The official postnatal care period lasts for six to eight weeks after the baby is born. The mother will go through many physical and emotional changes during this time. At the same time, she’s learning to take care of her newborn. Even mothers who have previously had children may be navigating different health issues this time around; noticing how different one sibling can be from another, even in the very early days.
One of the most important components of self-care for new mothers is getting enough rest. It can be challenging for new moms to ever feel rested. Babies often sleep for short periods of time between feedings. Dr. Jenkins suggests new moms take help where they can get it, sleep while the baby sleeps, and keep the baby’s crib near the mother’s bed so that night feedings are easier.
In addition to sleep, proper nutrition is also critical. While many moms are anxious to start losing weight, they must be sure that they’re receiving enough nutrition. This is even more important for mothers who are breastfeeding as their baby’s health depends on the mother’s. Dr. Jenkins advises patients not to wait until they feel hungry to eat; instead eat a diet of healthy proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.
Finally, medical care will help the mother ensure her future health. It’s normal for new moms to have contractions or cramps for several days following delivery. Also, she may experience vaginal soreness, bleeding or discharge, or pain while urinating for several weeks. While this is normal, it’s important to listen to your body and call the doctor if you’re concerned. Patients should avoid intercourse for four to six weeks following delivery to ensure the body has time to heal. Also, it’s important to schedule a checkup with the obstetrician at six to eight weeks following delivery.
For more information about postnatal care, call the office of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine today.