What happens after I give birth? Is postpartum depression real? When can I start doing household work after delivery? What to avoid postpartum?
These must be the most asked questions of moms after birth. If you’re a first-time mom, read a guide for first time moms on postpartum care and healing.
Guide for first time moms with an expert
In our previous episode of #AskDok in theAsianParent Philippines, we were able to talk to Dra. Aubrey Seneris, of KonsultaMD – a telehealth application that provides 24/7 access to licensed medical professionals via voice or video call. It also provides e-prescriptions, e-lab requests, and e-medical certificates at your doctor’s discretion. The application is perfect for people who have no time or are still wary of going to the hospital for check-ups. It’s quick, easy, and convenient.
KonsultaMD is available for download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
In this episode, Dra. Seneris answered our mommies’ questions on postpartum care, postpartum depression, and postpartum wound healing.
Adapting to a new daily life after having a baby can be challenging, especially for new mothers. Along with caring for your baby, you also need to look after yourself.
But don’t worry, a routine will gradually become second nature. The following actions can be taken in the meantime to ease the transition to postpartum:
- In order to battle fatigue and exhaustion, get as much sleep as you can. It’s possible that your baby has to be fed every two to three hours. To guarantee you are getting enough sleep, sleep while your youngster is asleep.
- Your doctor will let you know when it’s okay to exercise. It shouldn’t be too strenuous workout. Consider taking a stroll near your house. Your energy may increase as a result of environment shift.
- Accept assistance from family and friends without reluctance during and after the postpartum period. You can get the rest you need while your body heals by asking for practical help around the house. You can prepare meals, run errands, or look after the other children in the family.
- Eat a well-balanced meal. Maintain a healthy diet to help in recuperation. Increase your consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein. Additionally, especially if you’re nursing, you need to consume more water.
According to Dra. Seneris, eating a well-balanced meal can replace taking multivitamins. If you are able to eat meals with equal portions of meat or fish, vegetable, and fish, you can skip taking multivitamins as it has the same portions. Moreover, she also recommends drinking enough water and staying hydrated.
She also emphasized not to miss your doctor’s appointments. If you are not able to go out to visit your doctor physically, you can always book an online appointment or consultation with KonsultaMD.
Is postpartum depression real?
Dra. Seneris emphasized that new moms should put their selves first and prioritize taking care of their physical and mental health. She says,
“Don’t neglect yourself. Take a bath, clean your wound and perenium. Postpartum recovery will take time. Usually it takes 2 to 6 weeks for moms to recover.”
Moreover, she mentioned that postpartum blues usually occurs 2 weeks after birth.
“2 weeks after delivery, you’ll start to feel your mood is changing. But it shouldn’t take longer than 2 weeks. If you feel depressed, have low energy after delivery or have suicidal thoughts, it shouldn’t last for longer than 2 weeks.
If you are feeling some postpartum depression episodes, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t ignore your symptoms. Postpartum depression is real. And there are some ways where we can help you improve your mental health.”
Guide for first time moms: Postpartum depression symptoms
Postpartum depression affects moms of all ages, not only first-time mothers. You could have it even if you didn’t have it when your other children were born.
Even though yours may not be the same as other women’s, there are a few symptoms to look out for:
- Lack of faith, and sadness
- Feeling incapable of caring for your baby or finishing simple tasks
- Frequently crying, sometimes for no apparent reason
- Struggling to “bond” with or feel close to your child
- Reduced desire for self-care, food, and other activities you used to enjoy.
- Excessive sleep
- Memory, learning, or concentration problems
Only a medical practitioner is qualified to diagnose postpartum depression. But if you think you have it, make an appointment as soon as you can. If postpartum depression is the root of the problem, there are treatments that could restore your sense of self.
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What to avoid postpartum
Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels
As a first-time mom, you must be excited to care for your baby and live a new chapter of your life. This includes getting back in shape and being able to do the things you can’t and shouldn’t do when you are pregnant.
Despite the excitement, Dr. Seneris reminds moms who have just given birth to not force themselves into doing strenuous activities, especially if their body isn’t fully healed yet.
