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Post-delivery guide for new mothers

Post-delivery guide for new mothers
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Highlights

It’s not just a mother’s body structure that suffers after she delivers her baby, but her entire lifestyle changes. Accepting the changes that her body goes through is tough for women, especially first-timers. But some tips, if followed, can let the phase be less stressful to her. Caring for the mom is as important as caring for the baby.

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It’s not just a mother’s body structure that suffers after she delivers her baby, but her entire lifestyle changes. Accepting the changes that her body goes through is tough for women, especially first-timers. But some tips, if followed, can let the phase be less stressful to her. Caring for the mom is as important as caring for the baby.

Dedicate first three months to baby
The period after childbirth is tedious for the mother. Her sleep is one of the many things that gets affected. The child would be have to be fed and cleaned regularly. During this time, her family and her friends play an important role. If possible, she should be allowed to stay away from the household chores at least for next three months so that she can concentrate on herself and the baby. This is important to as baby’s welfare has to be prioritised. She must take adequate rest whenever she finds time. In addition, the mother should not feel the obligation to entertain visitors.

Take them for a walk with you
Rest is necessary, but so is mobility. After childbirth, some family members insist on mother being on bed for long hours, restricting any physical activity. This might lead to DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) which happens when the blood flow in her legs are restricted. The blood clot occurs in calf vein or occasionally in pelvis.

It can sometimes travel to lung and become life-threatening. While taking rest can be a good idea, she should be left to move around. She can go for walks and breathe some fresh air, sometimes with her baby if she wishes to. The baby should be covered completely and dressed up according to the weather condition. This will help in physical and mental well-being for the mother and the child.

After a C-section, it is not a good idea to let the mother lift heavy weights such as bucket full of water, pile of vegetables, gym equipment, and so on, at least for next three months. Usually, it is best to give the mother enough time till she feels comfortable to get back to work.

Keep them in a germ-free environment
The newborn's well-being is directly linked to hygiene maintained by the person who is handling them. It can be their parents, guardians or helpers. Cleaning yourself well and sanitiaing before you hold a child is important. The environment around the child should be germ-free. People with any kind of infection must be kept away from the mother and the child.

In case of normal delivery, the mother can take bath on the same day. Washing the perennial area well, changing sanitary napkins as and when required is important. While the rules remain same even for mother who underwent c-section, she can take bath after 24-48 hours. She must keep the area with the wound dry.

Mother’s diet should not be restricted
She must drink at least three litres of water every day to keep herself hydrated. A new mother needs to be aware that what she eats not only goes to her but also to the baby through her milk. Therefore, mother should consume a healthy and well-balanced diet consisting of all the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. She must only consume home-cooked meal. She doesn’t have to restrict herself to any kind of diet and must eat well-balanced and nutritious diet.

Mental well-being
It is important for the mother to be active and cheerful post delivery. Postpartum blues are very common in women. This can be treated by adequate counselling and support by her family and friends. (The writer is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Fortis Hospital)

By Dr Anu Sridhar ​

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