Postnatal Care: Looking After Yourself After Birth
It is important for every mother to take good care of herself after pregnancy. Postnatal care refers to such attention given in the postpartum period which is the period between the birth and the time the mother’s body almost returns to its pre-pregnancy state, usually six weeks after birth. It is essential for the mother’s healing, both physical and emotional. This is a critical time when the mother is adjusting to motherhood and bonding with her baby. To take good care of the new-born, the mother needs to recover properly and avoid anything that hinders her recovery. Here are some ways to facilitate this recovery:
- To help the perineum heal, use some ice now and then especially in the first 24 hours after birth. This part is usually very sore and even painful especially when the doctor had to make a cut during the delivery. You can also dab some warm water over it when you want to pee and after to prevent irritation by the urine.
- Take painkillers to relieve muscle aches and pains. Pushing is not exactly easy, and you will feel the effect after the anaesthetic in your system runs out. Sometimes its just raw pain and the nurses assure you that it will be over soon, but it is not. Do not be shy to reach out to the doctor and request some more painkillers to reduce the aches. You can also take some hot showers and even make use of a heating pad. If you can, get yourself a masseuse to work on your tense body.
- The Kegels are useful in reshaping the vagina and also tighten the bladder. Most women dread pregnancy and vaginal childbirth because of the injustice done down there, but if you do your Kegels consistently, you will get your V back. They also help get rid of urinal incontinence that sees you run to the toilet every five minutes.
- Get plenty of rest. This can never be overemphasized. You should avoid any demanding activities after birth, especially those that require you to stretch and stress your muscles. It would be wise to give your body time to heal especially when you have had Caesarean section. Take advantage of that and rest for as long as you can because the future won’t be so luxurious.
- Do not miss any of the doctor’s appointments. These give him or her a good chance to evaluate your progress and see whether you are healing as expected. They can also assess your mental health to see whether you need any therapy or if you are getting the support you need. Also, you could take advantage of these and ask them about anything that is bothering you or something you are unfamiliar with.
It is hard to recover and get back to the normal life without taking proper care of yourself after giving birth. Remember you just gave life a little human and that alone is enough to warrant some good rest and pampering.