After birth, you’ll enter what we call the postpartum period. This is usually defined as the first six weeks after birth and can go on longer, depending on your needs.
Postpartum care is a priority for us as this is when your parenting skills develop, and you can get the best start in caring for your new baby. The CHI Saint Joseph Health teams work with you to help you adjust to motherhood and to heal your post-pregnancy body.
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Growing a baby and giving birth are hard work! That’s why it’s best to spend the first three-to-six weeks after birth just resting and bonding with your baby. This rest will help your body repair any tissue damage and get all your reproductive organs back to their non-pregnant state again. It will also allow you to adjust to your baby’s around-the-clock care needs, establish breastfeeding, and rebuild your energy.
During the six weeks after birth, your uterus shrinks back to its normal size and you might feel some light contractions as this is happening. You also might feel more uterus tightening while breastfeeding, which is perfectly normal (and another reason why breastfeeding helps your body heal!).
The first few days after giving birth are crucial for those who have chosen to breastfeed. Your baby gets to enjoy the immunity benefits of the first “milk” you will produce, called colostrum. Once your milk comes in, you’ll be off to a great start in producing the special nutrients that your baby needs to grow and thrive.
If, at any time, you have concerns about breastfeeding, feel free to talk to a nurse or lactation consultant at our hospitals. If you have chosen not to or can’t breastfeed for any reason, we can work with you to take care of your body and help you decide how you would like to feed your baby. Once you get home, you can give us a call with questions any time.
We want new mothers to be ready for birth, but postpartum is just as important. That’s why we cover what you’ll need to know about postpartum in our childbirth classes. You’ll learn about how your body heals after birth and some of the most common concerns. We’ll help alleviate your worries and get prepared with knowledge and supplies. Our breastfeeding class is a perfect way to learn how to feed your baby in an environment that’s fun, safe and knowledgeable.