Postnatal Care

What is Postnatal care?

Postnatal care is the care given to both the mother and the baby after delivery and up to 6 weeks thereafter.

About 5 out of 10 women receive postnatal care in Kenya in comparison to 9 out of 10 who seek care during pregnancy and yet this remains a critical period in the life of the mother and the newborn baby

Only about 4 out of 10 newborn babies get checkup within 2 days after birth in Kenya

A full assessment is needed within the first hour of birth, in 6 hours and within 24 hours before discharge.

Follow up consultations need to be carried out in 2-3 days; within 7-14 days and at around 4-6 weeks after birth. This totals to 3 reviews after discharge

Book Your Postnatal Care Consult with Nyalife Women’s Health Clinic Gynecologist

What is the importance of postnatal care?

Nutrition is key. As a new mum you must eat healthy nutritious meals at all times-a Balanced diet, rich in all the essential nutrients. You also need additional calories especially if breastfeeding and this means you will need two extra meals and 2 snacks in addition to the 3 meals you would  normally eat when not pregnant or breastfeeding. Another important advise is that you take sufficient amount of clean water.

2. Normal bleeding Post-delivery which is termed as lochia in medical terms

You will experience per vaginal bleeding after delivery. This is termed as lochia which contains blood and some tissue from the uterus after delivery such as membranes. The amount and colour of lochia varies depending on the stage. Initial fwe days post-delivery it will appear as dark red and is relatively plenty. In the subsequent days about day 5 to 10 or thereabout; the appearance will be brownish as the amount reduces over time. Lochia Serosa is light yellow and may go on for up to 4 weeks postpartum with irregular  bleeding experienced by some and kind of spotting in amount.

3. Iron and folic acid supplements

You will need to continue taking your iron and folic acid supplements for even up to 3 months after delivery

These are the prenatal vitamins you were taking while pregnant to boost iron and folic acid supply and improve you hemoglobin in blood. Hemoglobin is the molecule that transports oxygen at the tissue level.

4. Rest and Sleep.

You need adequate rest and sleep. Use help. You are encouraged to engage in simple easy exercises and avoid physically strenuous activities. Movement such as walking is advised to avoid blood clotting on the calf leg veins. 

Ultrasound is used for many reasons, including to:

  • View the uterus and ovaries during pregnancy and monitor the developing baby’s health
  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Evaluate blood flow
  • Guide a needle for biopsy or tumor treatment
  • Examine a breast lump
  • Check your thyroid gland
  • Detect genital and prostate problems
  • Assess joint inflammation (synovitis)
  • Evaluate metabolic bone disease
5. Hygiene

Personal Hygiene or General Body Hygiene

• Be clean by taking a shower

Episiotomy Care/Perineal Hygiene

Warm sitz baths is usually recommended to clean the episiotomy wounds and any perineal tears that may be present post vaginal delivery

Your doctor may have prescribed pain killers and antibiotics depending on the degree of tears-Be compliant in taking your medications.

Menstrual Hygiene

Change pads regularly and wash your hands with every pad change and proper disposal.



    6. Breast feeding and Breast Care
    • Breastfeeding Counselling –Attachment and Positioning; On demand; Exclusive; Boosters and Initiation
    • Breast Care
    • Breast Milk Storage in preparation for Return to Work
    7. Postpartum Family Planning or contraception Options

    You want to discuss birth spacing and appropriate birth control method with your health care provider. Proper Birth control option will allow you ample time to recover and also to take care of your new bundle of joy.

    8. Resumption Of Sexual Relations

    This is one of the questions at the back of the minds of couples after delivery. Generally, your reproductive organs may be on their way to recovery by six weeks after delivery and this may be the right time to resume sexual activity. However, remember that for some women the hormones may not be in sync and they may need more time to start. Discuss as a couple on when best to resume sexual relations.

    9. Home Environment

    Your home environment should be quiet, clean and well ventilated. This will help with ensuring good sleep for you and your newborn as well as provide protection against acquisition of germs.

    10. Support from Loved ones

    This is an important time to offer support to a new mother both physically like doing house chores that require a lot of physical exertion, social and emotional support and any other support as deemed fit. A loved one taking care of a newborn baby as a new mom catches some sleep is always a warm welcome

    11. Newborn care

    This involves feeding the baby-exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. Breastmilk is good enough in providing all the nutrition the baby needs for this period amongst other benefits like bonding, providing immunity to the baby, safe and hygienic and cost effective.

    Your baby needs warmth as they lose more heat than adults; An additional 1-2 clothing more than what you are wearing is advised to keep the newborn baby warm and to avoid hypothermia and its harmful effects to the baby. However; you may want to also do this as per the ambient temperature in your area

    Sleep routine;

    Your baby will be sleeping longer hours especially in the fisrt few weeks after delivery with some intervals for feeding; changing and cleaning the baby. This requires a calm and quite environment

    Hygiene and Care of the cord

    Ensure your baby is kept clean and nappies/diapers changed when required. You will most likely be discharged with a tube of chlorhexidine to apply on the baby’s umbilical stump/cord.

    Baby’s Immunization Schedule

     Ensure your baby gets all the vaccines as scheduled-on time.

    Danger Signs for the Mother in the Postpartum Period

    Watch out for the following danger signs post delivery and up to six weeks.

    Seek Emergency care if you experience any of the symptoms


    Postpartum Hemorrhage
    • Increased Vaginal Bleeding;
    • Sudden and heavy bleeding;
    • Signs of Anemia such as Dizziness or faintness, awareness of heartbeat or palpitations, increased heartbeat
    • Severe Headache
    • Visual Disturbances such as blurry vision
    • Epigastric pain or right upper quadrant pain
    • Persistent nausea or Vomiting
    • Convulsions or fits
    Deep Venous Thromboembolism and Pulmonary Embolism
    • Difficulty in breathing; Fast Breathing; Shortness of Breath
    • Cough-may be frothy or blood stained
    • Chest pain or congestion
    • Pain in the Calf muscles and/ or swelling
    Puerperal Sepsis
    • Smelly vaginal discharge
    • Infection of C/S wound or episiotomy site with increased pain, swelling, redness or pus discharge
    • Fever or Chills (Shivering)
    • Persistent Abdominal Pain
    • Breast and nipple pain, swelling or engorgement

    Danger Signs for the Baby in the Postnatal Period

    Watch out for the following danger signs post delivery and up to six weeks.

    Seek Emergency care if your baby has any of the symptoms or is unwell

     1. Fast breathing or difficulty in breathing

    2. Fever or Chills

    3. Irritability

    4. Refusal to breastfeed/feed

    5. Pus discharge or bleeding from the umbilical stump

    6. Yellowness of eyes or skin-jaundice


    Postnatal Review

    Your doctor’s visit will have measurement of the vital signs parameters such as blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate et cetra.

    Your immediate antenatal history and obstetric history among others as described in the components for postnatal care and more will be evaluated and you will then be examined to check on breasts-milk flow, engorgement, involution of the uterus and amount of lochia; calf tenderness.

    Other important history includie questions on urinary or stool leakage, questions to rule out postpartum depression such as

    (persistent low mood or anxiety; lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities; feeling of hopelessness; difficulty carrying out daily activities; suicidal thoughts to harm self or baby); domestic violence.


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