Post Partum and Post Op Instructions

Vaginal delivery:
For perineal stitches : These will heal in 3-4 weeks on their own, they do not need to be removed.
No douching or tampons for 6 weeks
No intercourse (sex) for 4-6 weeks
Showers for the first 2-3 weeks, if you have no shower, take a sponge bath or a tub bath but do not add bubble bath to the water or shave during the bath.

Take a sitz bath 1-2 times a day for the first week.   You may purchase a sitz bath from a pharmacy like Walgreens or CVS or Walmart. (click on link to view product and price at that store). Or  sit in a bathtub of warm water for 15-20 minutes.

Clean the perineal area after using the toilet with a squeeze bottle filled with warm water. You may wash the area with a washcloth and mild soap, rinsing well.

Discomfort from stithes usually lasts 7-10 days.  You can take tylenol and use Dermaplast spray and Tucks pads from the hospital, and also available at the store pharmacies.

See your doctor for the post-partum check up at 6 weeks.

Cesarean Section (C Section)

Take pain medication as directed.

Return to the office for an incision check 1 week after delivery. If your incision has staples, they can be removed at that time. Do not wait longer.  If your incision does not have staples, the nurse will look for good wound healing.

At this visit the nurse will give you wound care instructions and determine when to see your doctor again.

No douching or tampons for 6 weeks
No intercourse (sex) for 4-6 weeks
Showers with dial or dove soap, then dry the wound area thoroughly. You may use a hair dryer on ‘low’ or ‘cool’ setting to dry the area.

Lochia (bleeding after delivery)

Normally this lasts 2-6 weeks, with C-sections lasting the shorter amount of time.
Color changes from red to pink to white or yellow or brown as time goes by. Flow decreases with time.
If you have heavy, bright red bleeding, foul smelling discharge and/or a fever, call the office.

Bowel movements

May be irregular for a few weeks, if you are taking narcotic pain medication you may need to take stool softeners.

For hemorrhoids, use your sitz bath, you may use an anesthetic ointment and tucks pads.

Exercise & Activity

Rest at home the first 2 weeks and limit activity to taking care of yourself and your baby.  Try to avoid heavy work (vacuuming, laundry etc)
Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby or 10 lbs for 4-6 weeks or until seen by your doctor.
Try not to get tired with activity such as shopping.
No swimming until seen by your doctor.
No bike, horseback or motorcycle riding until seen by your doctor.
Traveling is o.k. depending on your comfort level.  After a c/section, no driving until seen by your doctor at the post-partum check.


You will continue to lose weight if you follow a well-balanced prenatal diet. Do not try a fad diet. Eat a well-balanced diet and count calories. (1800-2200 is a good amount to try for.)  Drink lots of water (8 glasses / day).

Post partum blues

It is normal to feel teary-eyed during the first week after delivery. There are hormonal changes that can cause this, also you are probably sleeping less.  If these feelings get worse or continue after for more than a few weeks, let your doctor know immediately as you may have post-partum depression.

Breast Care

Wear a supportive firm bra.
Continue monthly breast self-exams during the first days after your period.
Keep breasts clean and dry. Wash with water daily. Don’t use soap on nipples as this contributes to cracking. May use Lansinoh cream on nipples after breast feeding.
Engorgement (filling of the breasts with milk) may occur 3-4 days after delivery, it may last  1-3 days.
You may take 1-2 Tylenol tablets for the discomfort, every 4 hours.
If bottle feeding, do not stimulate the breasts.  Ice may be applied to each breast to relieve discomfort and swelling.
Do not allow warm water to flow over the breasts as this can cause  more milk production.

If breast feeding and with engorgement, you may feed more often or manually or with a breast pump, express some milk to relieve the pressure.
For sore nipples, you may apply Lansinoh cream, lanolin, Masse, A & D ointment or vegetable oil to the nipples.