Questions to ask your doctor about post pregnancy care

Definition

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.

Alternative Names

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

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 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 October 10, 2017. Accessed May 16, 2018.

Isley MM, Katz VL. Postpartum care and long-term health considerations. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 23.