Post-delivery care essentials every mom-to-be needs to know
Giving birth is a big deal. If you’re on the journey, you need to congratulate yourself on a big job well done, because to create a new life from within your body is no small feat. Your baby uses your body and your nutrition to grow. And giving birth, be it natural or c-section, is a big procedure that takes its toll on woman’s body. Add to that the mental stress of it all, and a new mom needs all the TLC she can possibly get to bounce back to her usual self.
In India, and many other traditional cultures, there is a 40-day period post birth where moms are asked to only rest, recover and reset their bodies. However, these traditions make little space for one’s mental health, and the tough practices it requires may not be that helpful in the long run for one’s emotional well-being. But if you care for your mind, body and emotional health during the early months, you’re bound to be back on your feet and running after your little one in no time.
Here are some important steps to take:
Let’s start with the body, the aspect of you that takes the most strain at the time of birth. It is imperative that you allow your body to heal and recover and some easy ways to do that are:
You’ve just raised a little one from the nutrition in your body, so it’s time to replenish. Eat well, eat healthy and also eat what you love. Just make sure you get lots of protein, Omega 3, and your vitamins and minerals so your body has a fighting chance to be back to its old self.
This is a must, because new moms very rarely get a good night’s sleep. It’s important to lean on your partner so you can split the burden and get adequate rest. Some follow the model of sleep when the baby is sleeping, while others get their partners to manage the night feeds. Do what works best for you, but do it while getting enough rest.
Your body has been through a lot, so a spinning class or hot yoga isn’t exactly what we’re recommending. But it’s important to keep moving—light walks, simple chores around the house, holding your baby—any easy movements that will help your body regain its energy.
There’s a lot on the mind for a new mom, and its ramifications can go from mild stress to full-blown post partum depression. So it’s important to keep your mind healthy.
As much as you love your baby, you need to get some time away from him/her. And use that time to do whatever it is that makes you happy, be it watching your favourite show, gossiping with your friends or just going out for a coffee. Each time you do this, you’ll feel a little more like your old self
Be alert: There are many symptoms of PPD, but if at any point you start to feel low, unhappy or just not nice, talk to someone. A friend who’s been through this phase, your partner, a doctor—anyone you feel comfortable with. But do not ignore the early signs.
And finally, make sure when you do the above, you also keep your emotional health in balance. A baby can take a toll on your marriage, your career or your social life and these things may lead to bitterness or anger. Learn how to balance them.
Spend time with your partner bonding over the baby, try and get some alone time, even if it is only half hour a day and make sure to do some fun things like you did before the baby. Watch a movie together, play a board game or just chat, but don’t let your relationship be relegated to the backburner.
A huge part of your emotional health suffering is a sense of bitterness or anger you may feel at your partner because your life changes far more than his. While he continues to work, go out, stay fit and live a life similar to his earlier one, your entire world has changed. You look different, feel different, can’t work for a while and can’t go out much and all this can impact your relationship. So talk to your partner about your feelings, be open in sharing the baby’s work with him and cuddle your little one as a reminder of why you’re doing this all.