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TABLES: 3-1, 3-2, 3-3a, 3-3b, 3-4, 3-5
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TABLE 3-4:
Discomforts of the Postpartum Period and Relief Measures
A Checklist for Fathers and Family Members
Discomfort  New Mother Comfort Measure1 Consultation with Physician/Practitioner
Episiotomy or 
laceration
Apply ice to painful area
Assist mother with her sitz bath
yes
no
Engorged 
breasts
Take warm shower
Apply warm compresses to upper portion of breast. 
Hand expressing. 
Breast massage. 
no
no
no
no
Hemorrhoids  Sit in warm tub (remember to clean feet).
Sit in cold or warm water sitz bath.
Apply cold pack of ice chips in plastic to area.
no
yes
yes
Sore nipples Use warm salt-water soaks.
Change the infant's position. 
Breaking infant suction.
Apply cool wet tea bags to nipples.
Use cream on nipples as recommended by physician/
     practitioner (apply cream around nipple, not on it).
yes
no
no
yes
no
Afterbirth pain
(caused by 
shrinking uterus) 
Apply warm compress or water bottle to abdomen. 
Have a massage to help relax.
Use pillows to aid positioning while nursing.
yes
no
no
Constipation  Drink 12 glasses of water a day. 
Follow a diet that includes fresh vegetables, fruits,
     roughage; encourage mother in limited ambulation.
no
yes
Voiding
difficulties2
Prepare clean warm compress (e.g., place towel
     on abdomen while mother is on toilet)
Allow sink water to run while mother is on toilet.
Use peribottle filled with warm water while mother is 
     on toilet; spray genital area front to back.
no

no
no

Exhaustion  Try to avoid disturbing mother so that her needs
     for rest can be met adequately,
Offer to take care of baby while mother is sleeping.
no

no

1You may suggest or assist in care.
2 If comfort measures are unsuccessful, mother and/or father or family member should consult with physician/practitioner.

 
TABLE 3-4: continued
Discomforts of the Postpartum Period and Relief Measures
A Checklist for Fathers and Family Members
Discomfort  New Mother Comfort Measure1 Consultation with Physician/Practitioner
Incisional pain  Assist new mother to move about in bed. 
Offer diversional activities such as playing the
     radio softly, listening to music, TV, reading;
     talking and listening to new mother,
Massage bony prominences; place pillow between
     legs while new mother lies on her side.
Offer pillows to help with positioning; especially
     while nursing.
Show new mother how to use pillow to support incision.
Assist new mother to get into a comfortable body position.
no
no
 

no

no

no 
no 

Itching skin due 
to increased
bedrest
Provide Clean Sheets.
Keep bedding clean, dry, and free of crumbs, 
Encourage and assist new mother in ambulation. 
Assist new mother with skin hygiene.
no
no 
no
no
1You may suggest or assist in care. If comfort measures are unsuccessful, mother and/or father or family member should consult with physician/practitioner.

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lsb 04/15/2002