Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning

REST AND SLEEP There are many reasons why you may feel extremely exhausted after the birth of your baby. Many people do not sleep well late in pregnancy. Plus, the physical work of labor is exhausting. Excitement and a lot of visitors can add to the problem. Being in a hospital bed can also make it very difficult to rest. Once the baby’s home, sleep can become an even bigger challenge. Many new parents struggle to balance their need for sleep with the baby’s need for care and attention. Whenever you can, try to sleep when your baby sleeps. This may mean several short naps during the day. When sleep is not possible, try deep breathing, relaxation and visualization exercises, or yoga. • Friends and family to care for other children • Postpone any major household projects • Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolates) • Ask for what you need, when you need it HAIR LOSS Pregnancy changes your hair’s growth cycle. While you were pregnant your hair was in a resting phase, so you lost less of it. A few weeks after giving birth, you may find that you’re losing hair in large amounts. This is not unusual in the first 5 months after birth. Don’t worry. Your hair will return to its normal growth cycle, but it could take 6-15 months. Tips for keeping things calm • Simple meals and flexible meal times • A relaxed, stress-free home routine • Help with shopping and cooking

SKIN CHANGES Rising hormone levels during pregnancy may cause some changes to your skin color, including blotchy brown markings on your face, a dark line down the middle of your belly, or acne. These changes usually go away completely or significantly fade within several months after the birth. But in about 30% of women, they can persist. However, any tiny red blood vessels on your skin and red rashes will clear up. Stretch marks will gradually fade to irregular silvery white lines but will likely not disappear altogether. BATHS AND SHOWERS If you had a vaginal birth , you may be able to shower the first day. Sitz baths (water only up to the hips) or full tub baths are generally safe after the second day. If you had a cesarean birth , you can usually shower once your catheter and outer dressing over your incision have been removed. Be sure you’re able to stand and walk without getting dizzy. Tub baths are not recommended for up to a few weeks after a cesarean birth. Ask your health care provider how soon you can take a bath. VARICOSE VEINS Varicose veins are soft, blue-colored bulges in your legs that can happen during pregnancy. They’re caused when veins get weak and swell-up with blood. If you developed varicose veins during pregnancy, you probably learned to elevate your legs for relief. You’ll want to keep this up and start wearing support hose for the first 6 weeks after your baby comes. Varicose veins usually improve without treatment and vein surgery is not recommended during the first 6 months after giving birth.

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Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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