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POSTPARTUM INSTRUCTIONS

Activity: You should get as much rest as possible during the first few weeks you are home. You can gradually increase your activity level by doing weight bearing exercises as tolerated. If you feel tired or sore, then you should stop. Avoid any driving during the first 1-2 weeks. For more information on safe and effective post partum exercises please consult your physician.

Bowel Function: If you are constipated, you can take over-the-counter stool softeners (such as Colace) or fiber laxatives (Metamucil or Citrucel). Do not use enemas unless instructed by your doctor to do so. Hemorrhoids can be treated with over-the-counter remedies such as Tucks pads or Preparation H.
Breast Care: If you are not breast feeding, you can use tight bras or ice packs to treat the pain of engorgement. Breast feeding moms should refer to the handout given to them by Crouse Hospital for further instructions. If you have any questions or problems, you can reach the lactation specialists at Crouse at 470-7179. If you experience any fevers or redness over the breasts, please contact your doctor.
Nutrition: A well balanced diet with plenty of fluids will aid in your recovery. If you are breast feeding, you should consume approximately 500 more calories a day to maintain your milk supply. Breast feeding moms should also continue their prenatal vitamins.
Bathing: You may shower or bathe as you like. Avoid any bubble baths during the first week.
Episiotomy/Stitch CareYou should continue to use ice packs as needed. Witch Hazel pads or sitz baths (shallow bath filled with warm water and Epson salts) 2-3 times a day may help ease the discomfort. In addition, you can use the peri-bottle given to you at the hospital to rinse instead of wiping.
Sexual ActivityDo not douche, use tampons, or have sexual intercourse until your 6 week postpartum checkup. Before you start having intercourse, you should talk to your doctor about different birth control options. Even if you have not yet had your period or are exclusively breast feeding, you can still become pregnant.
Bleeding: You can expect to have some bleeding or spotting for up to 6 weeks postpartum. You should call your obstetrician if the bleeding suddenly increases, you pass clots, or there is a foul smell to the discharge.
Call your doctor at 478-1158 if you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • Fevers
  • Change in amount, consistency, or odor to vaginal discharge
  • Difficulty or pain with voiding or bowel movements
  • Lumps or redness in the breasts
  • Any symptoms of postpartum blues or depression (sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, excessive guilt or anxiety, uncontrollable crying)
  • Unusual abdominal tenderness not controlled with Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
If you had a C-SectionFollow the above instructions with the additional recommendations below:
  • Do not drive while on narcotic pain medications
  • Keep your incision clean and dry. You may shower, but avoid the use of soaps directly on the incision. You may clean the incision daily with a mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. No dressing is necessary.
  • Avoid lifting more than 20 pounds, and avoid exercises that strain the abdominal muscles for the first 6 weeks.
  • Call if there is any redness, discharge, or defects in your incision.




739 Irving Avenue - Suite 530 Syracuse, NY 13210 Tel: 315-478-1158 - Fax: 315-478-3014

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