Postnatal care for mother and baby
Becoming a mother is a time of major transition. Much of the focus and energy will be on the baby. But it is very important to take care of the new mother too. We spend a lot of time on preparing for birth. The postpartum, however is something most of us are not prepared for and it can be overwhelming! What we are not prepared for is the loss of energy and blood, the sleep deprivation and fatigue that comes from feeding and nourishing a new born.
Postnatal care or PNC is specialized care for the mother that begins immediately after delivery, up to a period of roughly eight weeks. The care includes prevention, elimination, early detection and cure of health complications (if any), counselling on breastfeeding, immunization, an interactive session on the importance of birth spacing and maternal nutrition, and so on.
After delivery, mothers go through several emotional and physical changes, as they learn to take care of their new-born. Therefore, postpartum or postnatal care involves proper rest, nutrition, and vaginal care for the mother, facilitating a quicker and healthier recovery.
FAQs about postnatal care for mother and baby
Q. Why are the first few weeks after delivery so important?
A. Mommies, pay attention to your fragile and tender body. Special care for your body is strictly required after giving birth. Many of the physical and emotional issues that women suffer later in life arise during the first six weeks after childbirth. Postnatal care is required to avoid ill health in the coming years. After all, a happy and healthy mommy is what your baby needs.
No doubt, the first two weeks are rocky. Adjusting to a new life being a mother, post-birth healing, establishing milk production and the constant feeding can be exhausting.
During this period there will be several physical changes like hormonal changes, water retention, cramping and other discomforts. These are accompanied by emotional changes like anxiety over baby’s health, worrying about your body shape etc. So be prepared for giving yourself some extra love and care. Not to worry mama, it gets better.
Q. What is confinement period?
A. The first 6 weeks postnatal is the confinement period. New mothers are discouraged from leaving their homes during this time. The traditional way of postnatal care involves practices passed down from generations.
Q. What are some of the important things to remember during confinement period?
A. Use this time to get oil massages (check with your doctor if you have a C-section), take hot baths, eat nourishing food, keep warm and stay active indoors. Don’t lift anything heavy, engage in vigorous exercise or extreme diets.
Q. Why is confinement period important?
A. It helps speed up recovery post childbirth, improves milk production and even boosts immunity!
Q. Why is postnatal oil massage important?
A. Aside from being very relaxing, oil massage is known to increase blood circulation, relieve muscle tension and restore the size of the uterus. It also removes excess fluids from the body and strengthen stomach muscles.
Q. What is the importance of hot baths?
A. Hot baths are soothing and eases the pain post-delivery. Warm water is splashed on abdomen during bathing to remove clots from uterus. It helps you heal and maintain good hygiene.
Q. What are the do’s and don’ts of a postpartum diet?
A. Some of the foods that you must include are oats, pepper, ginger, cumin, salted lemon pickle, ghee and garlic. Also eat dill, ridged gourd, snake gourd, almonds, dates and warm water. It is recommended that you avoid anything that instigates gaseous distension. It is also advisable to avoid chillies, deep fried and processed foods.