safe motherhood



Each day your midwife will check:

• your temperature and pulse to detect for infection and other conditions
• blood pressure - some women develop high blood pressure after delivery
• lochia (discharge from the womb) and your uterus - to ensure your blood loss is normal, and your uterus is shrinking as expected
• legs - to check for signs of thrombosis. Tell your midwife immediately if you experience any pain, swelling or redness in your legs
• breasts - for nipple soreness or breast pain, or other signs of feeding difficulties
• perineum - this is the strong wedge of muscle between your vagina and your anus that takes most pressure as you deliver your baby. The midwife will monitor the healing of any trauma and whether you have any difficulties passing urine or opening your bowels
• how you are feeling generally. Do ask questions or talk about worries.

Things you may find useful in the early days

• Arnica tablets, lavender oil, witch hazel for soothing soreness and bruising
• a small plastic jug to use when washing your perineum
• a small mirror to help you see your perineum
• plenty of soft, dark-coloured towels
• maternity pads and several pairs of old (or disposable) knickers
• soft pillows or child's swimming ring to sit on or a Valley Cushion - which you can hire from the NCT
• spare pillow cases, flannels.

Dealing with any stitches

• keep them clean and dry
• eat plenty of fruit and fibre so that you don't need to strain to open your bowels
• drink plenty of water, around three litres a day, and urinate regularly
• tell your midwife if you have severe pain or any discharge from your stitches
• have a warm bath (putting salt in your bath water doesn't help your stitches heal, but a warm bath is very relaxing).