Problems After Delivery of Your Baby

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Problems After Delivery of Your Baby

Topic Overview

During the days and weeks after the
delivery of your baby (postpartum period), you can expect that your body will
change as it returns to its nonpregnant condition. The
postpartum period lasts for 3 months after delivery. As with pregnancy changes,
postpartum changes are different for every woman. For example, if you had
heartburn while you were pregnant, it may go away
after delivery. But other symptoms, such as
hemorrhoids, could continue to cause problems after
your baby is born.

Many minor postpartum problems can be managed
at home. For example, home treatment measures are usually all that is needed to
relieve mild discomfort from hemorrhoids or constipation. If you develop a
problem and your doctor has given you specific instructions to follow, be sure
to follow those instructions.

Most women need some time after
delivery to return to their normal activities. It is important to focus on your
healing and taking care of your baby for the first 6 weeks. Start other
activities slowly as you feel stronger. Your doctor will tell you when you can
have sex again, but for most women, 6 to 8 weeks after delivery is the average
time. If you had any problems during your pregnancy or during labor or
delivery, your doctor may give you more specific instructions about activities.

Although most women don't have serious health problems during the
postpartum period, you should see your doctor if you develop
heavy vaginal bleeding,
calf pain, pain with breathing (pulmonary embolism), or
postpartum depression.

Check your
symptoms
to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.


Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

Check Your Symptoms

Have you had a baby in the past 3 months?
Yes
Had baby in the past 3 months
No
Had baby in the past 3 months
How old are you?
Less than 12 years
Less than 12 years
12 years or older
12 years or older
Are you male or female?
Male
Male
Female
Female
Do you have symptoms of shock?
Yes
Symptoms of shock
No
Symptoms of shock
Have you had a seizure?
Yes
Seizure
No
Seizure
Do you have epilepsy or a history of seizures?
Yes
Epilepsy or history of seizures
No
Epilepsy or history of seizures
Was this a typical seizure for you?
Yes
Typical seizure
No
Typical seizure
Are you having trouble breathing (more than a stuffy nose)?
Yes
Difficulty breathing more than a stuffy nose
No
Difficulty breathing more than a stuffy nose
Would you describe the problem as severe, moderate, or mild?
Severe
Severe difficulty breathing
Moderate
Moderate difficulty breathing
Mild
Mild difficulty breathing
Does it hurt when you breathe?
This can be a warning sign of a blood clot in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.
Yes
Pain when breathing
No
Pain when breathing
Yes
Symptoms of pulmonary embolism
No
Symptoms of pulmonary embolism
Yes
At risk for pulmonary embolism
No
At risk for pulmonary embolism
Do you have a new headache that is different than the types of headaches you are used to?
Yes
New or different headache
No
New or different headache
Do you have a severe headache that started suddenly and is the worst headache of your life?
This probably would not be like any headache you have had before.
Yes
Sudden, severe headache
No
Sudden, severe headache
How bad is the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, if 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine?
8 to 10: Severe pain
Severe pain
5 to 7: Moderate pain
Moderate pain
1 to 4: Mild pain
Mild pain
Are you having any vaginal bleeding?
Yes
Vaginal bleeding
No
Vaginal bleeding
Severe
Severe bleeding
Moderate
Moderate bleeding
Mild
Mild bleeding
Minimal
Minimal bleeding
Are you passing clots?
Yes
Passing clots
No
Passing clots
Are the clots large or small?
Large means more than 1.5 in. (4 cm) across, or bigger than a golf ball.
Large (bigger than a golf ball)
Large clots
Small
Small clots
Have you passed more than 3 clots?
Yes
Passed more than 3 clots
No
Passed more than 3 clots
Do you have any bleeding after intercourse or douching?
Yes
Vaginal bleeding after intercourse or douching
No
Vaginal bleeding after intercourse or douching
Do you have pain in your belly, pelvic area, or back?
Yes
Belly, pelvic, or back pain
No
Belly, pelvic, or back pain
How bad is the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, if 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine?
8 to 10: Severe pain
Severe pain
5 to 7: Moderate pain
Moderate pain
1 to 4: Mild pain
Mild pain
Do you have pain or swelling in one calf?
Pain and swelling in the lower leg can be symptoms of a blood clot.
Yes
Pain or swelling in one calf
No
Pain or swelling in one calf
Do you have problems with urination?
Yes
Problems with urination
No
Problems with urination
Are you able to urinate at all?
Yes
Able to urinate
No
Unable to urinate
Yes
Symptoms of kidney infection
No
Symptoms of kidney infection
Yes
Symptoms of bladder infection
No
Symptoms of bladder infection
Yes
Symptoms of postpartum depression
No
Symptoms of postpartum depression
Are you afraid that you might hurt your baby or yourself?
Yes
Concerned about hurting self or baby
No
Concerned about hurting self or baby
Do you think you may have a fever?
Yes
Possible fever
No
Possible fever
Did you take your temperature?
Yes
Temperature taken
No
Temperature taken
How high is the fever? The answer may depend on how you took the temperature.
High: 104°F (40°C) or higher, oral
High fever: 104°F (40°C) or higher, oral
Moderate: 100.4°F (38°C) to 103.9°F (39.9°C), oral
Moderate fever: 100.4°F (38°C) to 103.9°F (39.9°C), oral
Mild: 100.3°F (37.9°C) or lower, oral
Mild fever: 100.3°F (37.9°C) or lower, oral
How high do you think the fever is?
High
Feels fever is high
Moderate
Feels fever is moderate
Mild or low
Feels fever is mild
How long have you had a fever?
Less than 2 days (48 hours)
Fever for less than 2 days
At least 2 days but less than 1 week
Fever for at least 2 days but less than 1 week
1 week or more
Fever for 1 week or more
Do you have a health problem or take medicine that weakens your immune system?
Yes
Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems
No
Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems
Do you have shaking chills or very heavy sweating?
Shaking chills are a severe, intense form of shivering. Heavy sweating means that sweat is pouring off you or soaking through your clothes.
Yes
Shaking chills or heavy sweating
No
Shaking chills or heavy sweating
Yes
Symptoms of a vaginal infection
No
Symptoms of a vaginal infection
Have you noticed a change in your bowel habits?
Yes
Change in bowel habits
No
Change in bowel habits
Are your stools black or bloody?
Yes
Black or bloody stools
No
Black or bloody stools
Have you had:
At least 1 stool that is mostly black or bloody?
At least 1 stool mostly black or bloody
At least 1 stool that is partly black or bloody?
At least 1 stool partly black or bloody
Streaks of blood in your stool?
Streaks of blood in stool
Are you constipated?
Constipation means your stools are hard and you have trouble passing them. If your stools are soft and pass easily, you are not constipated.
Yes
Constipation
No
Constipation
Have you tried home treatment for constipation for more than 1 week?
Home treatment includes things like drinking plenty of water; eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; and getting some exercise every day.
Yes
Tried home treatment for constipation for more than 1 week
No
Tried home treatment for constipation for more than 1 week
Are you having a problem with your C-section incision, such as it not healing like your doctor said it should?
Yes
Problem with C-section incision
No
Problem with C-section incision
Do you have pus draining from your C-section incision?
Yes
C-section incision pus draining
No
C-section incision pus draining
Are your breasts red and painful, or are your nipples cracked and bleeding?
Yes
Red, painful breasts or cracked, bleeding nipples
No
Red, painful breasts or cracked, bleeding nipples
Are you having problems breastfeeding?
Yes
Breastfeeding problems
No
Breastfeeding problems
Are you having a problem with an episiotomy or tear repair (such as the wound not healing like your doctor said it should)?
Yes
Problem with episiotomy or tear repair
No
Problem with episiotomy or tear repair
Are you having any new or unexpected symptoms?
Yes
New or unexpected symptoms
No
New or unexpected symptoms
Would you describe these symptoms as serious or minor?
Serious
Serious new or unexpected symptoms
Minor
Minor new or unexpected symptoms
Do you feel anything bulging into your vagina or feel pelvic pressure when you move?
Yes
Bulging into vagina or increased pelvic pressure with movement
No
Bulging into vagina or increased pelvic pressure with movement

Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind
of care you may need. These include:

  • Your age. Babies and older
    adults tend to get sicker quicker.
  • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart
    disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care
    sooner.
  • Medicines you take. Certain
    medicines, herbal remedies, and supplements can cause symptoms or make them
    worse.
  • Recent health events, such as surgery
    or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them
    more serious.
  • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug
    use, sexual history, and travel.

