Motherhood is a phase that every woman loves and cherishes along the way of her life. Even with the complications all along and a painful delivery later, you will find mothers content and happy when they get to hold their child for the first time in their arms. Women are given multiple instructions and directions on how to deal with their life while they are pregnant but there is no definitive on how to deal with the post-pregnancy phase- the weeks following after the woman just gives birth
Once this motherhood journey commences,the main focus for the mother other than her baby should be the post natal recovery. While simultaneously focusing on the baby 24/7, it is a necessity that the mother should also focus on her recovery process. When up-taking motherhood, this is not a phase but a necessity for the mother.
One of the most important process which the mother should focus on post-pregnancy is taking care of her diet- the kind of foods she is and will be in-taking. The food the mother takes has a direct impact on her as well as her breast-feeding process. If you want the best for your baby, it is important that you keep yourself hygienic and healthy as well.
It might be difficult to maintain and take care of your baby while you are trying to recover but we are here to break down the process for you- make your journey through motherhood simple. While following the steps we tell you, you can ensure you baby is healthy and so are you.
What can you expect during recovery?
The body of a pregnant women undergoes multiple changes before, during and after the process. It will be difficult for your body to adjust to these sort of changes unless you lead a healthy lifestyle. Adjusting back to your regular routine can be difficult but we are here to help.
It is a myth that mothers have a standard recovery period post pregnancy. There is no such thing. Each body is different and the recovery process will take a minimum of a week or more before you are able to go back to your regular routine. The recovery has its own pace. Some mothers find the post-pregnancy process smooth and quick while it could be painful and long for others.
The process of recovery for the mother with a normal delivery takes about a week or maybe longer depending on how your delivery goes. By the end of the week or so, however long it takes, your body will catch a few common symptoms which include back ache, sore nipples and fatigue. Once the week or your recovery period is over, these symptoms will fade. Doctors often suggest complete bed rest but yet again, that is not a healthy alternative. Complete bed rest actually has multiple negative effects which we will evaluate.
If your pregnancy was a painful one, there are chances that there could be a tear in the perineum. If this is the case, the recovery process will take a while, sometimes longer than week. In this case, you will need to take complete bed rest.
In case of a cesarean delivery, the mother is usually at the hospital where the doctors monitor the mother for 4-5 days following the birth. In this case, there are chances that the recovery process can often take up to 4-6 weeks or sometimes even longer.
Another phase which as a mother you will undergo and important for mothers to know is the postpartum bleeding, also known as Lochia where the excess tissue, blood and mucus are released from the uterus. This process can last up to 2-6 weeks. For some women, this proces goes beyond 6 weeks. If it is the first time that you are becoming a mother, the bleeding may last long and be heavy. In this case it is important you take the correct measures wear comfortable underwear and diapers. It is also highly important that you constantly update you doctor with you recovery process and go for checkups as often. If you are feeling any discomfort post-pregnancy, it is important that you visit a doctor immediately.
Here are a few helpful tips for recovering well after delivery:
- It is important to get rest. Rest is one of the things that are crucial when you are recovering. Try getting some sleep during the first few weeks. However, do not neglect your baby during this period. When your baby is very young, it is a good time to bond with them. Get some sleep alongside your baby. Do not do heavy exercises or lift heavy objects and make sure yo do not get tired or wear out your body. When we mention taking rest, it doesn't mean lying in bed all day. Do some walking around at your own home or outside in a park. Make sure you are not walking anywhere with slippery surfaces. Try to move around your home or go on short walks. Walking is also the solution to having good bowel movements and it also helps to ease body aches.
- After you deliver your baby, peeing can irritate your vaginal area. Squirt this area with warm water from time to time to ease the burning. Taking 20 minute baths twice a day is also a good remedy for this process.
- Regular body massages with not much pressure are a common way of relieving tension in the muscles after a delivery.
- If you have gone through a C-section there are scars that are bound to leave marks on your body. Wash these scars and clean this area with soap and water every day. Usually your doctor will prescript an ointment which you can rub on the scar area after taking a shower. This area should always be patted with a dry towel. Make sure there are no injuries to this area. During this period, it is always safe to have someone with you who can assist you with your daily needs and the baby’s needs. It might be impossible to tend to the baby yourself and do chores in the house after a pregnancy.
- One of the most common symptoms which you well face after a pregnancy is sore breasts. Sometimes you can experience leaky breasts as well.To soothe this,you can apply warm pack compresses during different times of the day or wrap ice in a cloth and apply it to the sore area. During this period, apply nipple cream and keep the area nourished as dry nipples will just elevate the soreness and pain. Another important thing to remember during this period is to keep the breasts free at all times. Try wearing comfortable nursing bras or no bra at all.
- Although we have discussed bowl movements before, here are some other rules which you must follow. Regular bowl movement is vital. This means you will have to intake foods which are rich in fibre such as fruits, vegetables, nuts etc. It is also important for a mother to drink 3 to 4 liters of water daily to keep the body hydrated. Do not strain yourself while bowel movement. If so, this process can cause a perineum tear. Consult a doctor if you experience constipation.
- Try to stay away from junk food for a while. The cravings to eat whatever you want can be strong during this period but your body is in a process of recovery. For this, it is important that you eat healthy and the right food with the appropriate nutrients. A few good foods to include during this process can be complex carbs, food rich with fibre, and an abundance of fats and proteins.
- Another important advice is that you do not indulge in any bad habits during this period. Smoking, drinking alchohol, substance abuse and caffeine must be prohibited during this period. This can disrupt the healing process and cause more bleeding. This also has a negative impact on the baby while breastfeeding. It is advised that you also stay away from those who are smoking as second-hand smoking also as dangerous.
The mothers are advised to eat iron-rich foods as they help in producing new blood cells which is important during vaginal bleeding.
And last but most importantly not the least, keep in constant check with your doctor. Update him/ her with your process, take advice get constant check ups and let him/her know if you are having any discomfort. If you feel as if something is not right, visiting the hospital is the best option rather than waiting to make the situation worse.
So, while you might have been browsing through designer dresses or even the shoe racks online before giving birth, chances are that your browser history might now be filled with diapers and cribs. But, that is part of the joy that pregnancy brings along. For you to enjoy it to the fullest, it is important that one focuses on recovering in a steady manner and according to the doctor’s advises.
We wish you the best of luck for your motherhood journey.
By Meena Atmakuri