Between the times that a new mother regains her usual body before childbirth and the moment that she delivers, this is known as the postpartum period. The period lasts for about 6 weeks, a period that a woman has to deal with both physical and emotional changes.
These are the changes that took place during pregnancy and after childbirth. Pain, vaginal soreness, urinary tract infections and hemorrhoids are just some of the issues that a new mother faces. All these issues can be minimized by taking good care of your body. Below are some of the ways that a new mother can take care of her body.
15 “Is it possible to get my pre-birth shape and weight?”
As long as you eat healthy foods and exercise, you will regain your shape and desired weight. It’s normal to add weight during pregnancy with some of it being lost immediately after giving birth while the rest have to be worked out gradually. Losing excess weight at a go is not safe and if you opt for an exercise plan or detox, it’s advisable to talk to your doctor first.
14 “How can I relieve vaginal soreness?”
Vaginal soreness is experienced especially when there is a tear during delivery. A severe tear is known as a laceration and can be quite painful. Although this can be relieved by taking pain relievers, it is advisable to use natural methods such as sitting in warm water or sitz baths or cooling it off with an ice pack. You can sit on a pillow to be comfortable.
13 “How can I control urine leakage?”
Urination problems are common after a normal vaginal delivery as the tissues that surround the bladder might be bruised. This can lead urine to leak or difficulty in passing urine and in worst scenarios, urinary tract infection. If you leak urine when you laugh or cough, start doing Kegel exercises, these help in toning up the pelvic floor muscles. See a doctor if you often have the urge to urinate, you pass small amounts of urine but frequently or if you get a burning sensation every time you urinate.
12 “Can breast engorgement be reduced?”
One of the most common issues that new mothers experience is breast engorgement. The breasts feel like they are swollen, they are painful and the nipple may tend to crack. Expressing the breastmilk or breastfeeding the newborn regularly are some of the ways to reduce the engorgement. Ice pack may also be applied. Avoid going for long periods without breastfeeding as this may lead to mastitis.
11 “Are hemorrhoids manageable?”
Yes, hemorrhoids are manageable when you drink lots of water, eat foods such as vegetables and cereals with high fiber as well as sitting in warm water. Many women experience these swollen, painful veins around the anus before and after pregnancy. The pain can persist during postpartum. Ensure that you do not strain during a bowel movement.
10 “When should I see a doctor about my vaginal discharge?”
Vaginal discharge during the postpartum period alternates in color and texture. Immediately after a vaginal delivery, you get a heavy flow of bright red blood which later turns into a watery discharge. The color may range from brown or pink to white or yellow. If you have a fever, a disturbing odor or the bleeding seems to be too heavy, see a doctor.
9 “What do I do to keep my hair strong and avoid hair loss?”
You actually can't avoid losing hair postpartum. During your pregnancy your hormones stop your hair form falling out which leads to thicker more luscious locks, but after the baby comes and your hormones scramble back to normal you will experience hair loss.
Eating lots of vegetables and fruits as well as not stressing the hair can go a long way in preventing hair loss after childbirth. Thinning and hair loss can start in the early weeks of postpartum during breastfeeding and continue for weeks. For some women, this condition affects the hairline and can be worse if you pull your hair tight when styling.
8 “Are there foods that might affect me and my baby ?”
Postpartum a new mother should eat a balanced diet so as to boost healing. Eating a balanced diet that includes things like vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins and foods that contain essential nutrients is very important. These are actually the foods that help in the recovery after childbirth. Regular fluid intake is also highly recommended.
7 “How soon should I start having sex?”
We all know that breastfeeding is not a birth control method and is quite possible to get pregnant during the postpartum period. As soon as the bleeding stops which may last for months, you may start getting intimate as long as you are comfortable physically. Some women tend to be afraid of this.
6 “Why do I feel tired after giving birth?”
Labor and blood loss makes your body tired. Most new mothers complain that their newborns do not let them sleep at all and they stay up most of the night with feedings and diaper changes. Eating healthy foods and sleeping when the baby sleeps can help with this. You may also seek help from loved ones in taking care of the baby.
5 “Why does the belly remain big even weeks after childbirth?”
As the unborn baby grows inside the womb, the belly increases in size and to shrink back to its original size after childbirth may take months while for other women it may remain big. One of the things that can help in regaining the pre-birth size is engaging in abdominal targeted exercise.
Fitness experts say the best way to lose baby weight is to start getting fit before, pregnancy, during pregnancy and as soon as you're able after pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle makes it easier to get your body back and stops you from gaining too much weight during pregnancy.
4 “How can I reduce stretch marks?”
The skin stretches during pregnancy resulting in stretch marks. The appearance of these stripes on the skin that appear on the abdomen, belly, breasts and thighs. Stretch marks are an inheritable trait like blues eyes and curly hair. You can't really escape them.
You can educe their appearance with topical application of lotions and creams. Those with coconut oil as a base product are known to be more effective.
3 “Can I relieve the pain with over-the-counter drugs?”
After the anesthesia is reversed, there can be intense pain on the incision site after a c-section. Doctors advise that no heavy meals should be taken immediately after surgery. Rest enough, walk a bit, ask loved ones to help with the new member in the family and enquire with a certified doctor on painkillers if you feel you need them.
2 “Why do I feel depressed?”
It is not only mothers that feel depressed after childbirth, but also fathers, especially the first timers. Lack of sleep, anxiety, rejection and hormonal changes are some of the reasons that lead to this. Seek professional assistance if this lasts for more than three weeks as this may have worse effects than what you think.
1 “What are afterbirth pains?”
During menstruation, some women have cramps that can be quite painful. These are the same as afterbirth pains that can be treated by taking pain relievers. If not treated, they go away on their own, but if they persist, you should see a health expert as it might be an infection.