A guide to post natal care for all the pregnant and new mothers

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Post partum period begins after the mother has delivered her baby and lasts for upto six to eight weeks. During this period there are a lot of physical and emotional changes that a mother goes through and which is exactly why everyone in the family needs to ensure that the mother is taking complete rest to rebuild her inner strength. Besides proper rest, it is important for the new mother to take good nutrition.

TAKING PROPER REST: A woman’s body goes through a lot of stress and trauma during the birth of her baby. So, in order to heal and recover it is important that she takes complete rest for a few weeks. Families should ensure that she is relieved from all the responsibilities. A mother should only be allowed to feed the baby and taking care of herself.

It might become a little difficult for the new parents especially the mother, to take an 8 hour sleep since the baby wakes up every 2-3 hours for the feed or to get changed, so the good idea would be to adjust your sleep clock with the baby’s clock i.e sleep when the baby sleeps. Also, you might find a lot of guest coming to your place to meet the new member of the family but you should not be under any obligation to entertain them. Take a nap or feed the baby whenever you want to.

Also, it is important that after 3 weeks or so you start to walk and do postpartum exercises to build stamina. But this should only be done after you have got a green signal from your doctor/obs/ gynaecologist.

In fact, after three weeks you may also introduce a bottle to the baby so that when you are feeling extremely tired, someone else in the family can feed her.

NUTRITIONAL CARE: For the mother’s body to heal and recover it is important that apart from proper rest, the new mother is fed with good nutritional food. Proper rest coupled with healthy diet will promote faster healing and recovery. Infact, if a mother is breastfeeding she is likely to feel more hungry which is why they should eat whenever they feel hungry. Include grains in your diet – such as wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley etc. Also vegetables are packed with lot of nutrition and fibre so don’t forget to include all fresh seasonal vegetables in your diet. Fresh fruits are again a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre which is why consuming them in any form like- fresh, dried, canned, frozen is great for health. Apart from fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products are play an important role in the gaining the strength. So include fat free and high in calcium dairy products. For your daily protein requirement include fish, nuts, seeds, peas and beans etc.

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