Try Home Treatment

You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be
able to take care of this problem at home.

  • Try home treatment to relieve the
    symptoms.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any
    concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect).
    You may need care sooner.

If you're not sure if a fever is high, moderate, or mild,
think about these issues:

With a high fever:

  • You feel very hot.
  • It is likely one of
    the highest fevers you've ever had. High fevers are not that common, especially
    in adults.

With a moderate fever:

  • You feel warm or hot.
  • You know you have
    a fever.

With a mild fever:

  • You may feel a little warm.
  • You think
    you might have a fever, but you're not sure.

Temperature varies a little depending on how you measure it.
For adults and children age 12 and older, these are the ranges for high,
moderate, and mild, according to how you took the temperature.

Oral (by mouth) temperature

  • High:
    104°F (40°C) and
    higher
  • Moderate:
    100.4°F (38°C) to
    103.9°F (39.9°C)
  • Mild:
    100.3°F (37.9°C) and
    lower

A forehead (temporal) scanner is usually 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) lower than an oral temperature.

Ear or rectal temperature

  • High:
    105°F (40.6°C) and
    higher
  • Moderate:
    101.4°F (38.6°C) to
    104.9°F (40.5°C)
  • Mild:
    101.3°F (38.5°C) and
    lower

Armpit (axillary) temperature

  • High: 103°F (39.5°C) and higher
  • Moderate:
    99.4°F (37.4°C) to
    102.9°F (39.4°C)
  • Mild: 99.3°F (37.3°C) and lower

Blood in the stool can come from
anywhere in the digestive tract, such as the stomach or intestines. Depending
on where the blood is coming from and how fast it is moving, it may be bright
red, reddish brown, or black like tar.

A little bit of bright red
blood on the stool or on the toilet paper is often caused by mild irritation of
the rectum. For example, this can happen if you have to strain hard to pass a
stool or if you have a hemorrhoid.

Certain medicines and foods can affect the color of stool. Diarrhea
medicines (such as Pepto-Bismol) and iron tablets can make the stool black.
Eating lots of beets may turn the stool red. Eating foods with black or dark
blue food coloring can turn the stool black.

If you take aspirin or some other medicine (called a blood thinner) that prevents blood clots, it can cause some blood in your stools. If you take a blood thinner and have ongoing blood in your stools, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms.

Symptoms of a vaginal infection may
include:

  • Vaginal itching.
  • Vaginal discharge
    that is not normal for you.
  • Red, irritated skin in the vaginal
    area.
  • Pain when you urinate.
  • Pain or bleeding when you
    have sex.

Shock is a life-threatening condition that may quickly occur
after a sudden illness or injury.

Symptoms of shock (most of which will be present) include:

  • Passing out (losing consciousness).
  • Feeling very dizzy or
    lightheaded, like you may pass out.
  • Feeling very weak or having
    trouble standing.
  • Not feeling alert or able to think clearly. You
    may be confused, restless, fearful, or unable to respond to questions.

Pain in adults and older children

  • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain
    is so bad that you can't stand it for more than a few hours, can't sleep, and
    can't do anything else except focus on the pain.
  • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The pain is bad enough to disrupt your
    normal activities and your sleep, but you can tolerate it for hours or days.
    Moderate can also mean pain that comes and goes even if it's severe when it's
    there.
  • Mild pain (1 to 4): You notice the pain,
    but it is not bad enough to disrupt your sleep or activities.

Symptoms of difficulty breathing can range from mild to severe. For example:

  • You may feel a little out of breath but still be able to talk (mild difficulty breathing), or you may be so out of breath that you cannot talk at all (severe difficulty breathing).
  • It may be getting hard to breathe with activity (mild difficulty breathing), or you may have to work very hard to breathe even when you’re at rest (severe difficulty breathing).

