Postpartum Care Checklist

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on March 19, 2021
photo of mother and newborn

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.

Show 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."

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