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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 31, 2013
    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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