Postpartum services in Port St. Lucie, Florida
At St. Lucie Medical Center, we are here to help you care for yourself and your body following childbirth. Expectant mothers often spend lots of time researching what to expect during pregnancy, but what about after the baby is born?
After delivery, your body can seem just as mysterious and strange as it did in the early days of pregnancy. Anticipating these changes eases the transition into parenthood.
To speak with a registered nurse about your postpartum questions, contact our Consult-a-Nurse® team at (772) 742-9060.
When you deliver at St. Lucie Medical Center, you receive access to expert prenatal care, a private, personalized labor and delivery experience and continued postpartum care following the birth of your child.
Postpartum visitation and care
The Birthing Center at St. Lucie Medical Center supports open visitation hours for your friends and family. Although, we ask you to keep in mind both your own physical needs and the needs of your newborn baby. Proper rest and recovery time is vital following labor and delivery.
Following birth, mom and baby will remain together as much as possible to allow for bonding and skin-to-skin contact.View your newborn's photography
Postpartum changes for mom
Just as early pregnancy causes many rapid changes, so does childbirth. As soon as labor is over, your body begins to return to its pre-pregnancy state. The following changes begin to take place:
- Starting during labor, the uterus will begin to shed its lining, called lochia. The entire process should be complete by the six-week postpartum checkup. The lochia will lighten in color and volume as time passes.
- The uterus begins to contract and return to its normal size. These contractions sometimes continue for up to a week after the birth and can cause some abdominal discomfort. You may find that a warm compress or heating pad soothes the pain.
- Hormone levels adjust. In just a few days, progesterone and estrogen levels can vary by up to 90 percent. These drastic fluctuations may cause mood swings or sadness. If these feelings last more than a short time, contact your physician.
- Your skin may develop blotches or other discoloration that usually go away relatively soon after delivery. Other differences in complexion also usually disappear as hormones levels normalize.
- Delivery causes aches and pains throughout the body, but especially in the back.
- Breasts may continue to enlarge. After birth, they will secrete colostrum, a thick, yellow milk that’s filled with nutrients for the newborn. Breasts may feel sore, but a supportive bra and cold compresses can help.
- Women who breastfeed will note a marked increase in appetite. It’s important to eat nutrient-rich foods that are not high in fat or sugar. On average, breastfeeding mothers need about 500 extra calories per day.
- The baby tummy often takes four to five months to go away, depending on the rate at which the uterus shrinks and the state of abdominal muscles prior to pregnancy. It can be tempting to jump directly into a workout regimen, but consult a doctor before starting any postpartum exercise routine.
A qualified obstetrician can help you prepare for delivery and the physical changes that come with every stage of motherhood.