Postpartum Care and Tips for New Mothers

Postpartum Care and Tips for New Mothers

Expert's View Healthcare

The postpartum period is the first six weeks post-pregnancy or delivery of a baby. This period signifies a healing period, especially for the mother. It is when the mother’s body returns to its pre-pregnancy state.

This is a crucial stage for a mother as she copes with multiple changes and her health. These changes include breastfeeding, irregular sleeping patterns of the child, and hormonal changes. A new mother may undergo certain physical changes, which may be mild and temporary.

Dr. Sonal Mhatre, BHMS, with 17 years of Clinical experience, shares useful tips for new mothers to care for their physical, social, emotional, and mental health. 

Tips for Physical Health:

  • Avoid lifting anything that may be heavier than your baby while you are recovering. This is especially important in the case of C-section delivery.

  • The entire episode of getting admitted, giving birth, and returning home may affect the mother’s sleep. The first few weeks after delivery are essential for a mother to rest whenever possible. Resting as much as possible can help one recover faster and better.

  • Limit taking staircase. During the first week post-delivery, it is advised that the new mother should try and cut down on climbing stairs. One must try to avoid any strenuous movement during this period.

  • In addition to the above, Dr. Sonal advices to wash hands frequently and maintain hygiene. This may seem trivial, but it can help the mother avoid infection from herself and the baby. A new mother must ensure she washes her hands after using the bathroom, changing the baby’s diaper, and feeding the baby. 

Social tips to remember:

  • It is not the time for perfection: New mothers should constantly remember that the postpartum period is for them to recover and not use their energy on unimportant things. Their health and resting should be their priority. One must not push themselves to make their home look perfect during this time.

  • Limit visitors: People may want to come over and meet a new family member. However, this might not be the best time to host guests. New mothers must remember that it is OK to limit visitors or say no completely for the first few weeks as this is when a mother is adjusting to her new life with the baby and healing from the delivery.

  • It is OK to ask for help: Dr. Sonal advises that during this time of recovery, it is perfectly fine for a new mother to seek help. Let family and friends know ways in which they can help you. This could mean help with household chores, cooking meals, and babysitting siblings. Meeting the constant needs of a newborn involves time and energy. Therefore a new mother should take help.

Mental health tips to remember:

Childbirth may trigger powerful emotions in a mother. Many new mothers undergo a period full of anxiousness, also known as baby blues or postpartum depression. Symptoms may include extreme mood swings, anxiety, crying spells, and difficulty sleeping. 

But the good news is baby blues typically subside within two weeks. And the new mother is soon free from baby blues.

Further, Dr. Sonal suggests that a new mother requires medical care post-delivery also. She urges new mothers to schedule appointments and follow-up visits after one week of delivery with their doctor and take steps to ensure they recover well. 

Other important things to remember as a part of post-delivery care include:

  • New mothers must continue taking their prenatal vitamins every day.

  • Drinking sufficient water and fluid each day is essential. Water, juice, soup, and milk are good options when trying to accomplish this goal.

  • Going for a walk can be a good break and a little exercise too. Walking is a gentle way to start exercising again after delivery.

  • Eating healthy! New moms must take care of their diet and include lots of fruits and vegetables. It is also recommended that they avoid alcohol and caffeine during this time.

  • The body needs time to heal after giving birth, and waiting a few weeks to have intercourse is a part of that healing process. 

  • One must take the required birth control measures. Despite not menstruating and breastfeeding, there are high chances of getting pregnant. So consult your doctor about the preventive measures. 

  • It is important not to use tampons in the first few weeks after birth. New moms must not insert a tampon or douche in the first four to six weeks after delivery. Using pads is the safest method. 

According to Dr. Sonal, the first six weeks post-delivery is a sensitive period for a new mother. The more care she takes for her health, the faster she may recover. Therefore, women must rest and care for themselves as they recover from labour and birth.