Post- Pregnancy Care After C-section/Vaginal Birth
A new mother is just like a newborn baby who needs utmost care to be healthy in the future. So many people don’t know about this and take mother’s health lightly thinking that she will cure on her own and she is a grown-up and can handle herself. But the reality is before and after delivery the mother’s body goes through so many hormonal changes and changes in behavior and personality. It is very equally important to take care of the mother and the newborn.
In this article, I will tell you what a mother goes through this journey and how to handle it according to my personal experience.
What is Postpartum?
Postpartum is also called post-pregnancy which means from the delivery date to 6 weeks after your c-section or vaginal birth. This is the time when your body starts healing. These 6 weeks are very important for the mother to take care of herself to look after her baby happily. Family members must help the mother in all the ways possible.
What to expect after delivery?
1. Hair Loss:- During pregnancy you will notice that your hair has grown long and healthy because of the vitamin and minerals tablets and healthy diet you were taking during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called estrogen so much which helps in your hair growth. But after delivery, these hormones fall down slowly which results in hair loss. Postpartum Depression also can cause hair fall for the first 6 months.
2. Weight Gain:- This is one of the most common problems every mother faces after delivery. Women think that they gained weight due to c-section or by taking vitamin and mineral tablets. This is not true. During pregnancy, your weight will increase 11 to 15 kgs. 11 kg is a healthy weight gain. More than 12 kgs can cause health issues like diabetes and hypertension. It’s very important to do some physical activity during pregnancy to avoid extra weight gain. Throughout your pregnancy, you should not lift weights but can do light exercises like walking, household works, and dancing a bit too. Eat healthy food and avoid fast food during and after pregnancy. This will help you in maintaining your weight.
3. Back Pain:- This is very common in all the mothers after delivery but mothers who had a c-section will have severe pain after delivery as they are given anesthesia during c-section on their spinal cord. You will have back pain during pregnancy too as your baby increases in size your abdomen takes shape accordingly and your spinal cords bend a little more down which causes back pain. After delivery, it takes time for the spinal cord to take back its position and hence you will have pain till your spinal cord becomes normal. During and after pregnancy, you can do some back exercises after consulting your doctor. Don’t take painkillers as they have many side effects.
4. Pigmentation:- You will notice red patches on your body. on the forehead, on the neck, or on the breast. This is completely normal and will go away on its own.
5. Constipation:– After delivery, you will be constipated. In c-section mothers since you are kept only on glucose for 2 days without any food after going home and having some food, your stool will be hard and black in color. Don’t panic if you see something like this. It’s very normal and you will be normal after 2 to 3 days. It will be hard for you to pass stool as your incision hurts when you put too much pressure on your abdomen. Don’t put too much pressure as it can cause your stitches to open up. Instead, drink plenty of fluids and water and always keep yourself hydrated to get rid of constipation.
6. Bleeding:- After delivery, you will be on periods for continuous 40 days. So be prepared with sanitary pads and maintain hygiene. Avoid sex for 40 days in case of vaginal birth and for 3 months in case of c-section.
7. Pelvic Pain in case of Vaginal Birth:- the area between the rectum and vagina stretches a lot during pregnancy and sometimes your doctor might cut it slightly during labor for the baby to come out and stitch it back after delivery. This can be very painful and you will not be able to urinate, pass stool,, or sit on a chair. Talk to your doctor and seek advice.
8. Hormonal Changes:– After delivery, all your hormones change slowly and you will have mood swings, stress, sweating, body pains, etc. As your uterus takes time to shrink back to its normal size. You will have cramping and contractions in the uterus.
When to call the doctor?
- Increase in bleeding.
- Severe pain in your abdomen.
- Discharge of fluids from your c-section incision.
- Painful and tender breasts.
- Swelling of hands and legs.
- Severe headache.
- Painful urination.
- Severe Constipation.
How to take care of yourself?
- Take plenty of rest. Sleep whenever your baby sleeps.
- Have a healthy diet with fiber, vitamin, iron, and mineral-rich foods.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Ask others for help.
- Do some physical activity or exercise
- Don’t take any stress.
- Enjoy time with your baby.
- Don’t lift heavy weights for up to 6 months.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Maintain hygiene.
- Maintain hygiene near the incision or else it may get an infection.
- Cover your incision with a cloth and have a bath in the initial days.