6. 5th Week Home

• As you get back to regular activities, sore muscles and a sore back may be expected.

• Bowel movements may occasionally be uncomfortable in the area of your episiotomy or rectum.

• Bladder and bowel control have returned.

• You may be getting a little anxious to go back to work. You may have missed your friends and the work you do.

• It may be hard to go back to work and not be there for every moment with your baby.

• Plan for after-birth contraception. Decide on some type of birth control, and be ready to start it.

• Baby blues should be getting much better, if they haven’t disappeared already.

• You may be a little nervous about going back to work.

• Clothes may still be snug, even if they were loose before pregnancy.

• Remind yourself that it took you 9 months of pregnancy to gain the weight you did. It will take awhile to return to your prepregnancy figure.

• Returning to work requires planning. Start now to put your “back-to-work” schedule into effect.

• Plans for day-care, tending, nursing and other things need to be in place soon. Family and friends can be an important ingredient.

7. 6th Week Home

• Having a pelvic exam at your 6-week checkup isn’t usually as bad as you might expect.

• In the 6 weeks since baby’s birth, your uterus has gone from the size of a watermelon to the size of your fist; it now weighs about 2 ounces.

• At your 6-week postpartum appointment, plan to discuss several important subjects, such as contraception, your current activity level, limitations and future pregnancies.

• People in your OB’s office have probably been helpful to you. Thank them, and ask if you can call with future questions.

• If you still have baby blues or feel depressed every day, tell your doctor.

• If you bleed vaginally or have a foul-smelling discharge, inform you doctor.

• If you have pain or swelling in your legs or your breasts are red or tender, bring it up at your visit.

• Ask questions; make a list. Good questions include the following.

○ What are my choices for contraception?

○ Do I have any limitations as far as exercise or sex?

○ Is there anything I should know from this pregnancy and delivery if I decide to get pregnant again?

• If you take baby with you to your postpartum checkup, take plenty of supplies. You may have to wait.

• If you’re going back to work soon, check on child-care arrangements.

• Continue to involve your partner as much as possible.

• Keep writing your thoughts and feelings in your journal. Encourage your partner to do the same.

8. 3 Months

• Muscles may be sore from exercising—a little more than a month ago, you were given the OK to do any exercises you wanted.

• You may have your first period around this time. It could be heavier, longer and different from those before pregnancy.

• If you haven’t done anything about contraception, do it now! (Unless you want to celebrate two birthdays in the same year.)

• It’s OK to let baby cry when she’s a little fussy and needs to soothe herself.

• Your pounds and inches may not be disappearing as quickly as you would like. Keep exercising and eating nutritiously. You’ll get there!

• Write down baby’s milestones as they happen; write them in baby’s book or keep a journal.

• Look for things your partner can do to be involved in baby’s care. Let him help out when he can.

• If you’ve stopped breastfeeding, let baby’s dad give him a bottle.

6 Months

• Getting on the scale may still be a daunting task. But hang in there, and keep working hard on eating well and exercising!

• Your first period may occur around this time, if you are breastfeeding. It could be heavier, longer and different from those before pregnancy.

• Don’t try to do it all yourself. Let your partner and others help.

• Baby’s feeding schedule should be well established by now.

• Take time for yourself.

• Arrange time for regular activities, such as exercising, baby play groups and meeting with other new moms.

• You’re starting to fit into some of your clothing from before pregnancy.

• Share special baby moments with your partner.

• Record baby’s noises, or take pictures. A recorder and video camera are great for this!

• Find a friend with a baby, and trade child-care duties. It’s a good way for each of you to have some time for yourself.

9. 1 Year

• All systems are go! It’s taken time, energy and hard work, but your life is going smoothly now.

• Baby sleeps through the night most of the time.

• Don’t miss your yearly exam or your Pap smear.

• Your body is returning to its prepregnancy shape. Your tummy is flat, you’ve lost most of the pregnancy weight and you feel great.

• Continue taking care of yourself. Eat nutritiously, get enough rest and exercise.

• Write down feelings about this time in your life. Encourage your partner to do the same.

• Sharing child care can be a good way to develop baby play groups. Interacting with other children is good for baby.

• Baby’s first birthday is just around the corner. Celebrate!

• Enjoy baby’s first words, first steps and every other first that will happen.

• Continue taking pictures of baby.

• You may be considering another pregnancy.

Bringing your baby home is exciting—it can also be intimidating and mind boggling!

• How do you know what baby’s cries mean?

• How do you know if she’s sick?

• How do you diaper him?

• Is she getting enough milk?

• How do you give him a bath?

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