Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Postpartum Care Checklist

Once you get home from the hospital you'll be focused on caring for your new baby. Yet you can't forget about another important person. You!

Your body will still have to recover from nine months of carrying around and nurturing a growing baby -- not to mention the delivery. Make sure to look after yourself in the postpartum weeks, so you can recover more quickly and have enough energy to care for your baby.

Here are some steps you can take to feel better after delivery:

  • Limit visitors so you and baby can rest.
  • Get help with cleaning and meals.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions for recovery.
  • Keep your feet raised to prevent swelling in your legs.
  • Sit in a warm bath to relieve vaginal discomfort.
  • Use creams or lotions to fade stretch marks.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Wear a supportive bra to relieve sore breasts.
  • If breastfeeding, use nipple cream for sore nipples.
  • Not breastfeeding? Ask your OB about breast care.
  • Drink water and eat fiber to prevent constipation.
  • Schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor.
  • Don't try to lose baby weight too quickly -- go slowly.
  • If you feel sad, talk to a friend or family member. 
  • If sadness lasts more than 2 weeks, call your doctor.
  • Take care of you so you have more energy for your baby.
  • Talk to your doctor about constipation or hemorrhoids.
  • Make time for you and ask for help when you need it.

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Recovering from Birth."

American College of Nurse Midwives: "Recovering from Pregnancy."

March of Dimes: "Your Body After Baby."

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

Woman smiling as she reads pregnancy test
Slideshow
pregnant woman with salad
Quiz
 
pregnant in thought
Article
babyapp
NEW
 

slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 

pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video