Postpartum expectations

Bleeding for the first 6-8 weeks following delivery is normal. It is called Lochia (LOW-kee-uh). It will begin as very heavy, bright red bleeding that will gradually diminish to a dark red, brown and then to a more yellowish color until finally beginning to look like normal vaginal discharge. During this time period, nothing at all should be introduced to the vagina. Only wear pads, no douching, and no sexual intercourse until the lochia flow has stopped and you have been cleared by your provider. Once the lochia has stopped, only then you will know the lining of your uterus has completely healed and there is less chance of getting a uterine infection.

Here are a dozen postpartum suggestions and must-have items for comfort and support.
 

 

Tailbone Pain

Called coccydynia or coccygodynia, tailbone pain usually goes away on its own within a few weeks or months after childbirth or prolonged sitting. To lessen pain:

  • Sit completely upright with proper posture. Keep your back firmly against the chair, knees level with your hips, feet flat on the floor and shoulders relaxed.
  • Lean forward while sitting down
  • Sit on a doughnut-shaped pillow or wedge (V-shaped) cushion. Try a dollar store pool tube!
  • Apply heat or ice to the affected area - THIS WORKS WONDERS! Use a heating pad for 20 minutes, wait at least 20 more minutes, then switch to an ice pack for 20 minutes. Try this every time you need to breastfeed sitting up. 
  • Take over-the-counter pain reliever Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). This will relieve pain and reduce inflammation in higher doses. Be sure to eat a snack before taking Ibuprofen. 

If the condition doesn't improve within a couple of months, read this article by the Mayo Clinic. 


Healing Hemorrhoids

They suck! But usually heal quickly. Dr. Weil suggests using pure aloe vera gel to soothe and promote healing of hemorrhoids. In this article he explains the symptoms and other causes of hemorrhoids.

Try making a "postpartum padsicle" of store bought witch hazel and maxi pads. Soak a pad with witch hazel and place it in a ziplock baggie to freeze overnight. In the morning, place the pad on your bottom and get in a hands and knees position, preferably child's pose. (Kneel then put your head on your forearms or a pillow to raise your butt up in the air.) We're told this is divine!  

This recipe is pinned to our Pinterest board and it includes aloe vera and essential oil. Another option is to simply store a bottle of witch hazel in the fridge to cool and then soak a pad before placing on your skin. Get well soon.

 

Kegel Exercises

As soon as you can, start exercising your pelvic floor muscles. In addition to strengthening your muscles, Kegel exercises circulate blood to the area, which will speed healing. This video posted on our blog will help guide you.