By Christina Pistotnik
With the joy of having your brand new baby home there are many things for a mom to do and it may become quite overwhelming at times. Of course all of your focus is on caring for this innocent new person in your life, but it is also very important to take care of yourself as well. The special care that a mother needs in her postpartum period can be diverse in nature. I hope that some of these suggestions will help ease the transition into motherhood.
Company’s Coming So of course everyone wants to see the new baby, that’s only natural. However, some women find this to be particularly overwhelming because of the added stress of having to be a hostess as well as look after her newborn. I suggest that you make rules for when company comes over to visit, because this will help make it easier on you. The people that you want to share your new special person with must know that everyone takes care of you so you can take care of your baby. I know this may be difficult to commence but it is very important for your wellbeing because the ultimate priority is you and your baby.
• Minimize guests in the first two weeks to 1-2 per day
• Length of visit should be kept between 30-60 minutes
• When guests come over they must do one chore for you and bring a meal
• Meals should be nutritious and already prepared so that it is easy for you to heat up and eat
(i.e. porridge, soup, casseroles, sandwiches, wraps, rice bowls)
Getting Rest At this time in your life, your down time is probably very limited do to the obvious fact that you have a new life to take care of. Also, with the added chores that need to be done around the house it probably feels like you don’t have enough time to breath let alone rest.
The best advice I can give in regards to rest is try to nap when baby naps this will help you to have the energy to get through those midnight feedings and get through the day ahead. Plus your body is still recovering from being pregnant and going through labour therefore, rest is definitely one thing your body needs to aid in the recovery process.
In regards to those chores – they are not going anywhere so if you don’t get all the laundry or dishes done in a day, no big deal you have much more precious things to look after.
Acupuncture treatments are very beneficial during your postnatal period and we can start treatments 10-14 days after you have given birth. We can aid in multiple ways to help in your recovery process including:
• Persistent uterine bleeding
• Night sweats
• Perineal discomfort
• Insufficient lactation
• Minor postnatal depression
We also offer tonification treatments to help your body build good quality blood that was lost due to labour and increase your energy so that you can deal with the day-to-day things with ease. Also, this helps to prevent disharmonies and other deficiencies from developing.
Massage Therapy Taking time out for you in order to get pampered and feel good is always nice and massage is definitely one way you can achieve peace of body and mind. With all the strain put on the body during pregnancy and labour getting a nice massage will help to loosen those stiff muscles, circulate blood, and help you to feel at ease. It is perfectly safe to receive a massage after giving birth because there are no restrictions on the amount of time you should wait prior to receiving a massage. Also, if you are having issues with lactation our massage therapist can show you breast massages that you can do on yourself to help aid in lactation.
Postnatal Symptoms that Require Medical Attention It is of course very important to stay in contact with your midwife or doctor during the postnatal period and is especially important if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
• Heavy bleeding 12 hrs following delivery
• Fever after the first 24 hrs following delivery
• Nonstop heavy bleeding after the first 4 days
• Foul smelling discharge
• Discharge that contains large blood clots
• Absent discharge during the first 2 weeks
• Nonstop abdominal pains
• Pain, warmth, or tenderness in the calf muscle
• Sudden sharp chest pain with/without breathing difficulties
• Nonstop oozing of a caesarian scar
• Localized pain, swelling, redness, with heat sensation of the breast with chills and fever
• Severe or prolonged depression