One of the greatest joys a couple can feel is welcoming a baby. The feeling can even be hard to describe in words for some people. Mothers spend months carrying the baby and preparing themselves for the ultimate welcome. But unfortunately, doctors and maternal healthcare experts are concerned about a serious and prevalent issue.
Mothers don’t have enough time, attention, and preparation for them to recover during the postpartum period. Birthing a child is one of the most challenging times a parent goes through, but self-recovery is not given enough attention. Pregnancy from labor to delivery to postpartum is different for every woman. Nevertheless, that does not mean that there is no way you can prepare for that.
Technology has rapidly expanded, making the Internet a vital tool for providing virtual social support for women, enabling them to cope with their new experiences in becoming parents. This way, the internet has also created a global village where mothers can easily communicate and interact while seeking the help and resources they need. Moreover, you can find the guidance and information you want using a reliable internet connection like Cox Internet.
But before everything, you need to know what the postpartum period is and what you will possibly be dealing with.
What is a postpartum period?
The first six weeks after the delivery are usually called the postpartum period. It might be a period of extreme joy and happiness, but something else is also needed during this time. And that is care for the mother. The body has gone to lengths to deliver the baby; it needs time to heal and recover. Therefore, you should bond with your newborn and visit your doctor regularly to stay healthy during this period. In addition, you need to take care of your body to start your routine life quickly after delivery. For this very reason, you must pay utmost attention to your body.
Myths about Postpartum
Women have been giving birth since the beginning of human history, but still, there are several misunderstandings about the postpartum period. So many of these adversely affect mothers’ health and can also result in post-natal issues. First is that pains during postpartum are normal. The reality is that while some pains are normal, as the uterus is shrinking, extreme pains are not normal, and the doctor should be consulted immediately. The second myth comes with the 6-week check-up. After your 6-week check-up, people say your body is ready for everything. But while it may be ready, that doesn't mean you'll want to.
Another wrong assumption is that baby blues and depression are the same things. The difference is that baby blues may last up to 2 weeks. If they persist, you should see a doctor because postpartum depression is dangerous. Apart from these, postpartum health is not just the mother’s responsibility. Concerned people need to play a role that helps the mother to heal and recover steadily.
Tips for maintaining health during Postpartum Period
Some of the following tips need to be considered during the postpartum period. These will not only help you keep your physical health but will also maintain your mental health. Both are equally important. Because your newborn needs a healthy and fit mother. So, if you are about to enter postpartum or are already there, these tips are for you.
SNOWBALL is the term given by maternal healthcare specialists to new mothers. Then, it gets easy for them to remember how to remain fit and fine. S is for sleep; sleeping is crucial for the mother’s body to bounce back. Sleeping can be difficult with a newborn; this is where others need to chip in so mothers can get a good sleep. N is for nutrition; eat healthy food that makes up for all the lost nutrients. O is for omega; fish oils can help reduce stress and anxiety. W stands for walking; start walking as soon as you like it.
B stands for baby breaks; taking time for yourself is also essential. A stand for adult time; when taking a baby break, you can spend time with other adults, especially your partner. The two Ls stands for liquids and laughter. Drinking at least two quarters of water daily and a heavy dose of laughter is essential and healthy.
2. Keep an Eye on Tears
Tearing can happen, mostly with vaginal births that are first times. Statistics show that around 85 to 90 percent of first-time vaginal births can cause mild tears or grazes. So, this isn’t something to worry about. These birth injuries are normal and common. You need to take care of the tears and don’t ignore them because they are normal.
Every birth is different, so how long it takes for a tear to heal depends on its severity. However, there are two symptoms that you need to be very careful about. The first is excessive pain, and the second is high fever. To relieve pain, use regular painkillers, doughnut-shaped cushions, cold packs, peri bottles, etc.
3. Food is required to Make Food
Food is vital for the postpartum mother. Breastfeeding a newborn is even more than a full-time job. It is difficult for mothers to eat simultaneously during this period, especially with both hands. So, when planning meals for the postpartum period, remember these things. Make something that can be eaten using just one hand. These things should be quick and easy to make.
