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10 Ways To Look After Yourself After Delivery

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Be prepared

Gear up for a major change in your life. Both parents must realise that they have to adapt and be responsible for the new, living, human being in their life. Talking to each other and being supportive about feelings will help in enhancing the happiness about a new baby and reducing stress.

Get Extra Help

Looking after a baby can be very tiring so don't try to do everything yourself. If possible get extra help for household chores or looking after older children or even someone to look after you and the baby. If help is offered by a relative or friend accept it.

Talk About Your Mood Swings

Don't worry too much about any mood swings. You might have bouts of weepiness or irritability but these phases will come and go. Talking about your feelings with a loved one will go a long way to soothe you.

Use Large Sanitary Pads

You will have some vaginal discharge and bleeding in the first week or so. Use large sanitary pads to absorb the discharges. Do not use tampons for at least 6 weeks.

Chilled Pack for Inflammation

You could have vaginal soreness caused by a vaginal tear or episiotomy. Application of a chilled pack of witch hazel will help reduce inflammation and pain. Stool softeners will make it easy for you to pass stools without straining. If you do need to strain press a clean cool pack against the wound while bearing down.

Pour warm water over your vulva while you urinate so that the urine does not sting the wound. Keep the wound clean and dry. If sitting causes discomfort use a soft pillow to sit on.

Handle Piles With Warm Water

If you think you have developed piles soak in a tub of warm water after passing stools for relief of pain. You might also need to use a haemorrhoid cream.

Breastfeed, Period.

Do breast feed. Breast feeding is beneficial for both the mother and baby. In the mother it helps contract and heal the uterus. It also helps the mother to bond with the baby . For the baby it delivers sterile milk that carries valuable antibodies from the mother and helps keep safe from infections.

To prevent cracked, sore or bleeding nipples apply a sterile, medical grade lanolin cream to your nipples or any other cream recommended by your doctor after each nursing session.

Nursing pads placed inside the bra will help soak any milk dripping out in between the feeds. For swollen, engorged breasts feed your baby or use a breast pump to express the excess milk. Applying warm packs to the breast will make it easier for you to express the milk. To reduce the production of milk place cold packs on the breasts. Wearing a fitting bra will also reduce the milk production

Practice Kiegel

Kiegel exercises will tone up the pelvic area and also prevent and treat any urinary or faecal leakage. To do Kiegels, the pelvic muscles need to be tightened as if preventing the passage of urine. These must be done for  for five seconds at a time, four or five times in a row. Gradually increase the exercise.

Don't Rush, Give Yourself Sometime

Give your body some time to heal. Do not rush back into your normal routine till you feel up to it. It is very important to rest your body and give it time to heal fully. Do not have sex or travel for 4 to 6 weeks. Avoid any strenuous activities such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, and aerobic exercise, for at least 6 weeks.

Follow Your Appointment Routine

Do have your scheduled postpartum checkup between 2 to 6 weeks after delivery. Your doctor will check your vagina, cervix and uterus to make sure you're healing well. The breasts will be examined. Your weight and blood pressure too. Share any concerns that you might have about breast feeding, birth control, piles, resumption of sexual activity, diet and losing weight.

Contact your doctor earlier if the vaginal bleeding does not reduce or gets heavier.

  • If the discharge has a foul odour
  • After pains or cramps are severe
  • Develop high fever
  • Burning sensation while passing urine or a strong persistent urge to urinate frequently
  • Depression does not lift or gets worse.
Stay updated on women's health, ask a gynecologist online, download LAIMA.

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