The term “postpartum” refers to the time after childbirth. The postpartum period is one of the challenging periods, especially for new parents. The entrance of a new baby changes the family unit as a whole, and these changes most hit the mother.
The postpartum period, usually a few six weeks after childbirth is a joyful period, but it demands many adjustments and changes.
As a wife, this is a period where you adjust to motherhood. If you are a career woman, you may have to pause it for three to six months to heal perfectly. Also, you will learn how to stay awake most time since the new baby must always be fed.
In this article, you will learn the various health tips to implement during this period and the various kinds of changes you will mostly encounter as a mother.
8 Health Tips for Postpartum
The postpartum period is also known as the puerperium or the “fourth trimester.” During this period, the maternal physiologic changes that you had while pregnant will return to the nonpregnant state. Here are some health tips for postpartum that will help you stay healthy while you make those changes.
1. Get plenty of rest and sleep
Ensure you take time to rest and sleep properly. This is the best way to fight fatigue and tiredness during this period. It may be difficult to sleep because the new baby constantly wakes up to feed and cry, but anytime the baby is asleep, you can quickly catch a nap. Also, enough rest helps to speed up your body’s recovery process.
2. Eat healthy meals
A healthy diet is necessary for your healing. Cut down on your sugar and processed food intake. Make of fiber, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein. Also, increase your water intake, as this will help with breastfeeding.
The fact that your body needs to rest during postpartum does not neglect the need for exercise. Your body needs to move and exercise. However, you shouldn’t start strenuous activities. Start from low-activity exercises, then advance slowly to the strenuous ones. I advised that you begin by having long walks some days after delivery. Then, you slowly start increasing your speed and activity.
After delivery, most women tend to add weight. Besides helping you heal, exercise allows you to deal with excess fat.
4. Use recommend tools and medicines for your vaginal tears
Research states that 85% to 90% of first-time vaginal births cause mild tears and grazes, which get lower in a subsequent delivery. Vaginal tears are completely normal, and the length of recovery depends on the tear’s nature and severity.
You can ask your doctor to recommend tools that will help you heal underneath, such as pain relievers, peri bottles, donut-shaped cushions, and cold packs. Always be conscious of your body at this stage. When you notice any high fever or body itches, consult your doctor immediately, as it can be a sign of infection.
Also, at this stage, you should prepare your vaginal to have sex again. Studies have shown that you can start having sex three months after birth. At this stage, you are still breastfeeding, and there is a huge possibility that you will experience vaginal dryness, which may make sex painful and less pleasurable. So ensure you invest in health lubricants and moisturizers.
5. Avoid stress
One of the most effective strategies to overcome stress at the postpartum stage is to seek help from family and friends. Your body needs to heal. So you need help with the house chores, preparing meals, running errands, and other household activities.
6. Ensure you give yourself extra space to heal
This is for women who underwent C-sections. Women who give birth through C-sections find it harder to heal than those who have vaginal births. At this stage, you should know that you had abdominal surgery and give yourself extra time and space to heal. Also, always take your pain regimen, especially a few days after birth, to cope with abdominal pain.
7. Always be in time for your post-natal checkups
Any complications that may arise in the post-partum period are quickly arrested during the post-natal checkups. At this point, you have to be observant of your body changes. If you notice that you have prolonged constipation, do consult the obstetrician quickly. Also, keep a watching eye against any postpartum complications. They include sudden swelling, chest pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, burning urination, worsening uterine pain, and excessive bleeding.
8. Prioritize your mental health
Postpartum depression is a common form of clinical depression that occurs after childbirth.
To avoid, minimize the risk or deal with this condition after childbirth, talk to your doctor if you experience any postpartum symptoms. Stay with supportive friends, and do things that will be good for your mental health.
Body Changes During the Postpartum Period
During the postpartum period, there are body changes you may experience. They may be disturbing but are completely normal during this period. They include:
- Weight gain
- Pelvic floor changes
- Night-time sweating
- Breast engorgement – swelling of the breast due to the infill of milk
- Constipation – however, if it becomes prolonged, it is a sign of complication
- Uterine pain – do consult the doctor when the pain becomes excessive
- Vaginal discharge – continues for two to four weeks after giving birth
The postpartum changes will improve slowly. However, when you notice any extreme change or concern concerning you or your baby, consult the doctor immediately.