Moms read and hear a lot about newborn care, but this time, let’s talk about something that’s also equally as important — postpartum care.
Moms need to properly take care of themselves in the days or even weeks (or months!) after giving birth. It’s one way to ensure that our newborns will also get the best care that they need. If you’re feeling anxious or clueless over what you can and cannot do in this motherhood stage, here are a few reminders:
Do not ignore the signs that you need to see your doctor
We might be over the moon over our new cute baby but we should still pay attention to our health. Our bodies are still recuperating over the small war it has won by giving birth, but here are a few red flags that could mean that we need to see a Dr., ASAP:
- You bleed too much: too much being you can soak a pad every hour for two hours or more.
- You pass blood clots bigger than a coin.
- Your vagina or area down there smells bad.
- You have no bleeding whatsoever.
- You have a high-grade fever.
- You are in terrible pain.
- You have swelling, redness, or discharge from your cesarean incision or episiotomy site.
- Problems urinating, including inability to urinate, burning sensation while urinating, or dark-colored urine. Any of these could be a symptom of dehydration, an infection, or other complications.
- You’re having trouble with your eyes – this could be a symptom of postpartum preeclampsia.
- You have severe headaches. This could either be hormonal or blood-pressure related, either way, it’s better to have it checked.
- You’re feeling pain, warmth, or tenderness in your legs.
- You feel nauseous or vomit frequently.
- You’re having trouble breathing.
The bottom line, if you feel weird or off, consult your doctor.
Do not go swimming
And it’s not just because it will be messy. Women who have just given birth have an internal wound where the placenta was one attached. So sitting in water, such as in a swimming pool or a bathtub for long periods can be a high risk for infection. On the other hand, quick showers are safe and recommended for hygiene.
Do not have sex
Not a lot of moms will feel up to a steamy night so soon after giving birth. But if you ever feel like it, it’s best to hold off for a few weeks more as doing it so soon could lead to infection and delay healing.
Do not assume that you cannot get pregnant
Believe it or not, but it is possible to get pregnant even before the first post-pregnancy period. Some moms ovulate even before getting their period, so it is possible to go from one pregnancy to the next without ever having your red days.
Do not push it when you poop
Straining or pushing it too hard when you poop can cause bleeding, damage stitches, or healing tissues, and it can hurt! So take it easy for a few days, drink lots of water, and ask your doctor for poop softeners.
Do not hold your pee for long
Peeing might feel uncomfortable or even painful for you in the days right after giving birth, but remember to not hold it in too much as well and try to pee every 2 to 3 hours. Your bladder is also part of the system that’s also trying to heal so try to go easy on it for the next few days.
Do not forget to take your vitamins
Most doctors will advise you to continue taking your prenatal vitamins or even prescribe new ones – always remember to take them every day as these could help your body heal.
Do not go on a diet to lose the baby weight
Always remember that your body just made a whole new person and worked double time to birth it, so go easy on it. This includes giving yourself time to heal and recover. So don’t pressure yourself to go back on your pre-pregnancy body and weight. Plus, you need lots of healthy calories at this stage to help your body heal and produce nutritious breast milk for your new baby. So take it easy.
Do not lift heavy objects or do any stressful work
Doing any of these things could again put undue stress on your body and could be a high risk for bleeding. So just relax and rest up.
Do not feel ashamed of all the crazy postpartum emotions
It’s OK and normal to feel crazy in the days right after giving birth, as most of the emotions you’re feeling are brought about by hormones. So you don’t have to feel embarrassed if you’re in tears over everything.
Do not be bullied into anything you don’t want to do
Moms can get bombarded with tons of advice and ideas on how to “best” raise their kids, but do know that you as the mom will always have the last say on how you want to raise your baby and what kind of mom you want to be.