Things Expecting Mothers Should Be Ready for Postpartum

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Things Expecting Mothers Should Be Ready For Postpartum
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If you are an expecting mother, you are about to embark on one of the most important journeys of your life. For many women, giving birth becomes one of the most rewarding journeys they will ever get the opportunity to experience. Here are some things expecting mothers should be ready for postpartum.

As you begin to anticipate the many phases of pregnancy, you’ll find that you can’t wait to meet and take care of your precious little one. The hard work that your body will go through pays off at that final moment when you get to hold your child for the first time.

As much as you will crave to care for the needs of your baby, your baby needs you to be in good health too. It’s extremely important to care for your own needs if you want to be your best self for your new baby.

The Path to Recovery

Immediately after giving birth, your body will begin its healing process. During this time, you will experience a few changes, discomforts, and you may experience some possible complications. Some are more serious than others, but it’s beneficial for you to be aware of the challenges you may face after giving birth.

While breastfeeding, you should maintain a healthy diet, drink lots of water, and get as much rest as possible. Also, be patient with your body. It may seem like it’s working against you but remember that it takes time to heal, especially since you just went through a traumatic experience. You may feel mostly healed within six to eight weeks, but full recovery may take months. So, don’t try to do too much too soon.

If you start feeling overwhelmed, ask for help from your spouse, family, or friends. Aside from the physical discomforts and strains your body will go through postpartum, the path to recovery is also a mental journey. You will find yourself struggling to find time to eat, sleep, and heal. It may feel like you’ll never have time to yourself again.

It is during this time that you should begin to utilize every asset available to you and take every break you can get. Even when the house chores fall behind, if your baby gets a nap, mommy needs to nap too. Give yourself permission to kick your feet up, if even for a short time. Your mind and body will thank you, and you will feel up to the challenges of the day ahead.

Utilize the people in your life. You can enrich your social life by taking your baby to visit with other mothers and friends you may not have seen in a while. A play date is as much of a time for mommy as it is for your child. It can be an opportunity to leave the home and enjoy some laughs and heartfelt moments with others.

It’s important to allow yourself to let go of the reigns. Allow your spouse or other family members to do more for you. Especially if you are experiencing any complications postpartum, it is time to allow others to pick up some of the house chores and cooking. By focusing more on your own health and needs, you’ll be a better and more attentive mother to the needs of your newborn. A well-rested mind can be your most powerful asset at this time as you can make better decisions for the health of your baby.

Things You Should Be Ready for Postpartum

After childbirth, some common problems women face include soreness, abdominal pain, stretch marks, hair loss, incontinence, constipation, hemorrhoids, depression, and vaginal bleeding. These complications range from mere cosmetic inconvenience to more serious problems for your health. Use any free time you have to learn more about these problems before you give in to stress.

Perineal Soreness

The perineum is the space between the vagina and anus. Vaginal delivery requires immense force causing perineal swelling and tenderness after giving birth. In some cases, the perineum gets torn, or the doctor may make a small incision in the area to create more space for delivery. Your doctor will stitch the site to help it repair as your body heals.

You can help ease some of the discomforts by sitting on an ice pack for a few minutes a day. It is also recommended that you wash the area with warm water from a squirt bottle each time you use the toilet. This will reduce the chances of infection, especially after bowel movements.

Use a hand mirror to properly inspect this area when using the restroom. You don’t want to see any excess inflammation or swelling. The wounds should be improving over time. Don’t be afraid of going in for a checkup if the wounds aren’t healing. Infection in your body not only affects your health but also the health of your baby as infected blood cells can find their way into your breast milk.

Vaginal Bleeding and Discharge

Even if you had a cesarean section, it is common to experience vaginal bleeding and discharge (also called lochia). This is important to the healing process as your body seeks to eliminate excess blood and tissue used to nourish and protect the baby during pregnancy. It’s heaviest in the first two weeks after delivery but should lighten over the next four weeks.

You should expect mild abdominal pain as your uterus contracts to expel the excess tissue. These pains may also occur during breastfeeding, which triggers the production of a chemical that causes contractions.

This process is normal, and there’s no need to alarm yourself. Consult your physician if the symptoms increase over time, or becomes more painful. Postpartum checkups should be scheduled to ensure your body is healing properly. Remember that your body is still producing nourishment for your baby through breastfeeding. Eat nourishing foods and stay hydrated to produce the optimal quality of nourishment for your baby.

Possible Complications

Non-Life-Threatening

Some women develop a condition called rectus diastasis. This condition develops as the abdominal muscles (called the rectus abdominis) stretch during pregnancy. As they stretch, the tissue connecting them overextends and becomes damaged, sometimes resulting in back pain, urinary incontinence, painful sex, and a bulging stomach.

The good news is that this medical issue is not only treatable, it is also preventable. You can prevent it by doing exercises that engage your deep core muscles during the prenatal months and after delivery. But it’s best to avoid crunches, Pilates, and sit-ups while still pregnant.

Though the condition is not life-threatening, the side effects are serious, can make delivery more difficult, and the condition can diminish your quality of life if left untreated.

Strengthen your core to make delivery more manageable. The more you are able to do during pregnancy, the better your recovery will be postpartum. Once your baby is born, find ways to keep on developing your fitness routine. Going on frequent walks with your baby will increase your body’s strength and endurance while also giving you the opportunity to experience some fresh air and sunshine.

If you can find time to allow your baby to be watched by a housesitter or family member, you should definitely allow yourself a couple of hours to visit a spa. Massaging of your skin not only leaves your body relaxed and refreshed but can also help with any stretch marks your skin has retained.

Use creams or ointments high in vitamin E to help nourish your skin. Take care to research the products you use, however, as some can contain unhealthy ingredients for you and your breastfeeding baby. Consult your physician about any products you are unsure of.

Life-Threatening

Excessive bleeding or postpartum hemorrhaging may occur right after birth or a few weeks later. It most often occurs when the uterus does not contract the way it should after removing the placenta. It may also result from tears in the uterus, cervix, or vagina or if small pieces of the placenta remain in the uterus.

Contractions are necessary in order for your body to expel any of this excess matter. If your uterus is not contracting as it should after delivery, your doctor will massage it or administer oxytocin to stimulate contractions. But retained pieces of the placenta are usually surgically removed if the body is unable to do so on its own.

Retained placenta can cause infection in the uterus, which produces symptoms like high fever, rapid heart rates, tenderness, and foul vaginal smelling discharge. Postpartum hemorrhaging is the third most common cause of maternal mortality. So, visit the emergency room immediately if you experience any of these symptoms after leaving the hospital.

Taking care of your baby is imperative, but so is taking care of yourself. Make sure to get plenty of rest when you can, and practice good exercise and eating habits to keep your spirit high. Reach out to friends and family members to enrich your social life and keep your mind in good health. Never be too proud to ask for help when you need it.

Keep in mind that you are definitely not alone! There are various forums and groups you can use to connect with other mothers that are going through or have gone through the same experiences you are. Reaching out to these groups allows you to make new friends. It may also lead to lasting friendships for your children too! As your children grow up playing together, they get the opportunity to develop their own social skills too.

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