Post Partum Services
What is postpartum period and care?
The postpartum period refers to the first six weeks after delivery. It is a period of adjustment and healing for mothers. This is a joyous time for you and time to bond with your baby. Along with this you will have to take care of your health and fix a post-delivery checkup with your doctor.
Adjusting to motherhood
Adjusting with everyday life after your baby is born has its own challenges, especially in new mothers. It’s important to care of your baby, but don’t forget to take care of yourself too.
Most of the new mothers take leave from work for at least the first few weeks delivery. This time is importantfor adapting yourself to the new change. Since the baby has to be fed every two hourly and changed often, you will experience sleepless nights, which is both frustrating and tiresome. But the good news is that it doesn’t last long and both the baby and you eventually fall into a routine. Here’s what you can do to ease the transition:
1. Get adequate rest. To cope up with the stress and fatigue,sleep as much as possible. Your baby willdemand feeds every two to three hours and might wake up the whole night. Soit’s better to sleep when your baby sleeps.
2. Seek help. During the postpartum period and even after this period, don’t hesitate to accept help from family members and friends. Your body needs time to heal and proper rest will help in recovery.
3. Eat healthy meals. A healthy diet will promote healing. Your diet should be balanced with part of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein. You daily fluid intake should meet the standards, especially if you are breast-feeding.
4. Exercise. You can discuss with your doctor and start with mild exercises. The exercise should not be strenuous. Even a walk can be refreshing and can increase your energy level.
Operating as a new family unit
Adjusting with a new baby is a challenge for the entire family and can change your tuning with your partner. There may be less quality time available for you and your partner, which can be troublesome. This is a stressful period, but be patient. There are ways to manage and things settle with time.
It is important to understand that every couple goes through these changes after the arrival of baby. Newborn care gets easier with each passing day.
Baby blues vs. postpartum depression
Baby blues are symptoms caused by hormonal changes and may include:
- unexplained crying
- mood changes
It’s absolutely normal to have these symptoms during the postpartum period. Baby blues typically appear a few days after delivery and can last for up to two weeks.
When should you seekfor a doctor?
Postpartum depression isdifferent from baby blues. Postpartum depression is suspected when the symptoms of baby blues last for more than two weeks.
Other symptoms may include feelings of guilt and worthlessness, loss of interest in daily activities, no interest in their baby and thoughts of hurting their baby.
Postpartum depression requires medical treatment unlike baby blues.
Postpartum depression can present at any time after child birth, even up to a year after delivery.
Body changes in postpartum period
Weight gain is a feature of pregnancy and it won’t go overnight after delivery. So, be patient and discuss with your doctor about the appropriate time to start your exercises. You can begin with mild to moderate exercise a few minutes every day and gradually increase intensity of your workouts. You can chose among recreational activities like walking, swimming, or join an aerobics class.Weight loss cannot be achieved without a proper balanced diet. A balanced mealmust include fruits, vegetables,and whole grains. Breast-feeding is not only important for your baby, but for you as well. Itincreases your daily calorie burn and can help you return to your prepregnancy weight faster.
Your breasts will fill with milk when you start breastfeeding. This may cause slight heaviness in breasts, which is a normal process. This discomfort can be eased with warm or cold compression. But sometimes the swelling (engorgement) can be uncomfortable with palpable mass or fever. This warrants medical treatment. Sore nipples from breast-feeding are a common problem. This can be managed with local creams and moisturizers.
It is a common problem post partum. Eat fiber rich foods and drink plenty of waterto stimulate bowel activity. If it doesn’t respond to these changes then ask your doctor about safe medications.
Pelvic floor changes
There are dramatic changes in the pelvic floor after a normal vaginal delivery. It stretches to a great extent and often tears during childbirth. Sometimes your doctor applies a small cut to this area (episiotomy) to aid your labor. The recovery can be hastened with sitz bath and icing of the area with cold packs wrapped in towels.Kegel exercises will help you in regaining the tone of pelvic floor muscles.
Theuterus shrinks in size and reverts back to its pre pregnancy size. This can cause intermittent cramping pain in the lower belly. Discuss with your doctor about safe pain medications.
Vaginal discharge, or lochia, is normally seen for two to four weeks after giving birth. It varies in color and consistency with time. For first few days after delivery, it is red followed by yellow and white. You can use sanitary pads but do not use tampons or douche until your doctor tells you because these products in the immediate postpartum period may increase the chances infection. Notify your doctor if you face foul-smelling vaginal discharge or heavy bleeding (soaking one sanitary pad within two hours).
Giving birth to a baby can challenge you and your family both physically and emotionally. But you’ll eventually adjustand things will slowly improve. Always try to talk to the doctor about all your concerns, be it related to depression, your baby, or the healing process.