Postpartum infection is a common complication of childbirth that can cause serious health problems if not addressed promptly. As a new mother, it’s essential to take steps to prevent postpartum infections and keep yourself and your baby healthy. In this article, we’ll discuss the key strategies for postpartum infection prevention.
Wash your hands frequently
Washing your hands frequently is one of the most important things you can do to prevent postpartum infections. Wash your hands before and after handling your baby, before eating, and after using the bathroom.
Keep your perineal area clean
After giving birth, you’ll need to keep your perineal area clean to prevent infection. Use a peri-bottle filled with warm water to clean your perineal area after using the bathroom, and change your pad frequently.
Don’t share personal items
Don’t share personal items like towels, washcloths, or razors with others. These items can harbor bacteria and increase your risk of infection.
Avoid sexual activity
Avoid sexual activity until your doctor gives you the green light. Having sex too soon after giving birth can increase your risk of infection.
Breastfeed your baby
Breastfeeding can help prevent postpartum infections, as it can help your uterus contract and expel any remaining tissue or blood.
Take care of your nipples
Take care of your nipples by keeping them clean and dry, and using a lanolin cream to soothe soreness or irritation. If you develop cracked or bleeding nipples, seek medical attention promptly.
Attend your postpartum checkups
Your postpartum checkups are essential for monitoring your physical and emotional health and addressing any potential health issues. Attend all of your postpartum checkups and be sure to discuss any concerns or symptoms with your healthcare provider.
Take your medications as prescribed
If your healthcare provider prescribes medications, be sure to take them as directed. Don’t stop taking your medications without consulting your healthcare provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of postpartum infection?
The symptoms of postpartum infection can include fever, chills, abdominal pain, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and pain or redness around your perineal area or c-section incision.
How common are postpartum infections?
Postpartum infections are relatively common, affecting approximately 1-3% of all births in the United States.
Can postpartum infections be prevented?
Yes, postpartum infections can be prevented by practicing good hygiene, breastfeeding, attending postpartum checkups, and taking medications as prescribed.
What should I do if I suspect I have a postpartum infection?
If you suspect you have a postpartum infection, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Postpartum infections can be serious and require prompt medical attention.
What are the risk factors for postpartum infections?
The risk factors for postpartum infections include c-section delivery, prolonged labor, premature rupture of membranes, multiple vaginal exams during labor, and anemia.
Is it safe to breastfeed if I have a postpartum infection?
It’s generally safe to breastfeed if you have a postpartum infection, but you should consult your healthcare provider for specific guidance.
Can postpartum infections affect my baby?
Postpartum infections can affect your baby if left untreated, so it’s essential to seek prompt medical attention if you suspect you have an infection.
How long does it take to recover from a postpartum infection?
The recovery time for a postpartum infection can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the type of treatment you receive. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for recovery.
Can postpartum infections be fatal?
In rare cases, postpartum infections can be fatal, especially if left untreated. Seeking prompt medical attention is essential in preventing serious complications.
Practicing postpartum infection prevention can help you stay healthy and avoid potential health complications. By taking steps to care for yourself and your baby, you can enjoy a safe and healthy postpartum recovery.
Some additional tips for postpartum infection prevention include getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and eating a healthy diet. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.
Postpartum infection prevention is an essential part of postpartum recovery. By practicing good hygiene, breastfeeding, attending postpartum checkups, and taking medications as prescribed, you can reduce your risk of developing postpartum infections and stay healthy and happy as a new mother.