General Care Postpartum

  • The largest amount of blood loss postpartum occurs within the first 24 hours of birth. With mother’s lying down most of this time, it is normal to have some blood clots-anything larger than your first is not normal. Please call if a blood clot larger than your fist occurs.
  • Expect to bleed when the baby nurses and your uterus contracts and when you stand up.
  • If you’re ever concerned about your bleeding, reach down below your navel and feel your uterus. For the first 24 hours, it will feel like a large grapefruit, it should be hard and firm. If it’s not, rub vigorously in that area until you feel it harden and contract.
  • If you soak more than one pad within a half hour, please call ASAP and immediately lie down while rubbing your uterus into a contraction.
  • If your bleeding tapers off over a few days, then starts back up bright red again, it’s a sign that you are over-exerting yourself.
  • You should take an herbal bath with your baby for the first few days postpartum. This is the only submersible bath that is alright for baby before the cord comes off.
  • If you’ve had a tear, use frozen pads for the first 24 hours after birth. Place some water herbal bath, or comfrey tea on a pad and stick it in the freezer. Arnica may help with any swelling, Avoid sitting cross legged, keep your legs close together for the next several days.
  • Urinate every hour or two during these first two days. Your bladder may not feel full, but keeping it empty will encourage your uterus to stay contracted and slow bleeding.
  • Ask for help. You will have family and friends asking what they can do for you- now is not the time to refuse assistance or to expect your partner to handle it all.
  • Take your and the baby’s temperature twice daily for at least three days. Contact us if yours is 100 degrees or higher, or if babies is about 98.6 under the arm.
  • You may experience after pains while nursing. These are common contractions of the uterus while it gradually returns to its pre-pregnancy size. The contractions are most noticeable in the first three to five days. To help with the pain, try drinking chamomile tea every time you nurse or laying a heating pad across your stomach. Crampbark tincture and Tylenol may also be taken.
  • As your milk comes in, your baby will usually sleep longer between feedings. The bowel movement will change color, from the black/green tarry meconium to a yellow curdy texture.
  • Your baby may have a long sleep stretch initially after birth. Most babies will then want to nurse every 2 to 3 hours, or sometimes more often. Nurse on demand, but do not let newborn go more than 4 hours between feedings.
  • By day 4, your baby should have 4-6 wet diapers a day and at least 2-3 bowel movements.
  • Some babies become jaundiced. This normally peaks on day 3 or 4. Jaundice most often becomes a problem if your baby is not nursing well or pooping well.
  • Babies cry for a reason. You cannot spoil a baby by holding them or paying attention to them. Their transition into the outside world is unfamiliar-first check with the basic needs (hunger, diaper, change of scenery) Sometimes baby just wants to be close to you – as he /she has been for the past nine months. If you feel like your baby is unusually fussy or crying a lot, please call.
  • Sometimes boys have rust-colored spots in their diapers in the first 24 hours after birth. These are uric acid crystals and are completely normal. Girls may have blood spots from their mother’s hormones and are normal. If you have questions about your own baby, call.
  • Keep taking supplements that you were taking prenatally. Eat well. Drink plenty of water to help replace lost fluid and bring in your milk supply.

Please call us with any questions about you or your baby!!! 248-425-6782