3. 2nd Week Home

• Your breasts (whether or not you breastfeed) are full and uncomfortable.

• Hemorrhoids still hurt, but they should be getting better.

• With swelling and water retention diminishing, you can wear some of your clothes and shoes again.

• Feeding baby is starting to work better.

• When you cough, laugh, sneeze or lift something heavy, you may lose stool or urine and not be able to control it.

• You are probably fatigued. Taking care of baby requires a lot of time and energy.

• A foul odor or yellow-green vaginal discharge may indicate a problem; it should be decreasing at this point. If it isn’t, contact your doctor.

• It’s OK to let baby cry a little before checking on him or her.

• You can almost see your feet when you look down (your tummy is getting smaller).

• Write down any questions for your visit with your pediatrician.

• Keep your appointment with your doctor if you had a C-section or tubal ligation; you need to have your incision checked.

• Write down some of your thoughts and feelings in your journal.

4. 3rd Week Home

• Swelling and soreness around your bottom are decreasing, but sitting for a long time still may not feel very comfortable.

• Swelling in hands decreases. If you took off your rings during pregnancy, try them on again.

• Baby doesn’t know the difference between night and day, so your sleep patterns are also disturbed.

• Getting ready to go anywhere is like planning a major trip. It takes three times longer to get ready with baby.

• Call your doctor if you develop red streaks or tender, hard spots on your legs, particularly the back of the calves. It could be a blood clot.

• You may feel sad or depressed some of the time. You may even cry.

• You may have varicose veins, just like your mother! They’ll get better as you recover from pregnancy and begin exercising again.

• Skin on your abdomen still looks stretched out when you stand up.

• You may be seeing the pediatrician again this week. You’ll probably receive his or her immunization record at this visit. Put it in a safe place with baby’s other important papers.

• Take lots of pictures and videos! You’ll be amazed how quickly baby will change and grow.

• Keep your partner involved. Let him try his hand at caring for baby. Ask for his help with household chores.

• By this point, you’ve changed over 200 diapers—you’re a pro!

5. 4th Week Home

• Muscles feel better, and you can do more now. Be aware—it’s easy to pull or to strain muscles you haven’t used for a while.

• Control of urine and stool are improving. Doing your Kegel exercise is paying off.

• Baby is showing signs of adjusting to a regular schedule.

• Bending over or lifting may still be difficult. Take things slowly, and allow yourself plenty of time for even the easiest chores.

• Your first menstrual period after delivery could happen at any time. If you don’t breastfeed, your first period is usually 4 to 9 weeks after delivery, but it can happen earlier.

• Blood in your urine, dark or cloudy urine, or severe cramping or pain with urination may be symptoms of a urinary-tract infection (UTI). Call your doctor.

• You’ve been walking and doing light exercise, and it feels OK. Keep it up!

• Prepare for your 6-week postpartum appointment. Write down any questions you have as they come to you.

• A night out with your partner is a good plan. Ask grandparents, other family members and friends to babysit.

• Time with your new baby is precious. Soon you may be going back to work or returning to other activities.

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