A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

Post-birth stuff

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Kess:
Having had my baby a couple of months ago, I was already aware of the differences in the approach to pregnancy in the UK and US, but I was told recently that you're discouraged from bathing after birth until your 6 week check - is this true?  If so, why?  We are told to have at least one bath a day, to help with any stitches and make you more comfortable.

The midwife comes to visit every day for the first week and then less often for another couple of weeks, depending on if you're having any problems (they won't discharge you until they can see your stitches, if any, are healing well, and if you're breastfeeding they won't discharge you until that's established) and then the Health Visitor comes to check how you and baby are doing.  Then at 6-8 weeks you go to your GP and they check baby and give you a brief check.  How is it in the US?

Just Lori:
Good heavens, if someone had told me I couldn't bathe after giving birth, I would have wound up in the hospital's stress center.  I lived in the bathtub, first to provide some physical relief for the healing parts, then to help me relax and then because the tub was one of the few places I could go for some alone time.

The only thing I remember being discouraged to do during the first six weeks was what made me pregnant in the first place. ;)

As far as follow-up visits go, I think moms in the US receive a lot less follow up than you described.  Our GP visited us in the hospital to check on the baby, and we had regular appointments in his office during the first six weeks to track weight gain and general well being.  A lactation consultant visited in the hospital, but after discharge, it's up to the patient to be proactive about seeking help.  The mother's care is similar.  I went in for a follow-up appointment six weeks after delivery, but otherwise I just called the office if I had any issues.

Shoo:
I've never heard that a woman shouldn't have a bath after giving birth.  My doctor told me it would help with healing.

gramma dishes:
When I had my last child, which was 37 years ago, the hospital actually came and got my baby from my room and took her to the nursery for one hour. 

Reason?  So that I could go take a bath or shower!  They pretty much expected every mother to bathe before being discharged from the hospital! 

I have never heard of anyone having the kind of "at home" follow up care you describe.  Once home you're on your own.  If you think there's a problem with either yourself or your infant, it's up to you to call the doctor.

megswsu:
Don't know about the bath thing, but yes, what other posters have described is pretty much how it's done. While in the hospital I was checked everyday, as was the baby. Since I was BF-ing, a lactation consultant came by everyday to see how things were doing and if I had any questions.

The only thing different for me after I left the hospital was b/c I had a c-section, my doc wanted to see me for a "2 week incision check." Then I didn't see him again for another month for the regular 6 week check to see how things were healing down there. I think the only things I've heard that we're supposed to avoid after birth is s*x and maybe exercise. Although I know not all women wait until they're "cleared" at 6 weeks to start exercising (aside from walking).

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