If you are a New Mom, How to Take Care of your Health in Today Times

Nothing in the world will make you as happy, as sad, as exhausted and as incredibly proud as Motherhood. With the COVID pandemic spreading its tentacles, I would add one more ‘as anxious’. Yes, becoming a new mom in the COVID times and with the lockdown can be an anxious time for the new mother as also her family. Hospitals are careful not to allow too many attendants and only one person is there to be with her. While this is necessary to maintain social distancing, a new mother longs for the comfort and care her family would provide., especially when the baby is handed over to her. Breastfeeding, changing diapers and taking care of both baby and herself can pose a big challenge. That’s when we as healthcare workers step in and make sure she understands how to take care of her health.

For the new mom, the first 06 weeks after childbirth refers to the post-partum period. It’s a period of adjustment and healing for the mother. Her immunity is low and she needs to take extra care of herself. While the baby has to be fed and changed often, she may experience sleepless nights and it can be frustrating and tiresome. This makes it even more necessary for the young mother to focus on her own health so that she is fit to take on the new challenge and adjust to everyday life after the birth of the baby.

Some Important Health Tips for the new Mom

  1. Eat well: Healthy eating is important to promote healing and increase immunity post-delivery. Increase intake of whole grains, vegetable, fruits and protein. Wash fruits and vegetables well before eating raw. Clean with meetha soda (easily available in the market). Increase fluid intake especially if you are breastfeeding.  2 glasses of milk to ensure adequate calcium intake. Iron, calcium and vitamin D supplements are suggested by your gynecologist are to be adhered to.

  2. Get enough rest: Sleep is very important to cope with tiredness and fatigue. As baby wakes up every 2-3hours for feeding take short naps when the baby sleeps so that you are rested well. With the lockdown, there is a lot you will have to do yourself with no outside help so involve family members in the care of the baby so that you get the required hours of sleep.

  3. Exercise: before you leave the hospital to discuss with your doctor when and how much should you exercise. No exercise should be strenuous. Yoga, walking inside the house or on the terrace are some exercise which can be started as early as 15 days post-partum. Kegels exercises are taught to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

  4. Ask for help: After the baby is delivered, many women get post-partum blues, mood swings, crying, difficulty in sleeping, irritation, sadness, and restlessness. The lockdown and staying indoors along with the stress of coping with the demands of a baby can be harsh on the health of the young mother. Ask for help- family is a good support system. Be in touch with your doctor through video conferencing so that appropriate medication can be given in case symptoms increase.

  5. Tackling breast engagement, constipation, uterine pain, vaginal discharge-

  • In case of breast engagement simple measures like a warm or cold compress to the breasts, using nipple cream to soothe cracking and pain can help.

  • Eating high fibre food and drinking plenty of water can prevent constipation which is a very common problem postpartum.

  • Cramping pain (uterine pain) occurs after giving birth due to the uterus shrinking. Safe pain medications like paracetamol can help reduce it. 

  • Vaginal discharge occurs up to 4 weeks after birth wherein blood and tissue are expelled from the uterus. Frequent changing of sanitary napkins and maintaining genital hygiene is very important.

Understanding the isolation a new mother feels in today’s COVID scenario with limited family members to help her and a lockdown that prevents her from interacting with friends, we at Manipal Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology have taken an extra step in educating the new mom on taking care of herself and her baby after going home, consulting us through video conferencing so that small postpartum problem is tackled with easily and medicines provided at her doorstep so that both mam and baby remain safe and healthy at home.

Dr. Leena N Sreedhar

HOD And Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, Delhi

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