Post-Birth Appointment Q & A

female doctor with young female patientNo matter how confident you felt leaving the hospital with your little one, questions tend to come up as you discover all the wonders (and weird body changes) a new baby brings. It’s best to have these questions written down before heading to your first post-baby OB appointment so you don’t forget anything.

Here are a few questions we tend to hear from new mothers, just to get you started, but you should feel free to come up with your own list:

Q: When is it safe to be intimate with my partner?
A: You may feel like hanging a “Closed until further notice” sign, but it’s good to know a timeline. Six weeks is the typical answer.

Q: When will I get my next period?
A: This will depend heavily on your choice to breastfeed or not.

Q: How much/how long should I bleed?
A: It should taper off after a week or so, and by six weeks out, you should only see light spotting. If you’re bleeding heavily or passing large clots, don’t wait until your scheduled appointment to call your doctor.

Q: Were there any issues or complications during delivery that could affect any future pregnancies?
A: You may have been told about any issues at the time, but your mind was focused on more important things!

Q: When can I go back to my regular exercise routine?
A: This will likely depend on your physical condition before and during pregnancy.

Q: Will my belly ever look normal again?
A: ALL bellies are normal. Yours may or may not ever look like it did before pregnancy, but you grew a little human in there, so cut yourself some slack.

Q: Is it safe to take my medications or to drink alcohol if I breastfeed?
A: Always check with your doctor before using any drugs or alcohol as a breastfeeding mother.

Q: Why do I pee a little when I laugh or stand up or even hear water running?
A: Sorry, but that comes with the territory. There may be some exercises that can help, but you may not ever want to jump on a trampoline again.

Q: Why do I feel so sad (or ambivalent or fatigued or overwhelmed or irritable)?
A: The “baby blues” aren’t uncommon, but you should never try to “get over it” without support or guidance. For additional support, consult your physician about postpartum depression. 

Q: What’s happening to my nipples?
A: If you’re experiencing painful, bleeding or cracking nipples when breastfeeding, this can be a sign that your baby isn't latching correctly. You’ll want to discuss this with your doctor. Also, if you have aching pain inside your breasts, this could indicate a clogged milk duct or even infection. You should consider discussing this with a lactation consultant. 

Q: Why are my breasts so much bigger (or smaller or harder and rounder or not-so-perky)?
A: Your doctor can give you the scientific explanation, but for now, rest assured that your body has worked very hard to bring new life into this world, and any changes are normal and natural.

Most importantly, if you have a question—ask it! Doctors have heard it all, so there’s no need to be embarrassed.