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. Here are answers to 7 frequently asked questions about postnatal care for new moms.
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 newborn. Here are some things postpartum moms need to know.
1. Why are the first 6 weeks after delivery so important?
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(edema), 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.
2. What is Confinement period?
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. Some postnatal practices that are not backed by science may be frowned upon by medical practitioners. (For example: using sambrani or incense to dry hair for mother/baby etc.)
Services of a confinement professional can be sought during this period who will help you take care of the newborn. Mamas, you must resist the temptation to do more by yourself as it can set you back in your recovery. Your postpartum priorities should be to rest whenever you can and enjoy bonding with your baby.
3. Why is confinement important?
It helps speed up recovery post childbirth, improves milk production and even boosts immunity!
4. What are some of the important things to remember during confinement period?
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.
5. Why is postnatal oil massage important?
Aside from being very relaxing, oil massage it 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.
6. What is the importance of hot baths?
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.
7. What are the do’s and don’ts of a postpartum diet?
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 gas like, dal, brinjal, potatoes and chickpeas. It is also advisable to avoid chillies, tamarind, deep fried and processed foods.
Mommies, honour the postpartum period as a sacred time. Your priority should be restoring your health, strengthening your mind and focusing on your baby’s health.
Celebrate motherhood each day. More power to you, Mommies!
Disclaimer: This article reflects the author’s personal experience and is intended for your general knowledge. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion.