Postpartum period is the 6-8 weeks period, after the mother delivers the baby. This is the time when women’s bodies go back to their pre-pregnant state, and this period involves several changes, both physical and emotional, in a woman’s life.
This is the time when women learn to deal with the lifestyle changes that need to be made after becoming a new mother. It also involves the partners learning how to take care of the mother and the child and the changed family dynamics.
It goes without saying that the new mothers need to take good (extra) care of themselves. And if you are a new mother, here are a few postpartum care tips that could be followed for a stable and comfortable recovery.
Rest, loads and loads of rest is what is what you need at this point of time. But, you will soon learn that rest during this time is a luxury or a bonus. Though all parents are prepared, at least to some extent, all babies spring surprises from time-to-time. A typical newborn baby sleeps throughout the day, with small feeding breaks every 3-4 hours. They need to be fed, cleaned, changed and comforted every now and then which makes it difficult for you to rest, often overwhelming you with exhaustion, especially if you are a new parent.
Getting a solid 8-hour sleep may not be possible, so how do you get more rest is the obvious question. Here are a few ideas that could help you get more rest:
- In the first few weeks of being a new mother, let someone else take care of all the responsibilities other than taking care of the baby and yourself.
- Sleep is precious. Try to get as much sleep as possible whenever the baby sleeps. This could barely be a few hours, but it will help.
- If you can’t, don’t entertain guests. Taking care of the baby and yourself has to be your top priority and meeting people can wait. In cases it is unavoidable, excuse yourself from the obligation whenever you need to rest or feed your baby.
- If you are advised to step out of the house, go for short walks and start doing simple exercises, as suggested by your healthcare provider.
In addition to rest, you will also need a healthy diet to help recover as your body would have gone through many changes during pregnancy and birth.
You will gain weight during pregnancy and that build up will help you in your recovery and breastfeeding. That said, you will need to eat a healthy and balanced diet to keep active and take care of the baby.
It is understood and well established that your child keeps you on your toes and you barely get time for yourself. Finding time for meals amid this busy schedule is a tough task, but it is extremely important not to ignore or forget to get food. One good way to eat healthy is by making simple healthy meal plans which you could slip in your tight schedules.
What are the foods that need to be added to your diet?
Protein: Lean meats and poultry are good sources of protein. Always choose low-fat meat and vary your protein routine. Nuts, fish, peas, beans etc. are also good sources of protein.
Dairy: Milk and milk products are high on calcium. Choose low-fat dairy products for your diet.
Fruits: Fruits and 100% fruit juices are your friends! They can be a good and quick source of energy and they also help you keep hydrated.
Vegetables: Eat a variety of vegetables. Include the starchy ones, the green leafy ones, the red and orange ones.
Grains: Wheat, rice, oats, barley, cereal grains and grain products are helpful in building up your energy.
Keep active and exercise everyday to keep that physical activity going. Do not be in a rush to lose the pregnancy weight and do not push too hard with extreme diets for rapid weight loss.
Pushing too hard will only harm you and your baby when you are breastfeeding. Taking it slow will show good results while keeping your health and your baby’s health intact.
Your healthcare providers or any certified lactation consultants can help you with advice on your nutrition while breastfeeding.