After months of pregnancy, and having to adhere to a whole bunch of rules on what not to eat and how not to act, all a pregnant woman wants to do is curl up and sleep. But she can't because now the trouble is out of her body and filled with specific hygienic needs.
Pregnancy comes with so many expectations on a woman that by the end of it one just wants for it to end. After nine months that seemed like ten and labor that seemed to go on and on, it is now time to take your prince or princess home. While most women know that before they go to the hospital they need to pack a baby bag, no one ever tells the woman what she should stock up on in the home for after the birth. Once the child is born, the pregnancy journey will seem like a piece of cake.
Nothing quite prepares a woman for that tiny human being who is helpless and who depends on her for absolutely everything. The most important thing to note is that the child is so vulnerable that he can catch a cold or an infection while everyone else is healthy and still catch the same infection again when the rest are infected.
The germs in your house still exist even after you have cleaned and scrubbed and these germs can have you in the ER in minutes. To counter these minor infections and even major ones for you and baby, here are 15 hygiene musts after birth according to moms who have been there.
15 The Bathroom Routine
For those moms who have been there, the truth is the first few days and months for some are a nightmare. According to Web MD, for most women, having trouble pooping is a real thing, this is associated with an episiotomy, as most women are afraid to go fearing it will damage the stitches. For others it is quite the opposite, the rectum tissue may overstretch and this may lead to gas leaks and even poop. Some women have hemorrhoids coming out of their rectum, which allows poop to leak. The weird thing is that some women even have trouble peeing or they leak as they laugh.
To prevent all this from being a problem, frequent baths are advised, as well as wearing a heavy-flow sanitary pad to hold the runaway pee as long as one changes it often to counter any infections. Mellisa, a new mom on BabyCenter, recommends the use of Tucks pads for wiping after those painful bathroom sessions. Like they say, once a woman is pregnant nothing is the same ever again.
14 Sitting On Salt
According to Kids Health, when a woman has an episiotomy or even a tear during birth, it is advisable to sit in a sitz bath. This is a few inches of salty or Epsom salts water that is put in a tub and the woman sits in it and it covers the back side up to the hips. One is advised to pull the cheeks together as they sit so that they do not pull on the stitches. After using the toilet, it is still advisable to clean the area using a squirt bottle filled with water.
Salt baths are also excellent for women suffering from hemorrhoids, or trouble going to the bahtroom. After a #2, wipe from front to back to avoid getting infections. Even though sitz baths can be very painful because it is salt going into a cut, one should not relent on this and should keep at it until they are healed to prevent infections.
If you want to heal well and faster, use water as hot as you can handle with a cup of Epsom salt. Sitting on an inflatable pool ring can also make things easier.
13 Remember To Wash Your Hands
When we are expecting a newborn, we tend to spring clean the house in preparation for that new baby. When a child is born, he is like a blank page. The only immunity a newborn has is that which was passed down from the mother. This immunity can last the child a while but the child still requires care. When one changes a baby's diaper, whether it is soiled or not, one should wash her hands with warm, soapy, running water.
According to Pregnancy Birth Baby, those who care for babies should wash their hands to prevent the spread of infections like colds, gastroenteritis, and flu. The same should be done when one visits the bathroom.
A mom on the forum says people take offense quite easily because they think their hands are clean but car doors and phones are all gross. It is important to clean up. When it comes to his utensils, ensure they are washed with warm soapy water and rinsed well. It is good to use a sterilizer to ensure that the soaps and detergents used are removed because some can be harmful to the newborn.
12 Roll Up An Extra Pair
Sarah at Wired.com says that when traveling you should bring an extra t-shirt for yourself for if you are thrown up on. You do not want to smell of throw-up all day. The first few months of a baby's life are filled with doctors visits, mostly for routine vaccinations. When a woman has to take the baby to the doctor for vaccination, it is advisable to carry an extra top for those accidents that accompany a baby. Whenever a baby is fed, he requires burping and with burps, often comes yucky stuff landing on your classy top.
When a woman has a baby, it is a good idea to wear clothes that can take stains well and cover up some of these stains. For the baby, as cute as that outfit is, remember to carry an extra one. Accidents happen and for babies who have reflux, the accidents are so many that a wet t-shirt is a norm. To avoid having that yucky milk smell, it is advisable to pack in doubles, for the baby, and for the mother.
