Motherhood can be an overwhelming experience for the woman giving birth. This sudden rush of emotions can be due to mental as well as the physical stress of giving birth. The first forty days after your child’s birth are very crucial. They are often talked about so much because they pave the way for a healthy mom and baby in the days to come.
The nine months of pregnancy and then the entire delivery process can be very taxing on any woman’s body. Thus it is very important to take care of one’s own self, post delivery. The first forty days are crucial to allow the body and the mind to recuperate. In many Asian countries, women are often confined to their home for this period. Elder members of the family are there for the new mother, to help look after her and the house.
The first forty days give the new mother a chance to bond with her newborn and get accustomed to breastfeeding and its nuances. This is the time when she might require the help of a lactation consultant.
Presenting our guide to the first forty days as a mother, which will help you sail through this journey like a breeze:
1. ASK FOR HELP
This is the most crucial tip which will help you stay sane for the first forty days. A new mother is often apprehensive about asking for help. Yes, we love to do to do our household chores, but post delivery we can give that a break for some time. Our bodies are already tired post delivery and doing household stuff should be the last thing on our mind. Always ask for help as and when you need it. Looking after the baby can be physically very exhausting, thus asking your family members to assist you in day to day things will be fruitful in the long run. If it is a nuclear family set up, hire a maid who will make your life easier.
2. TAKE CARE OF YOUR DIET
As a new mother, there needs to be the right amount of proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates in your meal. Try to have small meals throughout the day as they will keep you full and you won’t feel hungry after short gaps. Since you are also breastfeeding you need to make sure you replenish the calcium levels in your body by taking adequate dairy products. A pro tip – Always keep healthy snacking bars or a fruit on your bedside table so that you don’t have to rush to the kitchen every time you feel hungry. Include foods which are said to increase breastmilk supply as well.
3. VAGINAL DISCHARGE POST DELIVERY
Bleeding or lochia, as it is popularly called, is a very common occurrence post delivery.The body is basically trying to get rid of the blood and tissues which was a part of the uterus during pregnancy. The flow will be heavy for the first few days and will gradually decrease as the days progress. Try to change tampons or sanitary pads after every 2-3 hours to ensure proper hygiene levels.
4. TAKE CARE OF THE STITCHES
If you have undergone a Caesarean section, then the process of healing and getting back on your feet can take some time. The soreness in stitches will last for a minimum of five to six days after which the pain will eventually wear off. Your doctor will ask you to take medicines to speed up the healing process and to ward off the pain. Do not take very long baths and inform your doctor if you see any signs of infection.
5. BREAST SORENESS
Most of the women find it difficult, initially, to feed their newborns. If you are also feeling the same, it is time for you to consider a lactation nutritionist. A new mom often finds her breast extremely sore after repetitive breastfeeding sessions throughout the day. If you want to give yourself a break, you can express the milk through a pumping machine and bottle feed your infant. You can also try a warm compress or warm shower which will provide some much-needed relief.
6. LIGHT EXERCISES
Before you roll your eyes, no we are not asking you to hit the gym for those hard exercises right away. A human body takes nine months to give birth to a little one, so be calm with it. It is not going to shed those extra kilos in a few weeks. Do light walking and pelvic exercises. Pelvic exercises help in increasing blood circulation and also works towards rebuilding the lost strength of a woman’s body.
7. DON’T FORGET YOURSELF
Yes, you heard it right. Even though you aren’t doing anything physically exhausting or a full-time job, it is important that you take out time for yourself and enjoy those little moments. Listen to music, do some yoga, write a journal – you never know all these little things might just develop into a passion later on in life.
Having a healthy mix of traditional and modern practices will help you go a long way in healing post delivery and will also ensure a happy and a healthy baby.