Also, remember that during day time, help may not be available. This is the time for breakfast and lunch. Eating will be difficult if your baby tends to stay up during the day. However, it is extremely important for a breastfeeding mother to eat, as food is required to make further food. Prepare soup, easy lasagna, healthy cookies, sandwiches, etc.
4. Find your Way
Each birth and postpartum is unique. So, while you may ask others for tips and experiences, you still need to find your way. For example, all babies have a different routine of sleeping and feeding. Some babies have no routine at all. So, while the baby can’t be made to adjust, you can. Make your schedule for eating, sleeping, relaxing, having some me-time and meditation, etc.
Worrying too much about what others think can lead to mental health problems during the postpartum period. Always remember that people will have opinions about how you should care for yourself and the baby. Take advice, sure, but you are not obligated to follow it.
5. Sleeping is a MUST
Sleeping difficulties in the postpartum period are common and normal. But that doesn’t mean your body will automatically become used to sleeplessness and still work normally. You need to sleep; no kidding, this is a must. Your body needs rest more than anything else after delivery. This is important for physical and mental healing.
Check your baby’s sleeping pattern and take as much sleep as possible when the baby is not up. Don’t care about things that don’t matter. For example, if you think the house needs cleaning, don’t get up and clean it. Let it be dirty. Nothing else matters now, and everything can be dealt with later.
6. Don’t Skip Exercise
Getting enough sleep and rest is important, but you also need to move a bit. While your body needs all the necessary rest to heal, exercise can make this process easy and fast. This doesn’t have to be vigorous. Just start a routine of walking for some time. Many doctors advise that mothers start walking a day or two before delivery and continue during postpartum.
So going for a walk does not mean starting to run a marathon; keep it short and comfortable. But if you can walk, don’t stick to the bed. Instead, gradually increase your activity so returning to routine is not difficult. Walking during this time will help you in the long run.
7. Mobilize your Circle
Dealing with your body and the newborn can be difficult if you do this alone. You need your inner circle to come in for help now. Your parents, siblings, and friends can take turns and take away some responsibility from you. This is important as you can get some time to sleep and rest while someone else is looking after the baby or cooking and cleaning.
If you can, hire some help as well. But it can also come with some problems, so please take a stand when needed. Other people, whoever they are, are here for help. Their unwanted opinions should be given little attention. Your family and friends can be entertained later; postpartum is for you and the baby. If they are of no help, communicate clearly.
8. Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues can get mixed. If you don’t know the clear difference between the two, it can cause you much trouble. Baby Blues are standard. Almost every mother experiences them; if some don’t, that’s fine too. Some symptoms of baby blues are uncontrolled crying and sadness, extreme irritability, sleeplessness, and restlessness.
A small amount of paranoia can be included in this as well. For example, some mothers can’t sleep at night thinking the baby isn’t fine. All of this is fine unless it continues till the first two weeks. If the symptoms persist after that, it can be postpartum depression. Some other symptoms are feeling worthless and not wanting to meet anyone. In addition to the feelings of not loving the baby, you may also wish to hurt the baby if you suffer from depression.
9. Hold those Tampons
While using tampons may seem easy during postpartum, it is recommended that using pads is better. It is best to avoid inserting tampons between four and six weeks after delivery. Pads are the better choice in this case. In addition to not hurting the body, pads will keep the ease. Pads are also the safest option after delivery, especially if the birth injuries are severe.
You don’t need any infection there, which can cause extreme pain and uneasiness. Even if you are not used to pads, tampons should not be used in any way.
10. Simple Baby Care
Every parent wants to go to lengths to welcome their newborn in the best way possible. While it may seem easier before delivery, things change after birth. This is why you need to keep things simple during postpartum. Babies usually have no schedule, and keeping up with that is a big task. Don’t burden yourself with other extravaganzas.
For example, you don’t need to bathe yourself for your baby every day. Instead, you can use wet wipes and clean their diaper area, hands, and face. You should also limit the visits of friends and family if they are not coming to give help. They can meet the baby later for your recovery and bonding with the baby.
It is imperative to give your body the time, attention, and care it needs postpartum. While a new baby takes away all the attention, don’t forget yourself. You’re equally important. Your mental and physical health will also affect the baby and your life. Don't hesitate to seek support, advice, and whatever you need during your postpartum period.