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 Postpartum care  



What is Postpartum Care
Postpartum is the period of time after the birth of a baby when the body is changing back to normal. It lasts about 6 weeks or until the uterus returns to its normal size.

The following are important components of postpartum care:

Rest: You need rest. However, with caring for and feeding a new baby, there is not much time to rest. You can get help from friends and family and have extra time to care for the baby and yourself. Because you must feed the baby day and night, you may need to change your sleeping schedule to get enough rest. Try to sleep while the baby sleeps. Morning and afternoon naps can be very helpful.

Pain relief: If you delivered the baby normally through the birth canal, pain in the area between the rectum and vagina is common. To relieve the pain and prevent infection, you can sit in a warm bath, put cold packs on the area, or put warm water on the area with a squirt bottle or sponge. It is also important to wipe yourself from the front to back after a bowel movement to prevent infection.

Bleeding and discharge: You will have vaginal discharge for 2 to 6 weeks after delivery. Sometimes it may last longer. It may come out in gushes or more evenly like a menstrual period. The discharge will start out red and slowly change to pink and finally a yellow-white color.

Constipation and haemorrhoids: It is common to be constipated or have discomfort from haemorrhoids after delivery. Ointments and sprays can be used to help reduce swelling in the area of the rectum. For constipation try eating foods rich in fiber and drinking lots of liquids.

Breast soreness: Milk will come in about 2 to 4 days after the child is born. This may make breasts very large, hard, and sore. This will get better once you start a breast-feeding routine. If you are not breast-feeding, your breasts may become large or painful while you are waiting for your milk to dry up. To help with pain and discomfort, wear a well-fitting support bra and put ice packs on your breasts

How to return to pre-pregnancy weight?
During birth, one loses about 12 to 14 pounds. However, this may still leave some weight to lose, depending on how much weight you gained during pregnancy. Losing this weight takes time. It takes most women 8 to 12 months to return to their normal weight. Losing the weight slowly is healthy and natural.

The key is to eat healthy and exercise. After the first few months of eating right and exercising, you can begin a healthy weight-loss programme if necessary. If you are breast-feeding, you should make sure you are still eating at least 1800 calories a day. Because breast-feeding uses a lot of calories, it usually helps women lose their pregnancy weight.


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