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Important Tips: Postnatal Care for Mother and Child

What is Post Natal Period?

The Post Natal period is the one that starts after you deliver your child. While pregnancy is an eventful duration with innumerable changes taking place in your body and also in your child, the real host of events start after the birth of your child. New mothers feel extremely anxious and worried. They have a tired body which is exhausted after giving birth to a life. At the same time, they have a child. There are a lot of things they need to learn to do. Right from feeding to changing.

It is during this time that you will need to learn more things because you will have to look after yourself as well as your little child after that. Here is a list of tips to help you deal with this phase.

Tips for Mothers in Postnatal Phase:

1. Get Help:

Delivering a child is no cake walk. No matter whether you deliver vaginally or through a cesarean section, your body has undergone wear and tear. To recover from this, the body needs time. Post delivery, you may feel pains in your back, lower back and ribs. You have to look after your child inspite of an aching body. In such a scenario, you may not be able to manage all of it by yourself. It is thus advised you seek help from someone. It could be an elderly person, a friend, a family member or anybody you feel comfortable with for that matter. Do not hesitate to seek aid to share your bit of responsibilities.

2. Take Rest:

Your body has experienced labor pain which we all know is not easy. If you haven’t undergone labor pain and have been operated to deliver the child, that again cannot be taken lightly. Rest is mandatory in your Postnatal period and is equally difficult. Your child’s sleep schedule may hinder your sleep. He/she may wake you up for feeding while you are in your deepest of sleep. Sleep when your child does. Adjust your timings and schedules as per you child’s. Slowly, you can train your child and set him up to adjust according to your sleep patterns.

3. Be prepared for ‘Baby Blues’:

Postpartum blues are real. A newbie mother feels emotional, irritable, cranky for around the first ten days after delivery. Women also tend to feel nervous. Those women who have become a mother for the first time may often not feel emotionally connected to their child too. Do not worry, all of these emotions are normal and will also fade with time. Just try to stay happy. Speak to your partner about your feelings. Share what you feel with the one you share a good bond with.

4. Don’t Stress about Baby Fat:

It is fine to put on some kilos here and there after delivery. If you prepare to breastfeed your baby, your diet may lead you to put on weight. You may not be able to concentrate over your belly fat or uneven body shape. Enjoy this moment. It is not going to remain so forever and so you need not be worried.

5. Drink lots of Water:

You will be losing lots of water during pregnancy. To compensate for this loss, you must stay hydrated. Drinking a sip or two of water just before you breastfeed your child is advised by the doctors. If you have delivered through a cesarean section, your doctor will ask you to drink around 3-4 liters of water.

6. Stay Active:

You are not to go out for a jog every morning to stay active. Just do all the little tasks related to your child. You can also start with breathing exercise and light pelvic floor muscle exercise and low intensity pregnancy exercises. It is a myth that if you have undergone a a cesarean delivery you may not exercise for six months. Ask your doctor and start exercising as soon as possible. If you have a normal delivery, you can start exercising even the next day. Consult your gynecologist about this in detail.

7. Massage for mothers:

In Indian culture, care is taken to massage the mother for forty days after delivery. This is to ensure that the mother recovers after delivery. One may use almond oil, sesame oil, olive oil and mustard oil as well for massage. These oils strengthen the bones and relax the muscles of the mother.

8. Eat a Balanced Diet:

You need to eat a balanced diet after delivery. Eat fruits and meat and vegetables too. Do not rush up to lose the pregnancy fat. Your first priority is to ensure that you are able to feed your child.

It is a myth that consuming lots of fat will help you fees your child better. Just ensure that you eat healthy food. Below is a list of food items that you can eat during post natal period.

Diet for Mothers during Postnatal Period:

1. Salmon:

This fish is close to a perfect meal. It enriches the body with lots of healthy nutrients. Salmon contains the kind of fat which is known as DHA. DHA is essential for the development of the baby’s nervous system. All of the mother’s milk contains DHA. But women who consume salmon have higher levels of DHA compares to those who don’t. DHA is also essential to deal with postpartum depression.

2. Dairy Products:

A nursing mother must necessarily drink 2 glasses of milk every day. Milk and other milk products are essential source of protein. They also contain vitamin D which is crucial for the child’s bones and muscles. Dairy products also contain calcium which helps to build the bones of the mother.

3. Lean beef:

You will need lots of energy after delivering a child. This you will get from iron-rich food items. Lean beef is a rich source of iron. Lean meat provides vitamin B 12 and proteins too.

4.  Brown Rice:

Your body needs carbohydrates as much as it needs other nutrients. Brown rice is a healthy option to white rice. It provides your body with the carbohydrates to produce best possible milk for your child.

5. Fruits:

Eating fruits like oranges, apples, bananas, blueberries, etc are a variant to your normal food and also impart the necessary nutrients to your body.  You can have fruit juices too.

6. Eggs:

Eggs are a power pack of nutrients. You could boil them and have them for breakfast or just scramble a few eggs. Choosr DHA fortified eggs to boost DHA levels in your milk.

7. Semolina Milk:

Roast a spoonful of semolina. Add warm milk to it. Drink this milk first thing in the morning. Semolina milk is the Indian secret of increasing the lactation of a breastfeeding mother.

8. Dried Fruits:

Dried fruits like almond, cashews, dried dates are essential for your body. Each of the dried fruit has a different utility. You must thus consume dried fruits. Add them to your milk.

9. Fenugreek Seeds water:

Boiling a tea spoon full of fenugreek seeds in water and drinking it in the morning helps to cut down flatulence in your body. It prevents constipation in mother. It is important for breastfeeding mother to avoid food items that induce gas. This is so because the child that feeds on breast milk also gets colic pains due to gas accumulation in the stomach.

Every home has different tips and advice to follow for postnatal care. Whatever may be the tips, remember to stay healthy, active, and happy at the same time. These days may be harsh on you due to sleepless nights and other difficulties. Just have patience. You will be able to understand your newborn better with each passing day. Give some time to your child too to adjust to the new world. The child will slowly adapt to the surrounding and you shall eventually enjoy the motherhood.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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