The postpartum period lasts for approximately six weeks after giving birth while a woman’s body, hormone levels, and uterus size return to a non-pregnant state. The post-partum period can bring about newfound joys, emotions, and experiences with your new baby. For some women, it can feel like they are riding an emotional roller coaster with many highs and lows in rapid oscillation. It is not abnormal to feel this way, and however you may feel your provider at NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center will be there to help you get through the post-partum stage as comfortably as possible as your body returns to a more stable baseline. You have a lot to look forward to with your new baby!
Your provider will assess the physical health of both the newborn baby and the mother after giving birth and provide treatment if needed. Common symptoms that a mother may experience after delivery include constipation, hemorrhoids, vaginal soreness, generally muscle soreness, and more. Your provider can provide relief with appropriate medications if necessary and/or desired. When you first return home after giving birth, your provider will give you detailed instructions on how to take care of yourself and your baby.
Typically, after delivery patients will be advised to:
Sleeping and relaxing as much as possible is vital to your body’s natural ability to heal itself after going through the extreme mental and physical burden of giving birth. Limit the number of visitors you received each day to allow for ample rest time.
- Eat healthy, nutritious foods and drink plenty of fluids
This will help your body heal and help it produce healthier milk for your newborn if you are breastfeeding.
- We’re here for you
If you experience any physical or mental problems during your postpartum period, please do not hesitate to call our office.
Nursing your newborn can be a special bonding time between you and your baby. It may take some time for you and your baby to find the best feeding times, and finding a breastfeeding method that is comfortable for both you and your baby may require patience.
The health benefits of breastfeeding your baby are well known and thoroughly documented. Benefits include:
- nutritional boosts to your baby’s immune system
- easy to digest, highly caloric food
- financially less costly than feeding with formula and sterile bottles
- lowers mother’s risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression
Our providers are happy to help you if you and your baby are experiencing trouble breastfeeding, or if you have any breast problems such as pain, redness, fever, and cracking nipples. Don’t hesitate to call our office to schedule an appointment or to speak with our advice nurse.
Postpartum blues and depression
Postpartum depression and postpartum blues are relatively common in mothers during the postpartum period and can happen to any woman. Women experiencing postpartum depression or blues may feel helpless in their ability to raise a child, intense anger towards their newborns or partners, sadness and despair, and psychotic episodes in very rare cases.
Our providers offer expert medical care and advice for getting through this tough time. While symptoms of postpartum blues can be very intense, it is important to remember that they generally pass within one to two weeks. Postpartum depression is characterized by the resilience of symptoms over an extended period of time. Available treatments for postpartum depression include antidepressants, support groups, and talk therapy with a professional. If you think you may be experiencing postpartum depression, your provider at NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center will work with you to find a treatment that works best for your individual symptoms and lifestyle.
Check out these helpful links to help educate yourself and your partner about the postpartum period:
NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center
500 Doyle Park, Suite 103
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
- Shazah Khawaja, MD, practice director, obstetrician & gynecologist
- Erin MacDonald, MD, obstetrician & gynecologist
- Cecelia Rondou, CNM, midwife
- Suzanne Saunders, CNM, midwife
- Kirsten Eckert, CNM, WHNP, midwife