The New Mother: Take care of yourself after birth

The New Mother: Take care of yourself after birth
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The New Mother: Take care of yourself after birth

Highlights

The postpartum phase begins after a baby is delivered and concludes when the body is practically back to its pre-pregnancy form

The postpartum phase begins after a baby is delivered and concludes when the body is practically back to its pre-pregnancy form. New mothers go through many changes during the postpartum period, both mentally and physically. You're also figuring out how to deal with all the adjustments that come with becoming a new mother. The postpartum period also involves you and your partner learning how to care for your newborn and learning how to function as a changed family unit. To regain your strength, you must take good care of yourself. During the first few weeks, you'll need plenty of rest, healthy nourishment, and assistance.

Taking Care of Yourself Post Delivery

You're not alone if you find it difficult to find time for yourself when the baby arrives. It's simple to make sacrifices in order to provide the greatest care for your baby. However, you can only provide your child with the finest care if you take care of yourself

Rest

Exhaustion might overwhelm you and your partner, especially if it is your first child. That is the reason why it is suggested that you try to rest as much as possible during the first several weeks after giving birth. A few ways you can manage to do that is by trying to get some sleep or rest when your baby is sleeping. Except for feeding your infant and taking care of yourself, you should delegate all tasks to someone else in the first few weeks. You can also save your time and steps if you keep your baby's bed close to yours, for nighttime feeding.

Nutrition

During pregnancy and delivery, your body has gone through a lot of changes. You need to understand that you would require a considerable amount of time to recover. You should consume a nutritious diet in addition to rest to do this, as it helps in healing. Consume nutritious foods such as bread, leafy vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and fish to keep healthy after giving birth. Snack on fruit or low-fat dairy products if you're hungry in between meals. Incorporate more whole grains, veggies, fruits, and protein into your diet. Increase your fluid intake as well, especially if you're breastfeeding.

Continue taking prenatal vitamins if your doctor recommends it. If you're nursing, your body requires liquid to produce milk, so drink plenty of water anytime you're thirsty. Taking care of yourself will allow you to appreciate this wonderful time with your kid by allowing you to feel like yourself.

Postpartum Depression

After giving delivery, 70 to 80 per cent of new mothers experience mood swings or bad feelings. Although baby blues, caused by hormonal changes, are considered normal, postpartum depression is a bigger issue. Feelings of guilt and worthlessness, as well as a loss of interest in daily tasks, are common symptoms. Postpartum depression can strike at any time after a baby is born, even up to a year later, and should be addressed by a doctor at the earliest

Change in Family Dynamics

You and your partner may spend less quality time together during the postpartum period, which can be problematic. Although this is a difficult and stressful time, there are strategies to cope. Be patient, to begin with. Recognize that every couple undergoes adjustments following the birth of a child. Communicate as a family as well. If someone in the family feels left out, whether it's a spouse or other children, talk about it and be understanding. Although newborns require a lot of attention and you and your partner will be caring for them for the majority of the day, don't feel bad about spending time alone as a couple

Conclusion

While caring for your infant is now your top responsibility, it's equally critical to take care of yourself at this time. Whether you gave birth vaginally or via C-section, your body has been through a lot of stress (and possibly drama) during the delivery and throughout your pregnancy. Allowing yourself to recuperate correctly allows you to be the best mother you can be.

Giving birth can alter your family's structure and routine, but you'll get used to it. Any mental or physical changes that occur after birth will gradually fade. Don't be afraid to discuss any concerns you have with your doctor, whether they are linked to depression, your baby, or the healing process.

(The article is contributed by Dr. Gayathri. BN, Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Milann Fertility & Birthing Hospital, JP Nagar, Bangalore)

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