Care And Recovery Post-Pregnancy
Bajaj Finserv Health Team, Gynaecologist
November 26, 2020
As a first-time mother, you might feel anxious as you what to do the best for your new-born. From what products are best suitable to your baby to best way of nursing, you would have done your research during pregnancy period. But a mother shouldn’t forget that apart from the baby care, she needs self- care as well.
The body entirely changes physically and emotionally when one undergoes pregnancy and delivery. This is why postpartum care is extremely crucial. Postpartum period is right after delivery till the body is in pre-pregnancy state which takes about 6-8 weeks. From what to eat to what not to, there would be many questions that can bother a new mother. If you have people who are experienced to guide and help you, it would be like a blessing at this stage. If not, we shall try to cover as much as possible in this article that can help you with postpartum care.
- Time to Rest: This would be the favorite word for the mother of a new born child. Difficulty is sleeping becomes a part of last trimester especially the last few weeks of pregnancy. And after the exhaustive delivery, the first and foremost thing a woman needs is ‘Rest’. Yet, it’s just the beginning! As the new born wakes up every 2-3 hours and needs to be fed, changed and cleaned multiple times a day. So, a straight 8 hours sleep would be difficult for few more months. This may feel tiresome and frustrating for first month, but gradually a routine is set. And you shall often hear this statement, ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’.
Also, it would be best if you could find some help who could handle rest of the work and you would be left with feeding your baby and taking care of yourself. In the Indian society, one can expect a lot of visits from relatives and friends around this time. Don’t push yourself too hard and let your partner handle the duty to attend the guests. Feel free to excuse yourself for resting or feeding the baby.
A good massage can be helpful for you. With muscles being tired and sore with delivery and baby care, a massage can be soothing and refreshing. Get it once your baby’s massage is over, which will put the baby to sleep and you can have yours without interruption.
- Focus on healthy eating: Most mothers are so exhausted with their new routine that they forget and neglect another important aspect; food. It is vital for you to heal well and good breastfeed. Post-delivery, the lost blood and energy needs to be replenished by eating healthy and nutritious food.
If you are with your mother or mother-in-law, you might have already heard what should be eaten and what not multiple times! Here are few tips that can help you make a proper diet plan which will not just help you regain back your energy and body back but also pass on the nutrients to the baby.
Other foods such as: Fenugreek seeds, Sesame seeds, Turmeric, carom seeds, Ginger is equally important for post pregnancy healing as it is rich in nutrients. Include Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet which can help brain and eye development. Try different recipes which incorporate these superfoods in your diet.
What women cannot have post pregnancy?
Mostly all foods are safe for the women post pregnancy, but it one should be cautious as what is eaten is passed to the baby through breastmilk.
- Avoid fried foods and gassy foods which are difficult to digest.
- Avoid alcohol and nicotine completely.
- Avoid fish with high mercury.
- Limit caffeine.
- Avoid allergic foods.
- Avoid ice-creams and carbonated drinks.
- Consult your doctor before taking any medications.
Check out few tips that can be helpful after delivery;
- Due to sore perineum after delivery or iron supplements, one can feel constipated. But few things can help, like eating more fiberous foods, eating frequent smaller meals, drinking lots of water, taking short walks if comfortable.
- Let your perineum heal. Try icing the perineum every few hours in first 24 hours post delivery. Soaking in a warm bath can be useful for reducing soreness.
- Do kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic area. Hold the muscles as if stopping urine for 10 seconds and then release. Do these 10 times for 3 sets during the day. This shall help in urinary incontinence as well.
- Soreness of breast can be discomforting for first few weeks. Try ice packs or warm compress for soothing them.
- You need extra care for your C- section scar. You should gently clean with mild soap and water and pat dry with towel. Your doctor shall provide you with ointment to help it heal faster. Do not lift anything heavy except for your baby.
- Indulge in massages, hot packs or hot showers for reducing pains and aches post-delivery.
- Stay well hydrated and eat nutritive foods to help recover faster.
- Once your doctor allows, you can start taking walks to increase blood circulation and improve muscle tone.
- To keep your posture right to reduce back aches post-delivery, take support of pillows while breastfeeding to avoid bending.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family or friends if feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Hormones, lack of sleep and taking care of new born might lead to what is called baby blues. But if the feeling of sadness and anxiety gets stronger, you might be suffering from post-partum depression (PPD). In this case, you might need to talk to the doctor, as it is a medical condition quite common after delivery and needs treatment.