Severe trouble breathing means:

  • You cannot talk at all.
  • You have to
    work very hard to breathe.
  • You feel like you can't get enough
    air.
  • You do not feel alert or cannot think clearly.

Moderate trouble breathing means:

  • It's hard to talk in full
    sentences.
  • It's hard to breathe with activity.

Mild trouble breathing means:

  • You feel a little out of breath but can still talk.
  • It's becoming hard to breathe with activity.

Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and
illness. Some examples in adults are:

  • Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease,
    and HIV/AIDS.
  • Long-term alcohol and drug
    problems.
  • Steroid medicines, which may be used to treat a variety
    of conditions.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for
    cancer.
  • Other medicines used to treat autoimmune
    disease.
  • Medicines taken after organ transplant.
  • Not
    having a spleen.

Symptoms of a bladder infection may
include:

  • Pain or burning when you urinate.
  • A
    frequent urge to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
  • Blood in the urine.

Symptoms of a kidney infection may
include:

  • Pain in the flank, which is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Pain
    or burning when you urinate.
  • A frequent urge to urinate without
    being able to pass much urine.
  • Belly pain.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism may
include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath.
  • Sudden,
    sharp chest pain that may get worse when you breathe deeply or
    cough.
  • Coughing up blood or pink, foamy mucus.
  • Fast
    heart rate.
  • Severe anxiety.
  • Fainting.

Severe vaginal bleeding means that you are soaking 1 or 2 pads or tampons in 1 or 2 hours, unless that is normal for you. For most women, passing clots of blood from the vagina and soaking through
their usual pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours is not normal and is
considered severe. If you are pregnant: You may have
a gush of blood or pass a clot, but if the bleeding stops, it is not considered
severe.

Moderate bleeding means that you
are soaking more than 1 pad or tampon in 3 hours.

Mild bleeding means that you are soaking less than 1 pad or
tampon in more than 3 hours.

Minimal vaginal bleeding means "spotting" or a few drops of blood.

Some of the problems with breastfeeding that you might have include:

  • Sore, red nipples.
  • Stabbing or burning
    breast pain.
  • A hard lump in your breast.
  • Your baby
    having trouble latching onto your breast.

If you have pain when you are breathing, you may be at
immediate risk for a pulmonary embolism if you also
have:

  • Pain deep in one leg for no clear reason. This can
    be a sign of a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) that could travel
    to the lungs.
  • A history of problems with blood clots, such as deep
    vein thrombosis or a previous pulmonary embolism.

Symptoms of postpartum depression may
include:

  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Feeling sad or
    hopeless.
  • Crying often, or feeling like you are going to cry.
  • Feeling anxious or edgy.
  • Not being able to
    concentrate.

Seek Care Today

Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The
problem probably will not get better without medical care.

  • Call your doctor today to discuss the symptoms
    and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't
    have one, seek care today.
  • If it is evening, watch the symptoms and
    seek care in the morning.
  • If the symptoms get worse, seek care
    sooner.

Seek Care Now

Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

  • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and
    arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't have
    one, seek care in the next hour.
  • You do not need to call an
    ambulance unless:

    • You cannot travel safely either by driving
      yourself or by having someone else drive you.
    • You are in an area
      where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

Make an Appointment

Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical
care.

  • Make an appointment to see your doctor in the
    next 1 to 2 weeks.
  • If appropriate, try home treatment while you
    are waiting for the appointment.
  • If symptoms get worse or you have
    any concerns, call your doctor. You may need care sooner.

Call 911 Now

Based on your answers, you need
emergency care.

Call 911 or other emergency services now.

Home Treatment

If you develop problems and your
doctor has given you specific instructions to follow, be sure to follow those
instructions.

Feeling tired (fatigue)

Most women feel tired after
labor and delivery. Caring for a new baby, loss of sleep, and the normal
physical changes you experience as your body returns to its nonpregnant
condition can add to your fatigue. It is important to focus on your healing and
taking care of your baby for the first 6 weeks. Start other activities slowly
as you feel stronger.

