Steps to take after a routine vaginal birth

At the hospital

You will be advised to rest in bed for a while to rest and regain your strength. The nurses will then ask you to get up and walk around as soon as possible to prevent blood clots from forming in your veins. Start breastfeeding within the first hour after birth. Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored regularly until you are discharged.

Before you go

Before leaving the hospital talk to your doctor or nurse about:

  • Recognising the signs of infection
  • Whether you can use tampons
  • Any medications you may need
  • Cleaning and caring for your perineal area, if you have had a tear or episiotomy
  • How much rest you will need in the coming weeks

Back at home

After returning home with baby, be sure to:

  • Take warm, shallow baths to help relieve soreness and speed healing
  • Change your sanitary pads often so that you can observe the color of the discharge
  • Tell your doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary

Returning to Normal - your changing uterus.

As your uterus returns to normal your womb will gradually shrink back to normal size; by the 14th day, your doctor will no longer be able to feel it from the outside of your abdomen. You will have a bright red, bloody discharge from your vagina, which will gradually change to pale brown, then yellow over the next 10-14 days. You may then have one of your normal periods.