Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning

Personal Care

Of course, feeding and meeting all your baby’s needs are top priorities. But, you’ve also got to take care of yours. You need to know how to care for your body—inside and out.

CESAREAN BIRTH INCISION CARE If you had a cesarean birth, your incision may be closed with staples, stitches, wound closure strips, or surgical glue covered by a sterile dressing. Your dressing may be removed before you leave the

PERINEAL CARE To clean the area around your

perineum, you can use a hand-held shower, squeeze bottle, or sitz bath. Sometimes an antiseptic spray or analgesic cream can provide pain relief. If using either of these, make sure you closely follow the directions. To dry the area, use moist antiseptic towelettes or toilet paper in a patting motion. Tips for a healthy perineum • Wash your hands carefully before and after changing sanitary pads • Wash the area with mild soap and water at least once daily • Rinse with lukewarm water 2-3 times daily and after urination and bowel movements • Wash and wipe from front to back • Apply your pad from front to back • Change your pad after every urination or bowel movement • Check the amount and color of your lochia with each pad change

hospital or during a follow-up visit with your provider. Wound closure strips come loose on their own after 7-10 days and then you can remove them. You may want to use a clean gauze over your incision, especially if the skin on your belly folds over it. PREVENTING SURGICAL SITE INFECTIONS • Wash hands with soap and water. • Use clean clothes, sheets, blankets, towels and washcloths. • Keep your incision clean and dry. It is ok to wash the skin around the incision with soap and water. • Do not sit in the bathtub, pool or hot tub until directed by your health care provider. • Avoid picking, scratching, or pulling at the incision. • Do not use oils or creams on your incision unless ordered to do so by your health care provider. • Use a handheld mirror to check your incision and make sure it is not infected.

WARNING

Call your health care provider immediately if your incision is: • Red • Separated • Swollen

• Warm to touch • Tender or painful • Draining • Not healing

MOVING AFTER CESAREAN BIRTH When you get out of bed, roll to your side and use your top arm to push yourself up. Sit on the side of the bed for a minute before you get up to make sure you’re not dizzy. Place a pillow over your incision while you cough or move around in bed. If you have stairs at home, try to limit the number of times you go up and down them.

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Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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