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12. The specific needs for rest in the postpartum woman

a. The new mother needs the opportunity to obtain plenty of rest.

b. Activity should be limited to care of herself and her baby.

c. Assistance should be obtained to take care of siblings, meals, laundry, and household duties for at least I week for the woman who has delivered her child vaginally and 3 to 4 weeks for the woman who has delivered by cesarean section.

d. Fatigue decreases the breast milk supply and the ability to deal with changes and new responsibilities.

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13. The role of ambulation (walking) during the mother's recovery

a. Most women without complications will have been instructed to have short, frequent periods of ambulation. Early walking has been shown to be instrumental in reducing the incidence of blood clotting (thrombosis) and helps greatly in rapid recovery of strength.

b. Women having a vaginal delivery should attempt to stay on one floor for a week, or to limit stair climbing to once or twice a day; stairs should be taken slowly. Have someone assist you in accomplishing this goal.

c. Women having a cesarean birth will usually be strongly advised to stay on one floor and to go up and down stairs just once a day after the first week. Have someone assist you in accomplishing this goal.

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lsb 05/30/2002