Congratulations on your new arrival! We know that giving birth was physically and emotionally taxing on you and so are postpartum changes. Postpartum changes usually last for about 6-8 weeks until you start to feel in control again. During those few weeks it is crucial for you to take very good care of your self. Here are 6 tips to keep in mind after delivery.
A newborn usually wakes every 3 hours and needs to be fed, cleaned and comforted. For first time mothers, these tasks can be very exhausting. Here are some ways to feel a little less overwhelmed:
– The saying, “Sleep when your baby sleeps” is very true.
– Ask for help from your partner, family members or friends.
– Keep the baby’s crib close to your bed to save yourself running back and forth every time the baby wakes up.
Get Proper Nutrition
Good nutrition is needed to speed healing and give you the needed energy. Eat foods high in protein, vitamin C, and iron. Protein helps the healing process; vitamin C plays an important role in fighting infection and Iron is needed for hemoglobin formation.
Also, eating more servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, and bran cereals or breads that are high in roughage help stimulate a normal bowel movement and relieve constipation that is common after delivery. Avoid laxatives that make your stool very loose or watery. Loose stool can get onto your stitches more easily than soft stool.
Get Proper Hydration
Drink 8-10 glasses of fluids each day, including low-fat milk, non-sweetened fruit juices, and especially water. If you’re breastfeeding include at least 4 glasses of low-fat milk or calcium fortified juice or eat low-fat yogurt to get enough calcium and boost your milk supply.
Activities & Exercise
– Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby
– Avoid straining or doing heavy housework for at least 3 weeks
– Walking will be all the exercise you need when you first get home. You can begin mild strengthening exercises for your back and abdomen at 3 to 6 weeks. Vigorous exercise, such as aerobics, should wait until after your 6-week check-up.
Wear a nursing bra with good support and without underwires, which can cut off the milk ducts and cause sore breasts.
Here are ways you can prevent breast/nipple soreness:
– Don’t use soap when washing your breasts to prevent dryness and cracking.
– After each feeding express a little milk and rub it onto your nipples. The cream in your milk can prevent dryness.
– Make sure your baby has latched on correctly and has most of the areola and the entire nipple in his mouth, not just the nipple.
– Nurse your baby often to prevent engorgement of your breasts and to prevent mastitis, an inflammation in your breasts caused by not emptying your breast regularly or completely.
– Change your bra and nursing pads when they are wet or moist. Wet nipples allow germs to grow faster, which causes the skin to break down.
Being too tired from labor and delivery and the changes in your hormone levels can lead to a mild depression called “baby blues”, worsened by lack of sleep, pain, and the stress of new responsibilities. Baby blues can happen a few days to a few weeks after birth.
These are things you can do to ease the baby blues:
– Join a support group-
– Don’t try to return to your old routine too soon-
– Take a few hours each week to do something just for yourself-
– Get at least half an hour of exercise daily-
– Keep yourself physically attractive, this will make you feel good.