What to expect
- Lochia — A bloody vaginal discharge that usually turns pink then yellow or white six weeks after delivery.
- Perineal Discomfort — Soreness from the delivery or an episiotomy. Use cold packs or apply chilled “Tucks” pads. Take sitz baths or soak area in warm water.
- Fatigue — Try to sleep when your baby sleeps. Ask for help and be specific! Take it easy. Limit visitors during the first few weeks. Eat a healthy diet.
- After Pains — Pains in the uterus as it continues to contract and shrink to its pre-pregnancy shape. After pains may be worse when breastfeeding. Take Tylenol or ibuprofen if needed.
- Sweating — You may experience profuse sweating, but this will stop with time.
- Difficulty with Bowel Movements — You may experience constipation. Take short walks, eat foods high in fiber, increase fluids or use a mild stool softener.
- Hemorrhoids — You can try a medicated cream, chilled “Tucks” pads, or warm sitz baths.
- Difficulty Urinating — Try a warm sitz bath or spray water over the perineum while urinating. Increase fluids.
- Do Kegal exercises.
- Swollen, Painful Breasts — Wear a well-fitting bra. Apply ice packs (bags of frozen peas work well) to reduce swelling. Frequent breastfeeding helps to encourage milk flow. Prior to nursing, try using warm compresses. Engorgement (when your milk comes in) usually lasts about 36 hours. If you do not plan to breastfeed, wear a snug sports bra, use ice packs, and DO NOT extract any milk from your breasts. If fever occurs, call the office.
- Mastitis — If you experience fever, a painful breast lump or a red patch on your breast, call the office ASAP. For reduction of mastitis risk, use lanolin ointment or ensure proper latching of your baby during breastfeeding.
- Baby Blues — Due to hormonal changes, expect mood swings and occasional “baby blues” for the first few days after delivery. Get as much rest as possible. Eat a well-balanced diet. Take time out for yourself. Talk to your partner, a friend, or your doctor about how you are feeling.
- Menstrual Periods — It may be a matter of weeks or even months before you resume periods. Avoid intercourse until after your postpartum visit with the doctor. You can get pregnant even if you have not resumed your menstrual period!
- Birth Control — After delivery it is important to delay pregnancy for at least one year. Rapid repeat pregnancy (pregnancy occurring <1 year from prior delivery) is associated with an increased risk of pre-term delivery and other complications. For this reason, discussing birth control methods with your provider is important.
Your first postpartum visit will occur at two to four weeks after the delivery of your baby. Call our office at 304-691-1400 to schedule your postpartum appointment if you did not schedule one before delivery.
When to call
You are very important to us. Please let us know if a problem arises or if you have any concerns including:
- Fever higher than 100.4° F.
- Nausea and vomiting and unable to keep fluids down.
- Pain or burning during urination.
- Bleeding that is heavier than normal.
- Severe pain in your pelvic area.
- Pain, swelling and tenderness in your legs.
- Chest pain.
- Red areas or painful lumps in your breasts.
- Perineal pain or pain from an incision that gets worse.
- Vaginal discharge that smells bad.
- Severe depression.
- Baby blues that last for more than 2 weeks.
- Feelings of anger, depression or sadness that worsen over time.
- Panic attacks.
- Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.
We encourage all obstetrical patients to look into prenatal classes at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Childbirth classes are available as well as classes on breastfeeding, infant CPR, new baby care, and sibling classes. For information or to register, please call 304-526-BABY.
Community service organizations
- Cabell County Family Resource Network: 304-697-0255
- United Way, Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, Education Matters, Financial Stability and Success by 6: 304-523-8929
- Huntington City Mission: 304-523-0293
Early childhood/development/day care
- Birth to Three: 304-523-5444
- Head Start & Pre-K: 304-697-4600
- LINK Child Care Resource & Referral: 1-800-894-9540
- TEAM for WV Children: 304-523-9587
- WV Help Me Grow: 1-800-642-8522
- Cabell-Huntington Health Department: 304-523-6483
- Ebenezer Medical Outreach: 304-529-0753
- Medicaid: 304-528-5800
- WIC – Cabell County: 1-800-953-1009/304-302-2013
- WV Children’s Health Insurance Program: 1-877-WVACHIP
- Family Child Care Food Program: 304-751-5253
Crisis and emergency needs
- Maternal Addiction & Recovery Center (MARC): 304-691-8730
- Abuse Hotlines (children and adult protective services, domestic violence): 1-800-352-6513
- Branches Domestic Violence Shelter: 304-529-2382
- Information & Referral (referrals, utility assistance, food and clothing pantries, etc.): 304-528-5660
- Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
- Marshall OB Concern Line: 681-378-4662