What is postpartum care and why is it important?
The postpartum period starts after your baby is born and ends when your body has almost returned to its pre-pregnancy state. This period usually persists for 6 to 8 weeks. The postpartum period involves going through many changes, both emotional and physical. In this period a female is also learning to cope with all the changes necessary to become a new mother. The postpartum period also includes teaching you and your partner how to care for your newborn. Postpartum can help learn to function as a family unit. A new mother needs postpartum care of herself to reconstruct her strength. She needs plenty of rest, good nutrition, and assistance for the first few weeks.
1. Rest after delivery
It can be tiresome as the baby has to be fed every 2-3 hours along with other chores. Adults have a habit of getting 8-hour sleep but after delivery, it changes as the baby’s clock is different. Well, this can be managed with the tips below:
– Mother is the best caretaker of a newborn baby so responsibilities besides feeding the baby and taking care of yourself can be taken over by other family members.
– As the baby sleeps for almost 14-17 hours a day, therefore, take a nap when the baby is sleeping. This may be just a few minutes of rest several times a day, but these naps can revive energy.
– Keep your health and baby’s health high on the priority list. Avoid exhausting yourself by meeting too many guests.
– To ease discomfort from vaginal soreness, use a padded ring pillow while sitting
– Stool softener or laxative can be taken in case of constipation as per the doctor’s guidance.
2. A healthy diet
A nutritious diet is one of the important components of postpartum care. A mother’s body has undergone many changes during pregnancy and childbirth. In addition to rest, a healthy diet is a must to recover and to be active. Also, be able to take good care of the baby and yourself. Weight gain during pregnancy helps build reserves for recovery and breastfeeding.
Take the support of your mother and mother-in-law to step in preparing lactation food. Usually, all gynecologist gives a diet plan to new mothers nevertheless do read below tips on the same.
3. Lots of fluids
Breastfeeding mothers need extra fluids to substitute fluid loss in their bodies and facilitate milk production. Also, fluids will help relieve issues like constipation and many more. A high calcium diet needs to be consumed, so dairy products are also important for lactating mothers.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Eat a variety of vegetables, including dark green, orange, and red vegetables, legumes. Vegetable soups can be prepared for mid-day meals.
Secondly, include seasonal fruits and fruit juices in your diet to replenish the body. Smoothies are one of the quick and easy ways to consume fruits.
Thirdly, salads like papaya salad, rainbow salad can be consumed. Raw papaya salad aids in lactation as well.
5. Prefer a low-fat or fat-free diet. Also, include grains like rice, whole wheat, oats, and other cereals to boost energy levels and for a good recovery.
Difference between baby blues and postpartum depression
About 80% of new mothers experience mood swings or after delivery. Baby blues are caused by hormonal changes, and here are a few symptoms:
– Restlessness/ anxiety
– Mood swings
– Low energy/ sadness
– Sleep issues
Postpartum depression is different from baby blues. It occurs when symptoms continue for more than two weeks. Postpartum depression seeks medical treatment. It can develop at any time after giving birth, even up to a year after delivery.
When to start exercising?
Weight loss is one of the worries every mother has after giving birth. Therefore, many mothers start dieting in the initial days, which is not suggested. Improper diet can lead to a lack of nutrition in breastmilk and hence in the baby.
Mild exercises and regular walks can be started as per your doctor’s guidance. Followed by moderate activity and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts.
Strengthen your pelvic floor with Kegel’s exercises.