The initial days after birth are a time full of emotional changes. If you are a mom for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions, and you need to learn a lot of things. There is excitement, along with tiredness as you are still recovering from the labor.
During the initial days, you may have the “baby blues,” due to hormonal changes that happen in these early days. Postpartum depression is a common thing; thus you need to take extra care. Try to hold your baby close to you as much as you can; it will help you to feel confident and help to build emotional bondage between you and your baby.
Your breasts will change during first few days, as you start breastfeeding. Your abdomen may be quite saggy after birth. Your stomach will be still quite big as the muscles are still stretched. Thus, it is time to get involved in some physical exercise; it will take time to regain the shape you had before pregnancy. Sometimes you may feel periods of pain due to the contraction of the uterus. Breastfeeding helps to lose that extra weight and bring the tummy back into shape.
Bladder problems may remain an issue for some women, and you may leak while laughing or during physical exertion. You need to do exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. Experiencing piles is another common problem during the early phase after birth, but you do not need to worry as these issues will disappear soon— just eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Things to know during those early days
Nappies- Disposables or washable cloth nappies, are a matter of choice. Disposable nappies are convenient, while cloth nappies are cheaper but require extra care. Nappy rashes can be caused by any of them, as they are not so much caused by the nappies themselves but by not changing them on time. You can also use a special cream to prevent rashes.
Bathing- There is no hard and fast rule about how often should a baby be given a bath. It would depend on climate conditions, too. The important thing is to keep the baby clean, and sometimes it can be done with a sponge also. Also important is checking the water temperature beforehand. It should be warm, and don’t use strong or perfumed soaps. After washing, a good quality cotton towel should be used.
Rest- Looking after a baby is quite a tiring job. It is not a bad idea to take turns with your partner.
Sex and relationship- After having your baby, your relationship with your partner may change a lot, and most women may find help from their mother or close friends in the matter. It is essential to make a routine and find time for your partner, too, else after few months you may realize that you have spent too little time with your partner and by that time some damage to the relationship might have happened. So make sure that you spend some moments together without your baby. It is important to enjoy the company of your partner, as it will take time before you want to have sex. There is no rule about when to start having sex; it is something very individual. Another thing to keep in mind is about using contraception, as you may get pregnant again even if you did not return to having regular periods and are still breastfeeding.
About the author:
Dr. Preet Bhinder (M.D.)
Dr. Preet is a family physician. He has been practicing medicine for the last 15 years and has a particular interest in maternal and child health. He understands the importance of a healthy pregnancy and its long-term effects on a child’s health. He is also a passionate writer.