Postpartum services in Port St. Lucie, Florida
Expectant mothers often spend lots of time researching what to expect during pregnancy, but what about after your baby is born?
At HCA Florida St. Lucie Hospital, we are here to help you care for yourself and your body following childbirth. After delivery, your body can seem just as mysterious and strange as it did in the early days of pregnancy. You may also have lots of questions about caring for your newborn. That's why our postpartum care team at The Birth Center is here to support you and your baby immediately after birth. By doing this, our goal is to ease your transition into motherhood and empower you in your journey as a parent.
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Postpartum care services after birth
When you deliver at our hospital, you receive access to prenatal care, a private, personalized labor and delivery experience and continued postpartum care after the birth of your child.
Following birth, your baby can remain in your room with you, allowing as much skin-to-skin contact and bonding time as possible. However, our nurses are also available to care for your little one whenever you need time to rest or care for yourself.
Throughout your hospital stay, our team will be tending to the needs of both you and your baby. Additionally, we partner with a photography service, Mom 365, for newborn photography. If you choose to participate in this service, you may view your baby's photos here.
Breastfeeding is a learned skill for you and your baby, so if you’d like to breastfeed, we can help you both learn successful techniques.
Postpartum visitation and care
The Birthing Center supports open visitation hours* for your friends and family. We do ask you to keep in mind the physical needs of both you and your baby. Proper rest and recovery time are essential following labor and delivery.
*Visitation policy may change due to circumstances.
Postpartum changes for mom
Just as early pregnancy causes many rapid changes, so does childbirth. As soon as labor is over, your body begins to return to its pre-pregnancy state.
The following changes begin to take place:
- Delivery causes aches and pains throughout the body, but especially in the back.
- Your breasts may continue to enlarge. After birth, they will secrete colostrum, a thick, yellow milk that’s filled with nutrients for your newborn. Your breasts may feel sore, but a supportive bra and cold compresses can help.
- Starting during labor, your uterus will begin to shed its lining, called "lochia." The lochia will lighten in color and volume as time passes. The entire process should be complete by your six-week postpartum checkup.
- Your uterus begins to contract and return to its normal size. These contractions sometimes continue for up to a week after the birth and can cause some abdominal discomfort. You may find a warm compress or heating pad soothes the pain.
- Your hormone levels adjust. In just a few days, progesterone and estrogen levels can vary by up to 90 percent. These drastic fluctuations may cause mood swings or sadness. If these feelings last more than a short time, contact your prenatal care provider.
- Your skin may develop blotches or other discoloration that usually goes away relatively soon after delivery. Other differences in complexion also usually disappear as hormone levels normalize.
- Women who breastfeed will note a marked increase in appetite. On average, breastfeeding mothers need about 500 extra calories per day. It’s important to eat nutrient-rich foods that are not high in fat or sugar during this time.
Postpartum depression support
Pregnancy and birth are wondrous and life-changing experiences. As such, many women experience the "baby blues" after birth, which may be described as feelings of sadness and fatigue. However, if these feelings last for more than a short time, it could be postpartum depression.
If you feel you may have postpartum depression, you're not alone. Postpartum depression is common. In fact, about one in eight women report having postpartum depression symptoms.
We recommend talking with your OB/GYN or nurse if you experience postpartum depression symptoms, as they can help you get the support and resources you need to feel better. Seeking help is the first step to feeling like yourself again.
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