go home?

  • What is postpartum depression? What are the signs and symptoms?
  • What should I do to help prevent post-delivery infections?
  • What should I do to prevent deep vein thrombosis?
  • What activities are safe to do in the first few days? Which activities should I avoid?

What kind of changes should I expect in my body?

  • For how many days will vaginal bleeding and discharge occur?
  • How will I know if the flow is normal or not?
  • When should I contact my health care provider if the flow is heavy or doesn't stop?
  • What are the ways to ease pain and discomfort after childbirth?
  • How should I take care of my stitches? What ointments should I use?
  • How long will the stitches take to heal?
  • How long with I have a belly bulge?
  • Are there any other changes I should know about?
  • When can we resume sex?
  • Do I need to take contraceptives or birth control measures when the bleeding stops?

How often should I breastfeed?

 
  • Are there certain foods or beverages I should avoid when breastfeeding?
  • Should I avoid certain medicines while breastfeeding?
  • How should I care for my breasts?
  • What should I do to avoid mastitis?
  • What should I do if my breasts get sore?
  • Is it dangerous if I fall asleep while breastfeeding my baby?
  • How often should I follow up with my health care provider after giving birth?
  • What symptoms indicate a call to the doctor?
  • What symptoms indicate an emergency?

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. After the baby arrives. www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/after.html. Updated February 27, 2020. Accessed September 14, 2020.

Isley MM. Postpartum care and long-term health considerations. In: Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, et al, eds. Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 24.

Magowan BA, Owen P, Thomson A. Antental and postnatal care. In: Magowan BA, Owen P, Thomson A, eds. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2019:chap 22.

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      Review Date: 7/1/2020

      Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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