You've been through the long months of pregnancy during which you felt both excited and worried. You made it through the labor and delivery and you now have a beautiful new baby. What now?

What now, indeed. The postpartum period that occurs just after you deliver your baby is a subject that tends to receive short shrift in comparison with all the fuss and bother surrounding pregnancy, labor, and delivery. But the postpartum period is no less exciting and worrisome than the rest of the process and deserves every bit as much attention.

How will you feel after the baby is born? You may wonder whether you will be in pain. How much pain can you expect to experience? How long does the pain last? How can you know if your after-birth symptoms are normal or are deserving of special medical attention? If you had stitches, you will want to know how to care for them.

Baby Blues

You may be concerned about your mental state. You've heard that mothers can get the "baby blues." How can you know whether your emotional turmoil is par for the course or something that needs looking into? Perhaps you expected to have an immediate bond with your infant yet you didn't feel anything much when the doctor laid the baby in your arms. Should you be concerned?

Another issue concerns lactation. If you decide to nurse your baby, you may find that nursing causes its own discomforts in the early days. We can tell you how to minimize the discomfort while ensuring that your nursing gets off to a good, solid start. If you don't plan to nurse, you will want to learn how to minimize the discomfort as your breasts become engorged.

Pregnant Belly

The new mother may despair at the way her body looks and feels just after the birth. Perhaps you expected your pregnant belly to disappear right away. But we can tell you how to get back into shape the sensible way.

Diet may be another issue. You want to lose those extra pounds you put on during the pregnancy, but a new mother needs to eat well. This is even truer for nursing moms. We tell you how to get the nutrition you need without packing on the pounds.

What about sex? For some moms, sex is the last thing they want to think about after just giving birth. When is it safe to have sex again? Will resuming sex after having a baby come with a certain amount of discomfort? These subjects and many more are treated in a warm and sensible manner within this section of