Pregnancy is a wonderful phase for every mother but many new moms forget that postnatal care is essential too. While it is a breezy 9 months for some moms, others have a tough time but all this vanishes once the bundle of joy arrives home.
You might have been showered with all the care and attention during the 9 months. Once, the baby arrives, the focus shifts from you to him. All eyes in the family will now be towards him. As a new mother, the most important thing is to look after yourself. You will be drained emotionally and physically, you need to cater to the demanding needs of your baby and yourself.
Postnatal care tips for new moms
Here are some tips to help you in this new phase of motherhood
Get loads of rest
Since you need to feed and change your baby’s diapers frequently, you will be tired and longing for some rest. Sleep when your baby sleeps and take the help of your partner in changing diapers. Allocate household work till you settled into a schedule. Do not do any heavy work especially if you have had a C- section.
Though it’s essential to take your baby to the pediatrician for regular checks and vaccination, do not forget to visit your doctor to check your health. If you have had a C-section, the doctor will check if your stitches have healed. If you are in any discomfort or have any pain, you need to bring it to the doctor’s notice. Your doctor might also recommend some postnatal vitamins for it to heal faster.
It is important to maintain good hygiene for both yourself and baby as you are prone to infection. Wash your hands frequently and keep your baby's hands clean.
If you are feeding your baby frequently, you need to wash your nipples with warm water and apply cream to prevent cracks. Do not encourage visitors, in this period. Even if they do come, in the anxiety of seeing you and your baby, ask them to sanitize their hands before carrying him.
Diet and nutrition
Eat healthy. It is important to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated as you would have had dehydration during pregnancy. You could also be prone to a bladder infection. It is better to avoid food that you avoided during pregnancy like caffeine. Avoid gassy foods. It might cause colic in your baby. Wash all fruits and vegetables before cooking and eat entirely cooked food. Do not forget to include fibrous vegetables in your diet.
You may have bleeding for 2-3 days post delivery, you may not get periods for months or till you breastfeed your baby. Do not panic about it. Keep the genital area clean and wash it with lukewarm water. Your regular period cycle may start 6 months after your baby’s birth.
Breastfeeding takes place naturally after birth. Do not panic if you are not getting milk immediately. It takes time for some moms. Be patient and try different positions to feed your infant. If your breasts are engorged, apply a cold compress and massage your breasts. Consult your doctor if your baby doesn’t latch onto it properly. Rinse your breasts properly after feeding and use a feeding pillow if necessary.
Handling postpartum depression
Postpartum depression occurs in a few new mothers after the birth of their baby. Symptoms of it are: feeling irritant, angry, always worrying and crying, mood swings, the guilt of not looking after the baby properly, not being able to sleep properly, loss of appetite, weight loss, etc. Take support from your partner and family and get counseling if you are facing these. The most important thing is not to hide these feelings but talk to someone.
If you have had a cesarean, be careful about the stitches. Do not put pressure on it while handling your baby. Keep the area clean by wiping it with warm water. If you find any foul smell or have a sensation of something oozing out, consult a doctor immediately.
Exercises are important for you! However, motherhood is also equally important. Once you feel you are ready, start with simple exercises like strengthening your pelvic bones and carry out low-intensity pregnancy exercises. This will help heal you faster. Do some simple exercises like breathing in and out as you lay on your side. You can also go for short walks with the little one on the pram. You can wear abdominal binders to prevent your belly from protruding and it also provides support for stomach and the lower back. Before starting to exercise, please consult the doctor.
Don’t stress too much about your baby fat. It is normal and it won’t reduce in an instant. Do not worry about fitting into pre-pregnancy clothes.
Due to hormonal imbalance, some moms may have an issue with skin like acne and change in complexion. Do not fret about it as it will settle down soon. Apply a moisturizer twice a day and drink a lot of water.
Parenthood is a wonderful phase so enjoy it to the fullest. It is alright to make small mistakes. You can listen to pieces of advice but do what your instincts say. Remember that as a mother you can never go wrong.