Delivering a baby is not the toughest part of the journey to becoming a new mom. It is the beginning.
I know because I saw how having a baby was in every way, tiring for my sister-in-law; from the sleepless nights to the constant attention to her son’s cries, sneeze, laughter and so on. She needed all the rest she could get. And so the first thing I did was to try to limit visitors, so she could get as much rest as possible.
So yes. As a new mother, you should eat, sleep and care for your baby. It’s okay to do so. That’s what she did. She also allowed help from anyone who cared to help her in cleaning, laundry, and meals.
The doctor advised that she take a lot of water and fruits because she had frequent constipation. The recovery part she was so uncomfortable with was the vaginal discharge, “lochia”. It took her some time to get used to it, even though it lasted well over a month. She didn’t miss any of her postpartum visits to know how she was fairing and what she should do.
I would sincerely advise new moms to ask questions from their doctors or caregivers. It is very important.
Another thing I learnt from my sister-in-law was that she allowed herself to gain weight before hitting the gym. Starting work out immediately can make one look lean. Also, she never had postpartum depression, which was a good thing. But if you do experience it, please know that it’s normal, and speaking with your doctor would help a lot.
Caring for a new baby and yourself can be very difficult. And this article will help guide and educate you on some information you will need as a new mom. The topics are,
- Baby Formulas
- Lochia Period
- Episiotomy care
Breast milk is the best food for babies. Before giving birth, the body is already ready to feed the baby. Colostrum is produced by the new mom immediately after the birth of a child. And this colostrum is important for the well being of the baby.
Breast milk contains antibodies that help prevent viruses or diseases from affecting the baby. Immediately your baby is born, let him or her feed from your breast.
The process of breastfeeding is painful and it requires patience to produce sufficient breast milk for your baby. Ensure to always breastfeed in the correct position, and try to breastfeed every 2 hours. This action helps you get sufficient milk supply. New babies usually do not feed much. About a tablespoon of milk is enough due to their very small stomach. This should not bother you because it may take a day or two, or even more, to have more milk in your breasts. It varies from woman to woman.
In case the baby is hungry, and your breast hasn’t produced milk yet, you can opt for baby formula and feed the baby with a cup and spoon.
Only do this if you’re sure you want to breastfeed exclusively. This process makes the baby get used to the nipples instead of a bottle.
Some new moms complain that breast milk alone does not get the baby full. The production of breast milk is based on ‘the more the child sucks, the more milk is produced’. Therefore, allow your baby breastfeed more at all times, and as a nursing mother, you need to drink a lot of water, tea and pap(watered) after each meal to keep you hydrated.
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Importance Of Breast Milk
- The body adjusts to the needs and nutrient requirements that suit your baby every time. During the hot day, the water waters down the milk in the breast.
- Breast milk is cheaper and very hygienic. There is no need for any preparations, unlike baby formula which is expensive, needs hot water and bottles. Relying on breast milk is very good. You don’t have to carry baby bags everywhere you go and this can also prevent ‘stopping’ caused by improper washing of the bottles.
- Babies who feed on breast milk are very healthy, especially those who take it for 2years. This prevents sickness and diseases from affecting the baby.
- Breastfeeding creates a special bond between a baby and the mother.
- Breast milk is ideal for a sick child. As the child sucks, the bacteria in the saliva of the baby passes into your breasts and your body produces antibodies that will be passed to your baby through breast milk. These antibodies help fight the illness in your baby.
Baby Formulas – As a New Mom, What if You Can’t Breastfeed?
While it is advisable for mother’s to try and breastfeed their baby for at least a month or two, some mothers are unable to breastfeed after childbirth due to various reasons. And since the child cannot be allowed to go hungry, it is adviced that they feed their child with a baby formula.
Below are some of the best baby formula closest to breast milk.
- Plum Organics Infant Formula.
- Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula.
- Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula.
- Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder.
- Enfamil PREMIUM Newborn Non-GMO Infant Formula.
- Earth’s Best Organic Infant Powder Formula
The formula is almost like breast milk but it does not have the nutrients breast milk contains. Still, it is good and makes babies healthy. The goal is to feed your baby well.
Taking Care of Yourself During the Lochia Period
Lochia is a normal postpartum vaginal discharge of blood, mucus, and placental tissue from a female’s vagina (similar to menstruation) for several weeks after she has given birth. During the lochia period, you will need
Disposable Pads: Example, Lady Sept, Comfit and Dry Love. Lady Sept and Comfit pads are made of thick cotton wool and can stain your underwear. It is advisable to put Dry Love pad on your pant before Lady Sept or Comfit(whichever of them you’re using). It helps to reduce stains.
It is not advisable to use Tampons for this, as it could result in infection. Neither should you have sex during this period.
Undies: your undies should have a tight grip to hold the pad in place. Change undies as often as possible.
Episiotomy; How to Care For Yourself as a New Mom
This can be explained as a surgical incision through the perineum made to enlarge the vagina and assist childbirth. This usually happens for a new mom during the first pregnancy because the canal is still very tight. An episiotomy is painful and can cause bleeding. You will need the following for episiotomy care.
Add warm water in the bowl, put in some salt and Dettol. Then sit in water for about 10 minutes. Do this process in the morning and evening. It is quite painful but this helps to reduce swelling in the area.
Do not use hot water for this. It can damage the stitches.
Use Ice Packs: If there are swellings or pains around the opening of your vagina, you can put ice or an ice pack on the region for 10 to 20 minutes at a go. It is also advised to put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. This helps to reduce pain and swellings. You can get cold ice packs specially designed for the vagina.
Use Warm Water to Clean Up: After Urinating, it is advised you use warm water to clean up, instead of wiping with tissue paper. This also helps in the healing process. You can store warm water in peri bottles with curved spouts. This makes it easy for your postpartum vaginal wash. After washing, don’t rub. Instead, pat yourself dry with a towel or paper wipe.
Taking Your Prenatal Vitamins and Getting Rest: You will need to keep taking your prenatal vitamins, and also maintain a balanced diet that is high in protein. You should also get enough rest and to stay away from anything strenuous, including exercises, until your doctor or caregiver gives the go-ahead.
See Your Doctor: Being a new mom comes with a lot of stress, complications and the need to rest while caring for your newborn. You could find yourself feeling very very uncomfortable, and sometimes, things could get out of hand. So you’re advised to seek help from your doctor or caregiver as regularly as possible, to ensure all it well.
I’d also advise that, as a new mom, and if you can afford it, using a fitness tracker can help you monitor your heart rate and general wellness.
Are you a new mom? What has your experience been like? Please share with us in the comments section.
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