Your baby is the most precious thing in the world to you.
You ate well and followed a healthy lifestyle while you were pregnant to ensure that your baby arrived safe and healthy. Now that your little one is here, it’s time to think about safety outside the womb. Greater attention is required as the postnatal period begins. At this stage, taking care of yourself along with the baby is essential. Because, if you are healthy, your child will be healthy too.
24 hrs After Delivery….
The first 24 hours after delivery are important. You and your baby both need attention and observation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mothers should not be discharged from the hospital in the initial 24 hours after delivery.
It is advisable to have someone by your side during this time as a number of complications such as swelling, excess vaginal bleeding, chest pain and breathlessness etc may arise during this period. Hence, hospitals keep new mothers under examination during this period. Being under the shelter of medical experts will make you feel safe and protected.
Postnatal Baby Care
Many new parents are unaware of the ways to take care of their baby. Here are some quick tips to help you with this:
- Allow the baby to sleep on the back or sides
- Do not feed your baby anything but breastmilk for the first six months
- Dress the baby in clothes that are one or two layers thicker than that of an adult to keep the new born’s body warm
- Maintain personal hygiene while holding your baby and ask visitors to do the same
- Try to limit the number of visitors during this time
- Take care while applying lotion around your belly button having the umbilical cord stump
- Keep the infant clean by washing the face and back side regularly
- Visit the doctor frequently in the initial weeks following delivery
- Watch out for danger signs like fever, bleeding, abnormal breathing, diarrhea, or the yellowing of eyes and palms. If you notice any of these, consult your medical practitioner immediately.
Postnatal Mother Care
New mother require as much attention as the newborn. Physically and emotionally. Therefore taking care of a mother is as important as taking care of an infant. Some women are happy and excited post delivery while some are exhausted and depressed.
Here are some tips that will help you look after yourself while you regain your strength and confidence:
Do not overwhelm yourself with a lot of responsibilities. Ask for help. Rest well. Sleep well. To get an adequate amount of sleep, try to follow the sleeping pattern of your baby.
- Stay active
Activity is as important as rest. In the initial weeks, your body will not be ready for a rigorous workout. So begin gently to let your body attain the pre-pregnancy shape. Step out for a short walk everyday and let the fresh air rejuvenate you.
- Eat well
Following a balanced diet is just as important now as it was during the last nine months of pregnancy. This will help you recover from postpartum symptoms. Eat grains like whole wheat, oatmeal, and brown rice. Have fruits or fruit juices. Include protein-rich nuts, seeds, and beans in your diet. Boost your calcium intake by consuming fat-free dairy products.
- Drink water
Keep a filled bottle of water with you all the time and keep sipping at frequent intervals. After delivery, you lose water that was accumulated during pregnancy. This leads to frequent urination. In such a case, drinking plenty of water is important to prevent bladder infection, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), and dehydration.
- Maintain personal hygiene
Stay clean. Like the baby, your body is prone to infections. Wash your hands regularly. Wipe your breasts well after every breastfeeding session. Clean your private parts properly.
- Stay happy
Mood swings are not restricted to the pregnancy period. They may be a part of the postnatal period, too If you are weepy, irritable, or emotionally unstable, you will need special attention. Such symptoms are generally observed during the first ten days. Seek medical help and support from your loved ones. Divert your attention to something you enjoy, whether it’s music, painting, or reading. If nothing works, just look at your little one smile!
Role of the hospital
Hospitals play a major role in the delivery and postnatal stages. It is always recommended to get your delivery done in a hospital instead of at home. With the varied facilities and expertise available on-hand, medical practitioners are able to pay better attention to you and your baby.
Hospitals ensure a safer delivery and maintain proper hygiene. The staff there is trained and has experience attending to new mothers and their babies. Both mother and baby undergo thorough examination. If any complications arise, they are looked after at the right time.
In India, a number of hospitals are realizing the importance of postnatal care and are working towards the same. One such hospital that has been leading by example in this department is Mumbai’s Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital. This hospital, founded by Chairperson and Founder of Reliance Foundation Nita Ambani has a dedicated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The hospital has a team of dedicated neonatologists and neonatology nurses that look after patients.
Remember, post-delivery care is important for the mother and baby both.
*Guest post by Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital.