After my baby is born
After your baby is born, you and your baby should receive the following care:
- Feeding support – this may be by midwives, maternity support workers or health visitors or peer supporters. Responsive feeding is recommended, this means allowing baby to tell you when a feed is required. Breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby and provides protection from infections and diseases. Breastfeeding provides long term health benefits for you and your baby, and also helps the bond to build between you and your baby.
- Vitamin K by injection or oral supplement for your baby
- Newborn examination within 72 hours after birth
- Newborn hearing screening
- Postnatal care – carried out by your community midwife or a maternity support worker; to check on your physical and emotional wellbeing, and your baby’s wellbeing. This may be in your home or at a local clinic, and will continue according to your needs and wishes
- Baby’s blood spot screening – a small sample of blood usually taken by your midwife or maternity support worker to check for some possible genetic problems (around day five)
Caring for your perineum
You may experience discomfort of stinging especially in the first few days after giving birth, even if you do not have stitches. It is important that you wash your hands before and after changing sanitary pads and that they are changed regularly.
Daily bathing or showering is recommended to keep their perineum clean. Cold treatments, such as crushed ice or gel pads (wrapped in a towel to avoid placing ice directly on your skin as this could cause damage) and pain killers (eg, Paracetamol) can also provide some relief.
If the pain or discomfort is worsening, or you notice signs of infection (offensive smelling) or experience pain during intercourse you should inform your midwife, health visitor or GP.
More information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/episiotomy/
Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles around your bladder, bottom and vagina and reduce your chance of experiencing incontinence after having your baby.
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles 10 to 15 times. (Do not hold your breath at the same time). Try holding each squeeze for a few seconds.
More information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises/
Caring for your wound following a caesarean section
The outside skin edges of your wound should seal after about two days, but the internal healing of muscle and other tissue below the surface goes will continue for many months. The scar will fade with time.
It is normal to experience some discomfort that should gradually ease. You should take your regular analgesia as advised by the hospital and follow the instructions regarding your dressing.
Keeping the wound clean is important (showering if preferable to bathing). Always wash your hands before touching the dressing or wound. Do not rub soaps or talc directly onto the wound and pat dry with a clean towel. Wearing loose-fitting clothes will prevent rubbing.
You need to contact your midwife of GP if:
- If the pain in the wound or your womb is getting worse and pain killers are not helping
- The wound is red, swollen or hot
- There is green or yellow weeping or discharge
- You have noticed an unpleasant/offensive vaginal discharge
- You feel feverish or have a high temperature
More information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/caesarean-section/recovery/