To help with fatigue in the first few weeks
and months after delivery:

  • Eat regularly. Do not skip meals or go for long
    periods without eating. Choose healthy foods.
  • Exercise regularly.
    Get outside, take walks, or keep your blood moving with your favorite workout.
    If you do not have your usual energy, do not overdo it. If you had any problems
    during your pregnancy or during labor or delivery, your doctor may give you
    more specific instructions about activities.
  • Try to take rest
    breaks often during the day.
  • Do only as much as you need to, and do
    not take on extra activities or responsibilities.
  • Spend time with
    family and friends and let them help you care for your baby.

Sleep problems

Sleep problems are common when you
are caring for a new baby. These tips may help you get a good night's
sleep.

  • Sleep when your baby is sleeping or
    napping.
  • Keep your naps as short as possible.
  • Use your
    bed only for sleep.
  • Try to have a regular feeding pattern if you
    are breastfeeding. If you are bottle-feeding, have others feed the baby
    sometimes so you can rest.
  • Limit your caffeine, such as coffee,
    tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.
  • Try relaxation methods such as meditation or guided imagery. For more
    information, see the topic
    Stress Management.

Nonprescription medicine to help relieve discomfort

Most women have some mild discomfort after delivery. You may have some
cramping as your uterus returns to its nonpregnant size. If you had an
episiotomy, you may have pain in your genital area.
Women who have had a
cesarean section (C-section) will have some pain at
the incision site.

Most women can take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and ibuprofen (such as Advil) while breastfeeding to help relieve discomfort from some of these problems. But talk to your doctor before taking any medicine (prescription or nonprescription).

  • Acetaminophen dosage:
    The usual dose is 650 mg; recommended doses may range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg.
    You can take 650 mg every 4 hours or 1,000 mg every 6 hours in a 24-hour
    period. Do not take more than the maximum adult dose of 4,000 mg in a 24-hour
    period.
  • Be sure to follow these nonprescription medicine precautions.
    • Use, but do not take more than the maximum
      recommended doses.
    • Carefully read and follow all labels on the
      medicine bottle and box.

Breast engorgement or mastitis

If you are
breastfeeding, your breasts may be sore as they fill with milk. Place ice
packs on your breasts for the pain and swelling. Be sure to put a cloth between
your skin and the ice pack. Some women find a hot shower or warm towels on the
breasts help the pain. You can also use acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that is most
commonly related to breastfeeding. This inflammation can be related to tissue
injury, infection, or both. Mastitis while breastfeeding usually affects only
one breast and starts as a painful area that is red or warm. Fever, chills, and
flu-like symptoms or body aches can also develop. You can develop mastitis at
any time while breastfeeding, but it most commonly occurs during the first 2
months after delivery, before your baby's feeding patterns become
regular.

If you are not breastfeeding, do not stimulate your
nipples or warm your breasts. Instead, apply
cold packs, use medicine for pain and inflammation,
and wear a supportive bra that fits well.

Postpartum depression

Many new mothers may feel
"blue" after the birth of their baby. This may be caused by a change in
hormones, not getting enough sleep, feeling too busy, or just worried about
taking care of the baby.

Postpartum depression is a medical
condition, not a sign of weakness. Be honest with yourself and those who care
about you. Tell them about your struggle. You, your doctor, and your friends
and family can team up to treat your symptoms.

  • Plan activities and visit with friends and
    family, and ask them to call you regularly.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.
    Eat small snacks throughout the day to keep up your energy.
  • Get
    daily exercise, such as outdoor stroller walks. Exercise helps improve
    mood.
  • Get as much sunlight as possible—keep your shades and
    curtains open, and get outside as much as you can.
  • Ask for help
    with food preparation and other daily tasks. Family and friends are often happy
    to help a mother with newborn demands.
  • Don't overdo it. Get as much
    rest and sleep as possible. Fatigue can increase depression.
  • Do not
    use alcohol or caffeine.
  • Join a support group of new mothers. No
    one can better understand and support the challenges of caring for a new baby
    than other postpartum women.