11 Diapers For The Both Of You
After labor, your health care provider will try to remove excess blood from your womb after the placenta is born. According to BabyCenter, the blood that comes after the placenta is born that is akin to periods is called lochia. Some women are opposed to this practice but it is advisable to agree to it as it is done even during a C-section. Women who have been through labor will attest to the fact that when this is done, the blood flow is not as heavy.
What most forget to tell you is that after birth, a woman goes home in diapers just like her baby. The flow of blood at this juncture is so heavy that normal sanitary pads do not work and a woman finds she requires reinforcement using maternity pads that are heavier and bulkier than normal.
You also need to ask your doula or nurse to pack a few net panties for you whether you had a C-section or normal birth, as you will be too tender to wear your normal underwear.
According to a mother on BabyCenter with a nine-week-old baby, she still needed panty liners to hold the lochia nine weeks later and on some days it is heavier and requires a lot more.
10 Mind Those Teeth
The new baby is here and with him are all the demands on a woman's time. The myth about babies sleeping for more than twenty hours has been shattered and it has emerged that the child only sleeps for about three hours at a time. A new mother is always tired and sleep deprived. Taking a shower is a game ninjas would tilt their hat off for her. Babies seem to hear the slightest of noises and when the baby sleeps for that one hour, all a woman wants to do is lay down to at least catch a few, but she never does because she has other familial obligations that require her attention.
This is the time a woman is bound to forget about her teeth. Carrying a pregnancy means that a lot of the calcium has been eroded and she needs to visit a dentist like yesterday. It is advised to make time for the teeth to avoid losing most of them and at least smelling better.
9 And Those Fingernails Too
Even with all the work that requires a woman's attention, cleaning the fingernails should be on top of her list. The newborn comes with this very delicate skin and a single scratch on that skin could lead to serious infection. We should always trim our fingernails when taking care of babies and also it is advisable to remove all the gunk under the nails.
With a new baby, a manicure is unnecessary and just a simple trim and wash to remove germs is enough. For the newborn, a mother should buy a small nail clipper to ensure that she clips the baby’s nails. This is because the baby will also scratch herself with the nails and they could leave a mark or be a source of infection. Do not trim too near the finger because the skin is very smooth and may go beyond the nail.
8 Find A Go-To Remedy For The Stains
Clothes will get stained from the day baby is one day old to the day the baby turns around five years. Those designer classy dresses should be kept away in case one is planning to be a hands-on mother. For those who are planning to use a nanny and only peek at the baby through the window, I guess those could get away with the designers, but the hands-on mother should be prepared for the stains and she should at least find a detergent or trick to prevent the clothes from staining.
Using an old t-shirt when nursing will ensure that your clothes do not get stained and using a wipeable cover when burping a baby will also reduce the stains caused by burps.
In case of the accidental stains, it is important to soak the stains and try to remove them immediately, before they settle.
7 Keep Up With The Showers
One night with a newborn seems like two nights. Babies wake up to feed a lot and they are fussy and in some cases, they cry a lot. They can cry because they are cold or have a wet nappy or if they get a nightmare. Some babies are born with reflux and this is also a cause for concern. Other babies suffer from colic, which means that for at least three nights a week they are inconsolable for about three hours. Even though there are remedies for this, they rarely work and the baby will still be inconsolable.
If a baby sleeps, the woman is supposed to go in and take a shower after a long night and day of taking care of the baby. Unfortunately, sometimes we are so tired that the five minutes to take that shower seem too precious to waste and we opt to lie down and sleep before the baby wakes up.
However, a woman should remember to keep up with those showers, as not showering could also lead to infections for the baby, especially if the baby is breastfeeding. Mahalinga at BoldSky.com says it is important to keep up with cleanliness even if you underwent a C-section. The stitches and naval should be well cleaned. According to Stanford Children, experienced mothers, as well as new ones, find out soon enough that they require a bit of help. This is because meeting the requirements of an infant is a full-time job.
6 Stock Up On Baby Powder
Baby powder is nice for the baby to soak up sweats and keep the baby dry. The good news here is that the sweet smell the baby has could also be for you. The baby powder does not just have to be for the baby. A woman can use the baby powder on the hair when she is having a bad hair day to soak in the sweat, she can also dab some powder on her body to get rid of that milk smell that most nursing mothers seem to emit.
