The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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They say nature gives you nine months, but between filling out your registry and decorating the nursery, who has time to think about what you’ll need to care for yourself postpartum? Plus, with so much information out there (some of those checklists are REALLY long) it’s hard to know what you’ll actually need — and what’s a waste of money.
Everyone is fussing over your new baby, but you need some TLC, too—especially in your tender nether regions. Amy Murtha, M.D., of Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., offers these post-delivery self-care tips:
Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help; so may the following:
* Apply ice packs to reduce inflammation and swelling.
* Sit in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water.
* Use refrigerated Tucks pads and/or anesthetic sprays containing a numbing agent such as benzocaine.
You've finalized every detail of your birthing plan, from choosing which CDs will help you relax to deciding whether you want an epidural to ease your pain. But have you thought about how you'll cope after your baby is born? "New moms often are surprised by how long it takes to heal and feel like themselves again," says Judy Chang, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "I know I was."