Frequently Asked Questions On Postnatal Care Services
Why is postnatal care services important for mothers?
Postnatal care services for mothers are important for ensuring you are recovering well from childbirth. There are two goals for postnatal care:
- Ensuring a healthy recovery
- Checking for complications
How often should I come back for postnatal care?
There are several key visits for postnatal care:
48 hours after delivery – Pre-discharge checkup
The mother and baby will remain in the hospital for a few days after birth. This will ensure they are safe to go home after delivery
1 – 2 weeks post-delivery – Initial Postnatal Care Checkup
This visit will be used to:
- Check healing of the episiotomy and tears, and wound post caesarian section
- Check if breasts are healthy and producing milk efficiently
- Check for complications post delivery
- Introduction of family planning methods
It is important to return for this visit as there may be complications even if there are no symptoms.
4 – 6 weeks post-delivery – Family Planning and Healing Monitoring
This visit is focused on continuing to check on healing and complications post-delivery. In addition, the visit will be used to discuss and receive a family planning method.
What danger signs should I be aware of post-delivery?
It is important to keep the mother and baby safe after delivery. There are several danger signs to be aware of to ensure proper postnatal care for mothers.
Danger signs in the Mother:
If you see any of the following signs, take the mother to the hospital immediately!
- Heavy bleeding
- Bad smell from vagina
- Fits or convulsions
- Abdominal pain
- Pain of passing small urine
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Red, hot, or painful breasts
- Severe headache
- Signs of postpartum depression
- Your “baby blues” don’t get better.
- Sadness or guilt consume your thoughts.
- You lose interest in things you enjoy.
- You have trouble making decisions.
- You worry you won’t be a good mom.
- Your sleep patterns have changed.
- You’ve had big, stressful changes in your life.
- You think about harming yourself.
Danger signs in the Baby:
If you see any of the following signs, take the baby to the hospital immediately!
- Difficulty feeding (less than 6 times in 24 hours)
- Drowsiness (seems drowsy, less active, hard to wake)
- Excessive vomiting (swollen stomach and vomits all feeds)
- Swelling (umbilical cord is red, smelling, or swollen)
- Reduced nappies (less than 5 wet nappies in 24 hours) But please note that not passing stool for 1 or 2 days is normal for an exclusively fed child
- Difficulty breathing (visible ribs, grunting sounds)
- Yellow or pale color
When can I have sex with my partner again after giving birth?
It is best to wait at least 6 weeks before resuming intercourse to give the mother time to heal.
When should I start using family planning?
Remember you can become pregnant before you resume your period! Therefore you should start using contraception 4 - 6 weeks post delivery.
When can I become pregnant again?
It is possible to become pregnant again before your periods resume.