After having held your precious little one in hands, the time begins when your body needs to heal from pain, and regain the strength lost during childbirth. Be it vaginal, assisted, or cesarean section, each has different effects on different moms. And, in any case, a 40-days of confinement period is mandatory to get your body back to normal.
Depending on the geographies, each part of the world has a different approach to this healing process. But ultimately, all approaches point to relaxation of the mother, mother-baby bonding, healthy nutrition, and a lot of emotional and physical support to the mother. Mentioned below are the things that help you have a cherishable and soothing 40 days after childbirth.
The First 40 Days After Childbirth
1. Take The Much-Needed Assistance
If healing from your bruised and battered body is one thing, taking care of your baby through the day and night is another. One surely cannot handle all these alone and would need assistance. Take help from your mother, mother-in-law, or an elder sister who would look after the daily chores, while you focus on nurturing the baby and healing yourself. If your family isn’t close by, there are trained maids who could help with the household chores and assist you in looking after the baby during this time.
2. Focus On Your Emotional Health
While most of the mothers feel accomplished, contented, and happy having their little one besides them, some feel exhausted, depressed, and disappointed. The latter symptoms could lead to a medical condition called postpartum depression, extreme cases of which make the mother think of harming self or the baby. If you see any of the negative symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
The partner, a close friend, or a family member plays an important role here, by making the mother feel pampered. The feeling that someone understands what the new mom is going through could act as a support. Bonding with the baby is the best way to overcome postnatal blues.
3. Eat A Healthy And Balanced Diet
In order to meet the demands of the lost nutrients during childbirth and the need to breastfeed the baby, your diet plays an important role. A diet rich in iron, calcium, carbohydrates, and proteins is suggested. Since, what you eat impacts your baby directly, eating spicy or oily foods should be avoided. Breastfeeding every two hours might make you hungry often, therefore, it is a good idea to have smaller portions of meal every 2–3 hours.
4. Get A Postnatal Massage
Postnatal massage is a common practice in Indian tradition. However, it is gaining a lot of importance across the world as well. There are trained professionals/maids available who will visit you every day for 40 days to give the massage. This oil massage relaxes you, soothes the muscle tension, helps in speedy recovery, improves blood circulation, and helps in the release of oxytocin which in turn deals with postnatal depression. Since the massage can take 30 minutes to 1 hour of your time, it is good to have an alternative caregiver to look after the baby during this time.
5. Make Breastfeeding An Enjoyable Experience
The importance of breastfeeding cannot be emphasized enough. The first 40 days can be best utilized to get comfortable with the process of feeding the baby. It could be quite a task in first-time mothers due to various issues related to sore nipples, congested breasts, and leaks. There are various supplements and natural remedies available which stimulate the production of milk. Consider using the same if you feel that the current quantities are scanty.
6. Take Care Of Your Stitches
If you have had an episiotomy or a cesarean section, it is important to look after your stitches carefully. Consult with your doctor on using lotions or creams that could help in faster healing. In case of episiotomy, it suggested that you mix a disinfectant in hot water tub and rest in it for some time. This ensures faster healing. Keep the stitches dry in order to prevent any infections.
7. Have Some Couple-Time With Your Husband
Both of your worlds revolve around the baby’s after it is born. It might be hard to find time for yourselves during this phase. But a soothing couple-time could keep you active and happy throughout the day. Make time for your husband while the baby is asleep or ask a caregiver to look after the baby for a while.
The more effectively you utilize your confinement time, the faster you heal and regain strength. Moreover, it is the only time you get to rest before the bigger hustles and bustles of your baby begin!