By: Asha Das
Postnatal period is the time when you are recovering from the body changes associated with pregnancy. This is the time for adapting to a new life, especially for the new mother.
During the nine months of pregnancy, the woman was the center of attention for everyone. But now, it is the newborn baby. Chances are you will be so busy with your baby that you may neglect proper postnatal care.
The postnatal period is a very vulnerable time for the mother since she is prone to various infections. It is also a time when she requires a lot of physical and emotional support from her family, especially from her partner.
Neglecting to provide hygienic care for the mother during this time will only increase the chance of infections in both the mother and child.
Postnatal hygiene is very essential as this can prevent infections and speed up the healing process of the mother’s body to return to the pre-pregnancy state.
Postnatal hygiene is applicable not only for the mother, but also for the people around her, who are caring for her and the child.
A few tips for effective postnatal care are mentioned below.
An effective way of ensuring postnatal hygiene is to wash your hands with lather and rinse under running water. Wash your hands before you eat, after washing the infant’s clothes and after a trip to the toilet.
Frequent urination after childbirth leads to infection if not cleaned properly and promptly. A way to ensure postnatal hygiene is to clean the genital area with warm water from front to back and pat dry.
During the postnatal period, there is an urge to urinate frequently as the body gets rid of the extra water accumulated during pregnancy. A postnatal hygiene tip to prevent or reduce bladder infection is to drink lots of water
Maintain breast hygiene
It is essential to maintain the hygiene of your breasts as any infection may also spread to the baby. Rinsing your breasts in water after breastfeeding is a postnatal hygiene tip you can follow.
The tear and stitches in the perinea will take some time to heal. During this period, you must take utmost care to maintain postnatal hygiene by washing this area twice or more with water, perhaps with some dilute antiseptic.
Postnatal bleeding care
After childbirth you will have some heavy bleeding like a menstrual flow, which might last up to two weeks. Ensure postnatal care by cleaning the intimate areas and changing the sanitary pads 2 or 3 times a day.
After a caesarean
After a caesarean delivery, extra care must be taken to ensure postnatal hygiene. Remember to keep the stitches and naval area clean. Take care not to put pressure on the stitches while holding the baby or feeding.
Rest and exercise
It is normal to feel exhausted after childbirth. Among the postnatal care advised for new mothers, the most essential is rest. Make sure to get enough sleep and also do some postnatal exercises as advised by your doctor.
You must also make sure to eat hygienic food. Wash all the fruits and vegetables properly and ensure the food is cooked fully before eating.
Another postnatal hygiene that must be followed is the visitor’s hygiene. Both the mother and the baby can pick up infections from visiting friends and family and it is advisable to limit their number to prevent you or your baby from getting any infections.