Motherhood is absolutely beautiful. The joy a woman experiences the moment she holds her child for the first time in her arms is inexplicable. Mother feels overjoyed on the birth of their child but at the same time, they face nervousness as they embark on an adventure never experienced before. It’s a momentous time in a woman’s life, filled with excitement, amusement, nervousness, confusion, and stress. Most mothers tend to neglect themselves while they care for their newborn. This is a joyous time, but it’s also a period of healing for mothers. The period after childbirth is referred to as the postpartum period.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new”.- Osho
The postpartum period starts right after the delivery and ends when the mother’s body has nearly returned to its pre-pregnant state, typically lasting about six to eight weeks. During this period mother undergoes a variety of changes both emotionally and physically. Your body needs to be supplemented with adequate rest, nutrition and sleep while you learn to balance the responsibilities that come with motherhood. In most cultures and religions, the first 40 days after childbirth referred to as confinement period, are strictly meant for a mother to take rest and care for the baby.
Mothers tend to forget themselves while they are busy nurturing their newborn. Taking care of a baby is no easy task but you need to remember to nurture yourself too. Your child needs you to be as healthy as you can be. Your body is undergoing a drastic change, you face challenges every day in taking care of your baby…You feel drained and frustrated. But you are not the only one experiencing this, most mothers feel this during the postpartum period. It’ll become easy once you fall into a routine.
Meanwhile, you can follow a few simple steps to regain your health as soon as possible.
- Rest. Get plenty of rest and sleep. A newborn needs to be fed every three hours, so you may not get to sleep for hours at a stretch. To make sure you are getting enough rest, sleep when your baby sleeps. Avoid taking any extra responsibilities in the first few weeks other than feeding and caring for the baby and yourself. If you’ve got visitors, excuse whenever you feel like taking rest.
- Avoid lifting weights. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby, especially if you’ve had a cesarean section. Your body is tender after childbirth and needs extra care.
- Nutrition. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet to promote healing and to ensure optimum post-pregnancy care for you and you’re newborn. Include whole grains, cereals, legumes, fresh fruits, dairy, and vegetables. Opt for foods that are rich in iron, calcium, and protein. You’re breastfeeding, so stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, further it will help to avoid constipation which is common during the postpartum period. You can also take the help of a nutritionist.
- Seek help. Don’t hesitate to accept help from family and friends during the postpartum period or after that. Your body requires healing, accept or seek help for household chores or any other thing. Or you can even hire help. Avoid exertion, even limit your stair climbing as much as possible in the first week after delivery.
- Postpartum Depression. It’s normal to have the baby blues during this period. About 70-80 percent of women experience this after giving birth and is nothing to worry about. However, if you find yourself feeling persistently frightened, anxious, sad or irritated for weeks or months after delivery, then you may be suffering from postpartum depression. 1 out of 10 women is affected by this. It requires medical treatment. Seek medical help if your depression lasts longer than two weeks.