Your Recovery After Vaginal Birth

After you give birth, a nurse will check you and answer any questions you may
have. During your stay, the nurses will teach you how to care for yourself and your
baby.

Changes in Your Body
• A nurse will feel your abdomen to check your uterus while you are in the
hospital. If your uterus is soft, your nurse will rub your abdomen to help the
uterus become firm.
• You will have bleeding from your vagina for 2-4 weeks. During the first few
days, the bleeding is like a heavy menstrual period. You may pass small blood
clots. The bleeding will decrease and change to pink, dark brown, and then
clear. Do not use tampons. Use sanitary pads.
• Your breasts will fill with milk 3-5 days after you give birth and become firm
and sore. They may leak at times.
• You may have constipation. A stool softener or laxative may be ordered.
• Tell your nurse if you have problems urinating.

Activity
• Ask the staff for help the first few times you get out of bed.
• Sit up for a couple of minutes before you start to walk.
• If you feel light headed or dizzy while in the bathroom, pull the emergency call
light on the bathroom wall for help.
• Walk in the hallways 3-4 times a day for 5-10 minutes.

Diet
You may feel tired and hungry. You will get fluids through an IV (intravenous) in
your hand or arm until you are drinking well. Drink plenty of fluids. You will be
offered light food at first and then you can eat your normal diet.

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‫‪Your Recovery After Vaginal Birth. Arabic‬‬
‫‪1‬‬

Manage Pain
Pain and cramping are normal. Stitches may cause burning or stinging. Ask for
pain medicine when you need it. The medicine may not get rid of your pain but it
will make it better. Manage your pain so you can care for yourself, your baby and
be active.
How to manage pain in the area around your vagina and anus called the perineal
area:
• Place an ice pack on your perineal area the first day for short amounts of time to
decrease pain and swelling.
• Take a warm bath. Baths can be started 24 hours after giving birth.
• Apply a topical medicine such as a spray or cream to help relieve rectal pain
from hemorrhoids.

Peri Care
Keep the perineal area clean to prevent infection and stop odor. This is called peri
care. You will be given a plastic bottle to fill with warm water. Each time you use
the toilet, use the plastic bottle to squirt warm water over your perineal area.
Change your sanitary pad each time you use the toilet. Wash your hands with soap
and water.

Showering
A shower may feel good and help you relax. Have someone help you with the first
shower.

Going Home from the Hospital
Your nurse will help you prepare to go home with your baby. Information will be
given to you on how to care for yourself and your baby.

2

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‫‪Your Recovery After Vaginal Birth. Arabic‬‬
‫‪2‬‬

Your care may include:
• Limit climbing stairs to 1-2 times each day.
• Lift nothing heavier than your baby.
• Get help doing housework for at least 2 weeks.
• Do not drive a car for at least 2 weeks.
• Do not have sexual relations until approved by your doctor. Talk to your doctor
about birth control. Breastfeeding does not prevent you from becoming
pregnant.
• Do not go back to work until approved by your doctor.
Call your doctor right away if you have:
• A fever over 101 degrees F or 38 degrees C.
• Signs of a breast infection such as fever, tenderness, redness, or a hot, hardened
area, on one or both breasts.
• Heavy vaginal bleeding where you soak one sanitary pad per hour for two hours
or have large blood clots.
• Foul smelling vaginal discharge—a normal discharge smells like your
menstrual period.
• Problems urinating including trouble starting, burning or pain.
• No bowel movements for 3 days.
• A hot, hard spot in your leg or pain in your lower leg.
• Severe or constant pain or cramping.
• A headache, blurred vision or spots before your eyes that will not go away.
• Feelings of being very sad or feel you want to hurt yourself or your baby.
Call your doctor the first few days after you get home to schedule a follow up
visit in 4-6 weeks. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions or
concerns.

9/2006. Developed through a partnership of The Ohio State University Medical Center, Mount Carmel Health and
OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio. Available for use as a public service without copyright restrictions at
www.healthinfotranslations.com.

3

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9/2006. Developed through a partnership of The Ohio State University Medical Center, Mount Carmel Health and
OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio. Available for use as a public service without copyright restrictions at
www.healthinfotranslations.com.

Your Recovery After Vaginal Birth. Arabic
3

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