• Postpartum Care at Home

    Recommendations for mother and child after the hospital stay

    Now that you’re home, here are some tips to help you adjust to life with your newborn.

    Take care of yourself

    The postpartum period begins after the delivery of your baby and ends when your body has nearly returned to its pre-pregnant state. This normally takes 6 to 8 weeks.

    While taking care of your new baby, you will go through many emotional and physical changes.

    Rest when you can

    Get as much rest as you can too. We know this can be really difficult with a newborn, but take advantage of what opportunities you can, even if it means letting some other things go.

    Eat well – for you and your child

    Eating well is important too. One big reason is that proper nutrition will help you heal.

    And if you’re breastfeeding, because your baby’s nutritional needs will be met indirectly from your diet, make sure you’re getting enough nutrients for your body to put to use for both of you.

    Ask for help

    You should definitely ask for help from your partner, family, friends, support group – or any combination of the above. And don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you think your body isn’t healing properly.

    C-section care

    When you return home, following these tips will to help ensure a smooth recovery from your cesarean:

    • Lifting – Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby in the early weeks after surgery.
    • Driving – Don’t drive until your doctor gives you the OK.
    • Bathing – Ask your doctor when it is safe to shower, bathe or soak in water.
    • Sex – Delay having sexual intercourse or putting any objects in the vagina until after your 6-week check-up.
    • Breastfeeding – If you’re able, consider breastfeeding, which is recommended by the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization.
    • Support – Think about joining a support group for new mothers. You can get encouragement and learn new parenting strategies.

    Talk with your doctor about the type of incisions used for your procedure. Those details may play a role in your decisions related to future births.

    As long as you take a little extra care and follow these tips, you should heal quickly and completely after a C-section.

    Baby care basics

    Here are a few important tips to be mindful of with your new arrival:

    • Wash up – In the early days and weeks after the birth, as the baby’s immature immune system continues to develop, wash your hands before touching your newborn. And don’t feel bad about insisting others wash or sanitize their hands before touching or picking up your child as well.
    • Hold Baby’s head – Because a newborn’s neck muscles are very weak, your child won’t have much control over his or her head movements. So be sure to support the head and neck with your hand or arm when you’re holding the baby.
    • Never shake Baby – Be extra careful not to shake your baby, whether it’s in play or frustration. Shaking a child can cause serious injury, including brain damage, sometimes within even just a few seconds. Remember: Your newborn isn’t ready for rough play.
    • Buckle Baby up – Whenever you head out, whether you’re driving or walking, it’s important to securely fasten your baby into the car seat, stroller or infant carrier.

    Diapering

    Before putting a diaper on your baby, make sure you have all supplies within easy reach. It’s dangerous to leave your infant unattended on the changing table. Many children are injured this way every year.

    Bathing your newborn

    You should give your baby a sponge bath until:

    • The umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely (1–4 weeks)
    • His circumcision heals (1–2 weeks)

    A bath two or three times a week in the first year is fine. More frequent bathing can dry the baby’s skin.

    What to have on hand for the bath

    Have these items ready before bathing your baby:

    • A soft, clean washcloth
    • Mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo
    • A soft brush to stimulate the baby’s scalp
    • Towels or blankets
    • Clean diapers (It’s wise to keep more than one handy.) 
    • Clean clothes

    Learn more about Wellmont's pregnancy and childbirth services.

  • find an obstetrician

    Need an obstetrician?

    Call anytime for an OB/GYN referral. Nurses are available now to help you find a doctor and answer your questions.

    Contact Us Today

    Or call a nurse: 877‑230‑6877.

  • find childbirth classes in Kingsport, Bristol

    Classes for new and expecting parents

    Wellmont offers childbirth, baby care, breastfeeding and new sibling classes in the Tri-Cities.