During this period, the mother goes through many physical and emotional changes while learning to care for her newborn. Post natal or postpartum care involves getting proper rest, nutrition, and vaginal care.
Rest is crucial for new mothers who need to rebuild their strength. To avoid getting too tired as a new mother, you may need to:
• sleep when your baby sleeps
• keep your bed near your baby’s crib to make night feedings easier
• allow someone else to feed the baby with a bottle while you sleep
Getting proper nutrition in the postpartum period is crucial because of the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and labour.
The weight that you gained during pregnancy helps make sure you have enough nutrition for breast-feeding. However, you need to continue to eat a healthy diet after delivery.
Experts recommend that breast-feeding mothers eat when they feel hungry. Make a special effort to focus on eating when you are actually hungry — not just busy or tired.
• avoid high-fat snacks
• focus on eating low-fat foods that balance protein, carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables
• drink plenty of fluids
New mothers should make vaginal care an essential part of their postpartum care. You may experience:
• vaginal soreness if you had a tear during delivery
• urination problems like pain or a frequent urge to urinate
• discharge, including small blood clots
• contractions during the first few days after delivery
Schedule a checkup with your doctor about six weeks after delivery to discuss symptoms and receive proper treatment. You should abstain from sexual intercourse for four to six weeks after delivery so that your vagina has proper time to heal.
It’s normal to have the baby blues during the postpartum period. This typically happens a few days after giving birth and can last for up to two weeks. In most cases, you won’t be experiencing symptoms all the time, and your symptoms will vary. About 70 to 80 percent of new mother’s experience mood swings or negative feelings after giving birth. Baby blues are caused by hormonal changes and symptoms may include:
• unexplained crying
• mood changes
The baby blues are different from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression occurs when symptoms last for more than two weeks.
Additional symptoms may include feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and loss of interest in daily activities. Some women with postpartum depression withdraw from their family, have no interest in their baby, and have thoughts of hurting their baby.
Postpartum depression requires medical treatment. Speak with your doctor if you have depression that lasts longer than two weeks after giving birth, or if you have thoughts of harming your baby. Postpartum depression can develop at any time after giving birth, even up to a year after delivery
All women and their families need to be aware of danger signs during the postnatal period.
DO NOT WAIT if you have any of the following danger signs:
• vaginal bleeding has increased
• fast or difficult breathing
• fever and too weak to get out of bed
• severe headaches with blurred vision
• Calf pain, redness or swelling; shortness of breath or chest pain.
• swollen, red or tender breasts or nipples
• problems urinating, or leaking
• increased pain or infection in the perineum
• infection in the area of the wound (redness, swelling, pain, or pus in wound site)
• smelly vaginal discharge
• severe depression or suicidal behaviour (ideas, plan or attempt)
Our health care providers at Aafiyat would be happy to assist you. Please reach out to us at 289-813-0786