7 Principles of Postpartum Care

It takes at least 6 weeks (after giving birth) for mothers to recover from the pregnant condition to their original physical condition before pregnancy, which is the so-called ‘postpartum period’. It is definitely not exaggerated that how you handle the postpartum period will be a deciding factor in your future health. What are the secrets of becoming a role model in taking care of your daily lives from the aspects of indoor environment to the child development, as well as avoiding postpartum depression? Let’s find out!

The Principles of Postpartum Care

Find your Own Style to achieve Physical and Mental Comfort

postpartum

The most important thing after delivery is not to be under pressure. If you’re under pressure, physical recovery is bounded to be slowed down, and even leading to the serious consequence of getting postpartum depression. No matter where or how you conduct your postpartum care; the most important thing is to select a place where you find both physical and mental comfort. A peaceful mind and sufficient rest are the basics of postpartum care.

Aim for a Healthy Balance in Personal Care

If you haven’t taken a shower in 21 days, your unclean body will make your nervous system become sensitive. Hygiene is beneficial, but being excessively hygienic is counterproductive. On the contrary, overconfident in your body hygiene to the extent of causing lack of personal care is not advisable. You must possess the knowledge of taking care of your physical health and avoiding overstressing yourself at the same time.

1. Take an afternoon nap once a day.

Fatigue should be abated whenever possible.

2. Get sufficient sleep.

It’s the most important factor for the recovery of post-delivery.

3. Don’t stress. Keep calm.

What a pregnant woman needs the most are the comfort from others and avoiding anxiety.

4. Sufficient nutrition intake.

Note not to consume food or nutrition excessively.

5. Try not to watch too much TV.

Even if TV serves as a source of entertainment, you should still avoid watching it for too long. Or else you may suffer strained eyesight and hearing fatigue. Pregnant women should limit themselves as much as possible in gossiping, shopping, reading, and watching TV.

6. Cherish yourself.

Now it is not the time for you to be busy with family matters. Instead, it is high time for you to save some time for yourself.

7. Don’t restrict yourself with superstitious beliefs

There are certain beliefs that restrict women’s actions and personal needs such as sweating is required, hair-washing is forbidden, and so on. These beliefs are without merits or scientific proofs, hence can be ignored.

Map Out and Plan Your Future Lifestyle

You should preplan everything. For example, who should be responsible for household chores and what level of child care are you committed to? Candidates who can assist you should be preselected. In addition, how and when you return to work and how you arrange your daily life after returning to work should also be preplanned.

Keep Your Body Fresh

You will start to feel well again after 2 weeks post-delivery. Swelling will be reduced and your body can move freely as before. At this time, avoid strenuous workouts such as running for long distances, rope skipping, and heavy breathing. These can be harmful to your body as it is not fully recovered yet. It is better not to help children take baths, not to breastfeed your baby around midnight or at wee hours, and avoid doing household chores all by yourself.

Outing is Only Allowed 3 Weeks after Delivery

The first outing post-delivery is allowed fastest after 2 weeks, but normally it is recommended that you go out after 3 weeks which is the time for your postpartum checkup. It is not advisable to travel after puerperium. If you insist, travel after 6 weeks from the day you deliver. During the first and second week of post-delivery period, leisure walking or strolling at the nearby area is still acceptable. However, be cautious not to be exposed to wind directly during winter and potential infections when you’re in public.

Drive after 6 Weeks of Post-Delivery

You can drive by yourself after 6 weeks. Be careful when you drive for long distances and at high speed. Due to distractions and surgical wounds post-delivery, your emergency responses will be slower, hence be more cautious when you drive.

Post-Pregnancy Sex is Allowed One Month after the First Menstruation

The fastest allowable timing for post-pregnancy sex is 3 weeks after delivery. However, it’s advisable to have sexual intercourse after your surgical wounds are completely healed. It’s even better to wait till after complete recovery, which usually means 6 weeks post-delivery. The safest time to resume having sex is one month after the first menstruation post-delivery. When menstruation period starts, it indicates that your uterus has recovered to an acceptable level. The first menstruation post-delivery usually starts after one month if formula-feeding is chosen and at least two months if breastfeeding is applied. Generally, menstruation does not occur during lactation period. Even if it does come, it doesn’t mean that you have fully physically recovered. Vigorous sex positions or sex that lasts too long may cause issues. Start with the normal comfortable position or lateral position. Without breastfeeding, the endometrial will return to its original position and starts to ovulate, therefore contraception is required.

Use Condoms within 2 Months

Use condoms after you have sexual activity within 3 months and during the lactation period. Only when lactation comes to an end should you apply oral contraception. If you want to use an intrauterine device (“IUD”), proceed after your uterus recovers, which means when your period starts. When the time comes, don’t worry that your genital sensation has decreased because it will rise back to its full function gradually. Strengthening your sphincter muscle will be beneficial to this situation.

Raising Children and Housework 

Don’t Do House Work within 4 Weeks after Delivery

Family members should help to reduce household chores as accumulative household chores will cause physical and mental anxiety in pregnant women, leading to exhaustion. You should find someone to take charge of household chores till 4 weeks post-delivery. Additionally, you can take care of your children by yourself after these 4 weeks. Prior to that, you should be sure to get enough rest for 2 weeks post-delivery.

Start from the Basics of Household Chores

You can start with simple tasks such as breastfeeding and changing diapers. Take a stroll 2-3 weeks post-delivery, a short outing is also allowed if the weather is warm. Also, you can tidy up your house, make simple meals, and do simple cleaning by vacuum cleaner or washing machine. After 3 weeks post-delivery, you can start to help on some simple household chores, but if it requires too much effort or energy, avoid it.

Sandra Henderson
 

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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