In Asia, postpartum care is considered to be a very important stage of a woman’s life and this belief and practice is passed down through many generations. In western countries, it is becoming more popular as the women weigh the vast health benefits more than anything else.
Experts refer Postpartum period as the first six weeks after childbirth. In real context, postpartum period can stretch up to 4-6 months with the mother herself coping and adapting physically and emotionally after childbirth.
Postpartum care can be categorised into different categories such as external, internal and mental care. For a new mother, she has to make sure she takes good care of herself in these three aspects during the postpartum period.
External care refers to the physical body such as dealing with the change in body shape, coping with breastfeeding problems like engorgement or sore nipples, caesarean incision or even hair loss issues.
Internal care refers to things like physical fatigue, body aches, afterbirth cramps, perineal pain or constipation problems.
Mental care refer to emotions such as anxiety, impatient, confidence level or low self-esteem due to hormonal changes that trigger us to be more sensitive during postpartum period
- Your body will be able to recover faster to pre-pregnancy state
- You will enjoy motherhood
- You will feel less tired or fatigued
- You will be able to get back to pre-pregnancy body faster
- Your baby will be a happier baby. Remember your baby connects to you and he knows if you are stress or unhappy and this affects him
- You will have better milk supply
- You will gain self-confidence
- You will have greater energy level
What Should be Done to Have a Proper Postpartum Care
- Eat confinement food. Avoid cooling stuff such as cold drinks, fruits. Consume warming food like hot soups, hot non-caffeine drinks, stews or even some tonic wine.
- Do not diet. Have regular three meals with some snack breaks throughout the day
- Have ample rest. Catch up on short naps throughout the day
- Leave the house chores to your partner or helper and do not move around too much
- Have a postnatal massage for relaxation, reduce stress and also to ease the body aches
- Maintain proper hygiene especially on your caesarean incision or episiotomy. Take a quick hot bath once a day.
- Do not be shy to ask for help. Many new mums want to be a super mum but it is ok if you cannot cope everything fully. You should enjoy motherhood not to let stress takes over
- Have some personal time, Read a book or listen to some music.
- Try not to go out of the house too often or unnecessary to allow the body to recover faster
- Talk to other mums. You gain more knowledge and also make new friends
Rebecca is a mum to 2 girls, aged 4 and 2yrs. She believes the importance of health as the greatest gift a mother can give to her child. Read more on her experiences and knowledge on motherhood on her blog – www.sgmummy.com.
She is a trained massage therapist who manages her own business AllTenTic Jamu Massage and a qualified Montessori teacher.
Hope that the above tips are helpful to new mothers. If you have just given birth, how about leaving us some comments on your postpartum care.