The months after delivery are very critical for new moms as well as for the baby. While we focus most of our energies on understanding the newcomer in our life, adjusting our life around her time and needs, we almost overlook our own mental and physical requirements.
A good caretaker helps the new mother overcome emotional stress by offering to take care of the infant while she gets some rest. They also assure the mother that she is doing a great job of taking care of the baby, and shares valuable advice, and tips. For this its important for the caretaker to be experienced themselves, or to have read or researched enough at their end. I have seen most fathers in western countries take on this role of caretaker and do a fabulous job of it. Birth-prep classes are something that helps the parents in advance. While in India, going for birth-prep classes is not common, I do feel they are absolutely necessary. I wish more and more An obstetrician-gynecologist would recommend the need for parents to be aware about the challenges, but also how to overcome those challenges, which are taught through these birth prep-classes.
While the body goes through various physical changes on the outside, have you wondered what’s really happening on the inside? We all know that the body feels tired and burnt out post-delivery. The postpartum recovery doesn’t happen in just a few days. It can actually take months, even for the most fit women. While many women feel they have recovered substantially by 6-8 weeks (that’s when the stiches stop hurting), it may take longer for the others. One almost feels as if the body has turned against them. It took me almost 4-5 months to recover from the aftermath of delivery where I could say that yes I feel my body is now back to what it was! The body is busy repairing the muscles that stretched to make way for the baby and for you to go through labour.
Here are some simple ways to help your body recover post-partum:
- Rest! Yes, get some rest please. Even though the baby may not be so demanding in the first week, they can start to require more of your time second week onwards. So try and get as much sleep as possible to cope with all the tiredness and physical exertion. Try to align the baby to follow your day and night schedule so that you can get a good night's sleep.
- Get a caretaker! Let your family know who is needed and who isn’t. This is not the time to take on emotional stress. Your body needs to heal, and practical help around managing the home, baby and you can help you get some stress off your back. Be it managing the house, or the baby, let them know where you require support.
- Eating right! This is one of the most important aspects of post-partum recovery, yet slacked on most easily. Whether you are a breastfeeding mom or not, you need to eat healthy meals which include whole grains, fruits & veggies, and protein. I would consume protein in the form of eggs, paneer, yogurt and soya. Increase your daily fluid intake especially if you are breast-feeding. This is simple if you take coconut water daily, buttermilk and carom water.
- Exercise! A short walk with your baby on a daily basis can help you get some fresh air and also feel uplifted! Babies are perfectly comfortable going out for short walks in their prams once they are 1 month old. Join a post-partum yoga class is that's your thing.
Stay Calm and Heal On!
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