6 Crucial Tips For Postpartum Care

postpartum care

Postpartum Care Is About More Than The Newborn

What are moms’ needs after birth? Postpartum care for moms is just as important as caring for baby. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed after delivering your baby, especially when your newborn requires your attention while you’re still adjusting as a new mom. Balancing your baby’s needs and your own well-being can be challenging as you learn the ropes of parenting and struggle to find time for self-care. Nevertheless, after-birth support for mothers is an essential aspect of maternal and neonatal well-being.

What Is included In Routine Postpartum Care

All mothers giving birth go through a lot during labor and delivery. Recovery usually needs time and you can’t jump back to normal immediately. Your doctor will recommend a postpartum care and a follow-up plan according to your circumstances, but some elements of care are common for all. These include:

Tip 1 for Mom’s Postpartum Care: Rest

Your body systems work more efficiently when they are well rested. Getting enough sleep helps balance body hormones and secretes more anabolic hormones, which in turn speeds up the healing process. The popular 5 5 5 rule for postpartum suggests one should stay 5 days in bed, 5 days on the bed and 5 days around the bed in the initial days after giving birth for optimal recovery.

Tip 2 For Mom’s Postpartum Care: Eat Healthy Meals

Eat wholesome, nutritious meals and keep hydrated. Enjoy your tall glass of milk and eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Include protein-rich sources to help replace the blood loss during delivery.

Nutrient-rich diet becomes even more critical when you are breastfeeding your baby. The concentration of certain nutrients in breast milk depends upon your diet. Breast is “best” for the baby and you can make it “perfect” with your food choices.

Tip 3: Take Multivitamin Supplements

Your body nutrient stores tend to deplete during pregnancy and you need to replenish them. Supplement your diet with postnatal vitamins. Take it for 3 to 6 months after vaginal birth and even longer if you are breastfeeding. Taking multivitamins, iron and calcium supplements will improve your health and help produce nutritious milk for the baby.

Tip 4: Postpartum Care, You Perineum

Keep your perineum, the area between vagina and anus, clean. Use pads, not tampons, and change pads often to limit the risk of infections. If you have had an episiotomy, then laxatives can help avoid painful straining in the toilet. Wash off after going to the toilet with warm water from front to back and gently pat dry using bathroom tissue.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before holding your baby. Apply lidocaine gel to numb the pain of episiotomy. In addition, Paracetamol and ibuprofen are generally considered safe for pain relief during breastfeeding.

Tip 5: Do Kegel Exercises

Pelvic floor dysfunction is common after vaginal birth. This can lead to symptoms like pressure perineum, leaky urine and issues with sexual function. Kegels’ pelvic floor exercises help strengthen and stabilize the pelvic floor, providing support to pelvic organs and helping alleviate these symptoms. If the issues of vaginal laxity and sexual dysfunction persist, consult an expert in vaginal rejuvenation treatments.

Tip 6: Consider Birth Control

Discussing your contraceptive options with your ob/gyn is essential at this time. Your cycles may get delayed while you are breastfeeding, but that doesn’t mean you cannot get pregnant. You can potentially get pregnant again even before your menstrual cycles have resumed.

Things Not To Do For Postpartum Care

Lift Heavy Objects

Avoid lifting heavy objects and limit taking the stairs as it raises the intra-abdominal pressure. After birth, your pelvic floor is weak and this rise in pressure can lead to downward displacement of pelvic organs. It’s better to be more cautious in the first 6 weeks after giving birth.

Go On A diet

Now is not the time to go on crash diets just to fit into your favorite dresses again. Prioritize your health because your baby’s well-being is strongly connected to yours. Find out what meal plan is right for you and the weight loss will come along gradually.

Do Vigorous Exercise

Going on a hectic workout schedule right after vaginal delivery is not recommended. Your body needs time to heal. Start with gentle exercises like going for a walk. As the weeks go by, gradually transition to more intense workouts. 

Have Sex

Sex is usually painful in the first few weeks after birth due to vaginal dryness and perineal wounds. Many doctors recommend abstinence throughout the puerperium. Any perineal tears or episiotomy would have healed by then and the uterine bleeding/discharge stopped.

Strive For Perfection

A clean house and well-organized wardrobe can wait, as can the piles of laundry. Keep your baby care simple and don’t stress over small messes at home. Your baby does not need a perfectly timed schedule but your loving presence around him.

Importance of Postpartum Care

The main goal of postpartum care is to ensure optimal health for the mother and the baby. Mothers go through many physical and emotional challenges after giving birth. Healthy lifestyle choices and continued support from family make the transition and adjustment into motherhood easier for women. Similarly, professional input and guidance from healthcare providers are important to limit maternal and neonatal complications after birth.

About the Author

Dr. Jehan Ara is a highly qualified consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with a passion for writing and health education. She has more than 10 years of practical patient care experience. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in a medical school and a clinical supervisor for postgraduate residents of obstetrics and gynaecology in the affiliated teaching hospital. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Jehan is also a passionate writer and educator. She regularly writes articles and blog posts on women’s health. She is committed to helping women understand their bodies and make informed decisions about their health.

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