Common Postpartum Concerns
Beyond Postpartum Depression
What about circumcision?
If you choose to have your son circumcised, it’s best done after 24 hours, so that your pediatrician has had a chance to check your baby. Waiting any longer allows your son to further develop the sheathing over his nerves that will better carry pain sensation. But the window, from purely a private practice experience, is still several days. Today, using topical anesthetic creams is urged, but I haven’t seen convincing results. Some babies holler, some don’t. And they all fall back asleep immediately after. The only anesthetic that will completely numb the area involves sticking needles into skin all around the glans, but I think this is crazy and more of a production than what’s involved in circumcision. Some pediatrician use this option routinely.
“Another technique being used is the use of a glucose solution that babies are given to suck on prior to the procedure,” says Beth Iovinelli, a labor and delivery nurse. “Anecdotal reports by staff claim it helps, although research did not find a reduction in pain (ie crying, during procedure). Breastfeeding as soon as possible after the procedure can help with discomfort and stress.”
If a circumcision is done, it will be done either by your obstetrician or the pediatrician. It depends on the hospital where you deliver your baby who will be performing the circumcision. Most commonly, the pediatrician will dothe circumcision, but in some hospitals the obstetrician may do this procedure.
What about tub baths?
The great hypocrisy is that you’re told to avoid tub baths, but if you have an infection from an episiotomy, you’re urged to soak in warm water.
The bottom line is that baths are fine, otherwise they wouldn’t be recommended with infection. The vagina is what is called a “potential” space. For you men out there, this doesn’t mean that it has a great potential, but that it’s not a space unless something actually occupies it. Otherwise, its walls, floor, and ceiling collapse together. Water won’t get in unless you open the lips of your vagina and swoosh it in. That would be bad, cause infections, and warrant the admonitions. But that won’t happen accidentally, so tub baths are fine. Keep in mind that tub baths make you more prone to bladder infections, though.
What about driving?
You can drive as soon as you’re not dizzy. The fluid shifts, and anemia that can accompany delivery may make you a little unsteady for a few days. But if you don’t experience any dizziness and are not taking any narcotics driving should be OK as long as your doctor clears you for this.
What about stairs?
Any activity, including stair climbing, if it doesn’t hurt or easily fatigue you, is OK. Even after a C-section. If you listen to your Grandma, she’ll have you “lying in” for six weeks. Get as active as your body lets you. Those who join the land of the living fastest, heal the fastest.
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