Post Natal period extends around six to eight weeks starting from the time the baby was delivered. During this period the mother needs good rest, support and nutrition. Proper care has to be given to the vaginal area so it heals. At the same time, we need to make sure that the baby also receives proper nutrition and remains healthy. Though the global count of deaths of mother and babies have reduced, studies show that women’s health is vulnerable for up to six months after delivery. This period is of utmost importance to the newborn babies too as chances of infant deaths are higher during the first few weeks.
The main objective for providing proper postnatal care is to
- give proper support to the new mother
- identify or help diagnose if there is any complication for the mother or baby.
- guide the mother to have a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy and in the process, the baby too gets all the required nutrients.
- train the mother on proper breast feeding techniques. If the baby is not able to latch properly they may not get the required feed and this can affect the baby’s health.
- guide the new parents on family planning and abstain from sexual activity for at least 6 weeks so proper healing of stitches takes place.
There should be at least three scheduled visits to the doctor in the periods of 6 weeks after the delivery – first visit in the first week, next between 7 to 14 days, and the third visit between 4 to 6 weeks. Postnatal visits to the hospital is important so they can keep a check on the health of the mother and baby.
The mother will be going through a lot of changes during this stage which can be very tiring and overwhelming for her, so make sure they follow these to help reduce exhaustion.
- Continue to have their iron and folic acid supplements for the next three months.
- Try to sleep when the baby sleeps. It is expected a new born baby wakes up and needs to be fed every two to three hours interval which can be tiring. So make sure to at least take a nap whenever possible.
- Eat healthy well balanced food and drink plenty of water.
- Women who are breast feeding will require additional food and have sufficient water.
- Avoid sexual intercourse so the vagina and stitches can heal during this period.
- Go for short walks or do postpartum exercises as advised by your doctor.
- It is not necessary for the mother to entertain all the guests who come to meet her and the baby during this period. Let the mother take some rest or have a nap.
- Have someone to help the mother with household responsibilities at least till she gets adjusted to the new schedule.
The mother needs to immediately get in touch with the doctor if she displays any of these.
- vaginal bleeding has increased and has a feeling that the stitch has not healed.
- has an episode of fits.
- has fever which lasts long and doesn’t go away
- having difficulty in breathing
- infection in the area of stich
- mother is showing signs of severe depression
During the post natal period the babies also need to be taken proper care of.
- they are given only breast milk
- they are always kept warm
- the baby’s face and bottom are always kept clean. You do not need to wash each time but can be wiped and kept clean.
You should go to see the doctor if the baby starts showing any of the following-
- the baby has fits
- high temperature
- presence of yellow color
- count of number of times the baby passed urine is very less or has reduced drastically indicating dehydration
- difficulty in feeding, baby not taking the feed properly or feeds count is less
- cord with blood or pus
Post-natal period care is of utmost importance to the new mother and baby. Do keep a note of all of these. If you would like to know more kindly contact us.