Constipation and hemorrhoids

Constipation and
hemorrhoids may bother you after delivery. To prevent
or ease these symptoms:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet with lots of fruits,
    vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially
    water.
  • Try a stool softener, such as Colace.
  • Do not strain (push hard) during a bowel movement.
  • Get
    more exercise every day.

If you had a tear in your genital area during delivery
(episiotomy), talk to your doctor before using any nonprescription
suppositories for constipation.

To treat the itching or pain of
hemorrhoids:

  • Keep the anus clean by wiping carefully after
    each bowel movement. Gently wipe from the front to the back. Baby wipes or
    hemorrhoid pads are usually more gentle than toilet paper. If you use toilet
    paper, use only soft, undyed, unscented toilet paper.
  • Take warm
    soaks in a tub or a
    sitz bath. Warm water can help soothe
    hemorrhoids. Add baking soda to the water to relieve itching.
  • Use
    cold packs.
  • Do not sit for long periods, especially on hard
    chairs.

Let your doctor know if you are having problems with
constipation or hemorrhoids. He or she may recommend a nonprescription or
prescription medicine to treat your hemorrhoids.

Swelling

If you had mild swelling from normal fluid buildup when you were pregnant, it may last for days or weeks after you deliver. You are most likely to notice this swelling in your face, hands, or feet. As your body changes back to how it was before you were pregnant, the swelling will go away.

To help with swelling in your lower legs:

  • Whenever you are resting, raise your legs up. Try to keep the swollen area higher than the level of your heart.
  • Take breaks from standing or sitting in one position.
    • Walk around to increase the blood flow in your lower legs.
    • Move your feet and ankles often while you stand, or tighten and relax your leg muscles.

Problems with the veins in the legs (varicose veins) and changes in hormones can also cause swelling. If the swelling in your ankles and feet does not go away or gets worse after trying home treatment, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

Weight loss

Just as you slowly gained weight during
your pregnancy, it may take some time to lose weight after your baby is born.
Eat a nutritious diet and try to exercise daily. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for
you to get back to your normal activities. As the body returns to its
nonpregnant condition, many women feel they can manage their weight with
healthy eating and exercise. If it is hard for you to lose weight from your
pregnancy, talk to your doctor about your goals. If you are breastfeeding, it
is important to get the right amount of calories and nutrients for your
baby.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
treatment:

  • Abnormal or increased vaginal
    bleeding
  • Pain in your lower belly
  • Urinary
    problems
  • Fever
  • Symptoms that become more severe or
    occur more often

Prevention

It is important to make healthy lifestyle
choices to lower your chance for problems after your delivery.

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Limit your use of
    caffeine if you are breastfeeding.
  • Eat a nutritious diet. Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It will help you feel your best and have plenty of energy.

    If you are breastfeeding, it is important to get good nutrition for you and your baby.

  • Try to get 30 minutes of
    exercise on most, if not all, days of the week.
  • Do pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises to prevent urine control problems (incontinence)
    after childbirth.

Things to avoid if you are breastfeeding

  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs
  • Misusing
    medicines
  • Fish that contain high levels of
    mercury. This includes shark, swordfish, king
    mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, bigeye tuna, or tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico. Avoid eating more than 4 oz (113 g) a week of white albacore tuna. Canned light tuna is low in mercury and a better option. And avoid eating more than 4 oz (113 g) a week of fish caught in local waters that have not tested as safe.
  • Hazardous chemicals, certain cosmetic
    products, or radiation

Call your doctor if you have any questions about
breastfeeding. This may help prevent any problems.

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the
following questions:

  • What are your main symptoms?
  • How long
    have you had your symptoms?
  • Have you had this problem before? If
    so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it
    treated?
  • What activities make your symptoms better or
    worse?
  • Do you think that activities related to your job or hobbies
    caused your symptoms?
  • Do you think that exercise or sports
    activities have caused your symptoms?
  • What home treatment measures
    have you tried? Did they help?
  • What prescription or nonprescription
    medicines have you taken or used? Did they help?
  • Do you have any
    health risks?

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
(ACOG)
www.acog.org

Postpartum Support International (U.S.)
www.postpartum.net

Credits

ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofJanuary 29, 2018

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