Postpartum Care in Kirkland, WA
Evergreen Pediatrics provides compassionate postpartum care for new mothers and first time parents. Call us to schedule an appointment with one of our expert doctors.
Pregnancy causes significant changes in your body and in more ways than you may realize. When your baby is born, the changes don’t stop or immediately revert to the way things were before. At Evergreen Pediatrics we are here to help you through this process and provide you complete Postpartum Care at our clinic in Kirkland, WA.
Common Postpartum Concerns
It isn’t uncommon for women to experience several weeks of discomfort if they’ve suffered a vaginal tear during their delivery. An extensive tear may take even longer to heal fully. Vaginal discharge is also another thing you may experience as you begin to shed superficial mucous membrane. This substance lined your uterus during pregnancy. Discharge of his membrane and blood will continue for several weeks. You may be surprised to see it for the first few days being heavy and red. However, it will taper off. Expect it to become more watery and change to a yellowish white from a pinkish brown.
Post birth contractions, occasionally called afterpains, may develop after the first few days after birth and will resemble menstrual cramps. These contractions help prevent excessive bleeding by compressing the blood vessels in the uterus. They are more common during breastfeeding.
The entire birthing process can injure and stretch your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the bladder, rectum, intestine, and uterus. Leakage may occur when you sneeze, laugh, or cough. Generally, they will improve in a few weeks but could persist. You also may develop hemorrhoids during the process, which is usually indicated by pain during bowel movements. Swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum are the source of this pain.
In the days following the birth of your child, your breasts may become engorged, which is when they become firm, tender, and full. This is a normal process for breasts when mothers breastfeed.
Hair and skin changes are common during pregnancy. You may have found you’ve developed an extra flush head of hair due to increased hormone levels. As they return to normal, you will shed this excess hair for about five months. Stretch marks, however, will not return to normal, but you can expect them to fade from red to sliver. If you develop dark patches of skin, they will fade also.
A common postpartum concern is mood changes, and they are ubiquitous after a delivery. Many new mothers experience a period known as the “Baby Blues,” which consist of feelings of anxiety, crying spells, and difficulty sleeping.
After your pregnancy, you may still look like you are pregnant. This is normal, and while you will lose weight during birth, additional weight will be lost as extra fluids begin to exit your body.
At Home Prevention/Care and When To See Our Doctors At Evergreen Pediatrics
If you suffer vaginal soreness, sitting on a pillow or a padded ring can bring you relief. Apply an ice pack to the wound or a chilled witch hazel pad between a sanitary napkin and the wound. While you are passing urine, use a squeeze bottle of warm water and pour it on your perineum during urination. A 5-minute warm bath covering the hips and buttocks is also known to help. Consult our doctors about possible pain relievers that may help or a numbing cream or spray if needed. Our doctors may also recommend a stool softener or laxative to prevent constipation which could worsen your condition. Come to our center immediately if you experience persistent or increasing pain as this could be a sign of an infection. Also visit our doctors if you experience severe vaginal bleeding that soaks a pad in less than an hour and is accompanied by fever, pelvic pain, or uterine tenderness.
Afterpains generally go away on their own, however, consult our doctors if you believe you need some over the counter pain reliever to help you through this process. Much like vaginal soreness, a pain reliever may help take the edge off of lingering pain.
For incontinence issues, you may have to wear sanitary pads for an extended period. During this time, we recommend Kegel exercises to help tone your pelvic floor muscles. To do this at home exercise, imagine sitting on a marble. Then tighten your pelvic muscles to pretend you are lifting that marble. After three seconds, rest for another three seconds, and then continue to do these 10 to 15 times in a row at least three times a week, and you should see an improvement in your muscle tone. If you find your incontinence is not improving or becoming worse, visit our doctors today.
Hemorrhoids are often treated with an over the counter cream or a suppository containing hydrocortisone. The use of witch hazel has been proven to be very useful in reducing the swollen veins causing this condition. For pain, our doctors could prescribe you a numbing agent if the pain is severe. We’ve found that soaking the area for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day in warm water often helps. The key to treating hemorrhoids is to allow time for them to heal and not to aggravate the area. With that in mind, avoid pushing hard during bowel movements. Eat foods with high fiber and drink plenty of water. If you find yourself avoiding bowel movements to prevent aggravating your hemorrhoids, consult a doctor today about ways to make your bowel movements more regular and see if a stool softener is right for you.
Tender and engorged breasts will slowly return to normal if you are not breastfeeding. If you continue to pump or breastfeed, your breasts will continue to produce milk. However, engorged breasts may be a sign that your baby is having trouble latching. You may want to use a pump or your fingers to express a small amount of breast milk to encourage latching. For breast discomfort, a warm washcloth or shower before breastfeeding may help. After a feeding, use a cool washcloth over your breasts to sooth them.
While mood swings are common, if you experience a loss of appetite, lack of joy in life, and overwhelming fatigue, you may be experiencing postpartum depression. Contact our doctors today if you feel you may be depressed, especially if these symptoms continue. Visit us immediately if you have difficulty in caring for your baby, completing daily tasks, or thoughts of harm.
The postpartum checkup at Evergreen Pediatrics
Postpartum care is an ongoing process, and not limited to a single, after-delivery visit. You should contact and visit our center within three weeks after the birth of your child. Within the first three months, you should receive a comprehensive postpartum evaluation. During your visit to our clinic, we will evaluate your emotional wellbeing and your mood. We will also review with you birth spacing, contraception, and give you the latest information about infant care and feeding. Our doctors at Evergreen Pediatrics will also want to discuss your sleep habits if fatigue is a problem. Our physical exam may include a check of your cervix, uterus, vagina, and abdomen to ensure you are recovering at a normal pace. We will also be available to discuss any concerns you may have, including when to resume sexual activity and how you are adjusting to life with a baby.
We are here to help and look forward to meeting you!