Congratulations! Your world has just transformed into a magical one. The experiences you will have in the early days with your new-born will be etched in your heart forever. However, during this period, it is easy to overlook your own needs as a new mother. Between all the confusion involved around taking care of the baby, make sure that you are conscious about your physical and emotional health for the benefit of your child and your family.
Caring for yourself During the First 40 Days
Now that you have had the baby, chances are, most of your family members may already have mentioned to you how important the first 40 days after the delivery are. It is not uncommon for Indian mothers to spend their first 40 days in confinement with the intention to recuperate and simultaneously strengthen bond with the baby.
Recovering after Delivery
Depending on the type of delivery you have had, chances are, you will regain your strength fairly quickly. However, if you have undergone a caesarean or an assisted birth of any form, you will experience aches and pains for a longer time. During this time, it is important that you allow your body to heal at its own pace. The best way to support this process is by eating well and being aware of symptoms of infection or postnatal complications.
If possible, make sure you have some help taking care of the household chores so that you get to rest when the baby is asleep. It is ideal to get help from women who have been through child rearing.
It is absolutely essential for a new mother to be careful about her post-pregnancy diet. Shedding pregnancy weight is all right, but dieting is not the solution; eating right is. As a breastfeeding mother, it is imperative you include wheat, low-fat lean meats/poultry, dark green, red, orange and starchy vegetables to your daily diet. Add more fish, nuts, beans and nuts. Keep yourself thoroughly hydrated by regular intake of water and juices throughout the day. Avoid excessive intake of caffeine. Quit smoking, if you already haven’t. Consult your doctor in case you or your baby develop infections or allergies. It is only through you that your baby gains nutrition. Give it the health it deserves.
Caring for your Emotional Needs
Birthing a child is an achievement which is not only commendable but highly emotionally driven. Every new mother tends to respond uniquely to this experience. Some mothers feel extremely alert and physically, emotionally and mentally satisfied while others may feel exhausted and a little depressed. You may also end up feeling possessive and protective of your child. Getting postnatal depression or baby blues is not uncommon.
While your medical insurance cover deliveries, remember, that they also cover post-delivery complications for the mother and extend it to infants diagnosed with congenital disorder or critical illness. So all you now need to do is to get help from your spouse and family members to overcome the severe mood swings you (might) experience, and bond with your baby.
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