Baby powder can also be nice when used on the face and can act as an instant makeup solution for when she is about to get those impromptu visitors. Baby Pipu reports that there has come some concern over the years regarding talcum powder possibly causing cancer, with Johnson and Johnson involved in lawsuits. Baby powder though can be used mildly in adults as a fashion saver.
5 Wipes Can Be A Life Saver
When traveling or even when in the house, having wipes is advisable. We are sometimes advised to try and use cotton balls instead of baby wipes, as some babies are born with skin sensitivity and some wipes could be harmful to the baby. But, having wipes is a good idea for when one is going for a doctor visit or even visiting friends.
For babies with acid reflux, which according to Web MD, is spitting up after a feed, which is common in babies but in severe cases may be cause for concern.
Wipes can be used when changing a baby's diaper, but the best life-saving aspect of baby wipes is that one can use them to clean up when there has been accidental vomiting or burps. Baby boys are known to be notorious when being changed and chances of winding up with pee in your mouth or all over the face are usually very high. In this case, the wipes will save real fast.
4 Treat Yourself To A Pedi
Having a baby does not mean that a woman should neglect herself. Most women have been known to forget to take care of themselves such that their partners stray or leave the minute they have a child. When a woman gives birth, bending is still an issue and in most cases, they are still in that mode of ‘ unh I will deal with the feet tomorrow.' This procrastination as far as hygiene is concerned will lead to cracked feet and truly smelly feet if not addressed.
For those who follow famous celebrities, they get their feet cleaned and are well kept because they do not let themselves go after the baby. In case a woman is overwhelmed, it is okay to ask for help, in fact, it is advisable to ask for help because there is no expert when it comes to baby care.
3 Hand Sanitizers Are A Must
Sometimes, especially when one is traveling, it is not possible to have running water. This is where a woman is advised to buy a hand sanitizer and to keep it at hand. Germs can be spread in even the most innocent of ways. It is possible to spread a cold just by shaking someone’s hand. If that person has a cold, the same cold can be passed on to the baby who is vulnerable at this point.
Using the bathroom and not washing the hands could lead to the baby getting diarrhea. The hand sanitizer can be used to forestall all this and the good news is that it can even be used to wipe the car seat as the baby is changed. A BabyCenter user says even in the hospital hand sanitizers are put out for people to use especially during the cold and flu season. In the home, it is advised that you put it out and let people use as need be.
2 Keep Your V Clean
According to Sherry Ross, M.D., who was quoted on Self.com, the period after birth is rarely discussed, yet it is the most challenging, physically, hormonally and emotionally. Straight after birth, the virginal discharge will be heavy and what is called lochia will last for up to 15 days after birth (or longer). During this time, a woman is advised to keep her V clean to prevent infections, such as fungal infections, as well as bad smell.
Some women undergo tearing during birth and in some cases, they may have an episiotomy. This requires a lot more care and because it is a wound, it will require a lot of care in ensuring that it is kept clean to help it heal. A woman should try to wear undergarments that are dry and made of a cotton material.
Cotton is good as it does not encourage the growth of bacteria, which is a common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
When the undergarments are washed, it is advisable to hang the clothes under the sun as this will kill the bacteria. Mahalinga on BoldSky.com advises that women should learn the right way to clean the perineal to prevent infections. It is advised to use sanitary pads in place of tampons as this reduces chances of infection.
1 It’s A Sweaty Affair
According to Kids Health, the body takes a while to adjust to the new level of blood flow, as well as the hormones. This means that your body will be hotter than usual or colder as your body tries to get the right footing. When a woman is busy looking after a child, it is a full-time job. The woman will be sweaty and tired and emotional and in some cases, feel harassed. For those of us who have been through it, we know it is a truly sweaty affair. The heat one used to feel in pregnancy seems to multiply the minute a woman gives birth.
This time the heat is not coming from the inside, rather it is the heat that comes from being tired.
The best thing to do in this case is getting comfortable clothes made of a breathable material. Trying to soothe or nurse a baby while wearing a clingy dress will not work. That is why most mothers are always in pajamas or housecoats. According to a mother on BabyCenter, to help relieve the night sweats and the leaky nipples, one should use a washcloth soaked in cold water. Alternatively, the minute one realizes she is about to go into labor, invest in nice pajama pants and sweatshirts and thank me later.