Fundus Care/Fundal Massage
It is important to massage your uterus once a day for two weeks after delivery to assist in encouraging uterine contractions, which may feel like cramping/after pains, to help the uterus return to normal. The uterus will gradually get smaller and move down towards the pubic bone over the next few weeks. Follow these steps to ensure your uterus remains firm.
- Attempt to urinate (empty your bladder)
- Lie down on your back
- Place your hand on your abdomen ( your hand should be slightly be above your belly button)
- Firmly, but gently, press down toward you back and toward to your pubic bone. You should feel a mass in your belly (your uterus). It should feel firm any may contract when you massage it.
- Check your pad for bleeding (you may feel a gush of discharge after massaging)
Vaginal Discharge (Lochia)
Lochia is the vaginal discharge that you will experience after delivery. You may have vaginal discharge up to 6 weeks postpartum. Your discharge will change colors as the uterus healing process occurs. You may have increased discharge when your activity increases.
Day 1-3 (approximately) - Reddish to reddish-brown in color and may have some blood clots.
Day 4-9 (approximately) - The Lochia will become thinner and less bright red. It will take on a more pink appearance.
Day 10-12 (may last up to 6 weeks) - Yellowish to white in color.
Call your health care provider if:
- Your uterus is not in the middle of your abdomen after urinating
- Your uterus feels soft after massaging
- You have an increase in bleeding, blood clots or foul smell
- You have a fever of 101 degrees F or greater
- Increased swelling, bruising or tenderness in your vaginal are
When you had your baby, you may have had vaginal abrasions/tears or an episiotomy (incision made on your bottom) may have been done along with repairs. Tenderness may occur after delivery and proper cleanliness care of your bottom will assist in healing and increase your comfort level. While healing is occurring do not wear tampons or douche.
Cleaning Methods - After you use the restroom or shower
Follow these cleaning steps for at least 6 weeks postpartum, until your vaginal discharge has stopped and your perineum is no longer tender. Comfort Methods
- Use your Peri-bottle (received from your hospital or birthing center) with warm water to rinse your bottom (perineum).
- Pat you perineum with a sensitive, soapy washcloth then rinse again.
- Apply ice packs to your perineum for the first 24 hours after delivery.
- Sitz baths may help with discomfort. Fill you tub with warm water and sit in the tub for 10-15 minutes (water will cool). This may be done 2-3 times daily to help with tenderness.
- Breathing relaxation techniques may be utilized to help with discomfort.
To regain strength in your perineum after delivery, you can do these muscle exercises. Start off doing these 3 times a days in sets of 10. Later in your postpartum period, you may increase the amount of times you do these in a day and increase the reps. To do a Kegel tighten the muscles in your perineum (as you do when you start to urinate and stop mid-stream).