Here are what to avoid postpartum:
How to take care of your vagina after giving birth? DO NOT put anything inside your vagina yet.
Depending on your prior birthing experience, you may be surprised by the changes to your vagina after delivery, including how much bleeding you experienced. On the other hand, you might feel like yourself again quickly and inquire about when you can resume activities like having sex and donning tampons.
No matter how you feel, wait until your doctor gives the all-clear before inserting anything into your vagina. This often occurs around the time of your 6-week postpartum visit.
This is for you to prevent the risk of bacterial infection. Although there is no set time, many doctors might suggest waiting 4 to 6 weeks after delivery.
Dra. Seneris suggests getting your doctor’s clearance first in terms of sexual intercourse. She also reminds parents to use birth control, especially when their baby is breastfeeding.
When can I start doing household work after delivery?
You can gradually increase your daily activity as weeks pass postpartum. After the birth of your child, you are free to wash your hair, take a shower, or bathe.
Avoid heavy work for the first six weeks of your recovery. During the first two weeks, you may minimize visits with family and friends as it could wear you out excessively and be bad for your baby’s health. It is also advised to take daily rest intervals.
According to Dra. Seneris,
“You can do laundry or clean the house if you can. After pregnancy, you can do light household work if the body has recovered. But it’s still up to the mother because they know more about their capacity as a mother after giving birth.”
Guide for first time moms: how to take care of your postpartum wound
Photo by Matilda Wormwood
Whether you gave birth via normal delivery or via a c-section, it is important to prioritize healing and taking care of your postpartum wound. Here are ways how to take care of your postpartum wound.
If you had a natural delivery, proper wound care is essential to ensure that the wound heals swiftly and painlessly. You can promote proper and pain-free healing of your episiotomy incision by taking the following actions:
- After delivery, the painful area should be treated with ice packs as soon as possible. This will help to “numb” the area and lessen discomfort. The use of ice packs shouldn’t last more than 10 minutes. It will also help in dilating the edema. This is often carried out in coordination with the physiotherapist to prevent skin damage from excessive icing.
- Another option is a perineal ice pad, which combines cooling and padding. The coldness is turned on by twisting the pad, which makes the patient feel more comfortable.
- To keep the wound clean, gently rinse it with tap water after peeing or going to the bathroom. For the first week, gently wipe the region with soft cotton balls dipped in chlorhexidine solutions (a mild, non-stinging antiseptic). Strong soaps are not necessary to use. To stop rectum bacteria from touching your wound, gently clean from front to back.
- Drying the area speeds up healing and lessens pain. Change your sanitary pads frequently to keep the area dry, especially in the first week when the lochia is most severe. Expose your wound to air as much as you can, if you can.
If you have a cesarean section, you must learn to cope with your abdominal wound. Depending on the patient’s general health, obstetrical problems, and other aspects, each person’s recovery will be different. Here’s how to take care of your c-section stitch after giving birth.
- Painkillers will be advised to help with any discomfort the incision brings. It’s anticipated that within the first two weeks after delivery, you may need to take painkillers often. Additionally, you can experience uterine contractions, particularly if you are breastfeeding.
- As soon as you can, get out of bed and start walking. Doing this will heal more quickly and prevent vein blood clots from forming.
- Catheter care: The catheter is typically removed the day following surgery.
- The most often used kind of suture is a dissolvable suture. On occasion, you might be asked to return after a week to have the non-dissolvable sutures or metallic staples removed.
- The bandage covering the wound might be changed to waterproof before leaving the hospital. Bathing is allowed, but keeping the dressing dry for the first few days is critical. You can get rid of this within a week. By supporting the abdominal wall muscles as you walk, an abdominal binder can reduce pain. The incision wound will get less painful as the days go by.
Above all, Dra. Seneris urges moms who just gave birth never to miss their doctor’s appointments and don’t Google symptoms. Always ask the experts for the right diagnosis and treatment.
You can watch the full episode in theAsianparent app Media section.
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. theAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.