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Problems After Delivery of Your Baby - 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 breast-feeding. 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 actionset.gif 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.

If you are breast-feeding, it is safe to use acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, to help with mild discomfort.

  • 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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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