Postnatal Care Immediately After Giving Birth

Postnatal Care Immediately After Giving Birth

The first 6 weeks after delivery are the most sensitive ones for both the mother and the baby. While the mother’s body is still recovering and preparing to care for the newborn, the baby is getting used to the new environment that he or she is in. This is why postnatal care right after delivery determines the well-being of the baby and the mother in the long run.

The First 24 Hours

The most important concern in the first 24 hours is if the mother has developed any health conditions that require attention. Childbirth is also a very deeply emotional experience that needs to be addressed like the physical aspects of delivery. Postnatal care immediately after the child is born should include the following steps:

  • The mother’s blood pressure must be checked in the first 6 hours of delivery.
  • The healthcare professional will also need to check if you have passed urine or not within the first 6 hours.
  • In case of normal delivery, you will be encouraged to move around slightly within the first 24 hours.
  • In most hospitals today, you will also be assigned a counselor with whom you can discuss your delivery and the emotional impact it has had on you.
  • Mothers will also be given detailed information on how to feed the baby, preparation of formula and storage, sterilization of bottles in case the mother decides to bottle feed and also about keeping the baby clean.
  • If needed, Mumps, Measles and Rubella injection is given to the mom.

Also read: The Importance Of Postnatal Medical Care For Mothers And Newborns

Based on the results of the tests, the health of the mother is assessed. Hemorrhage, infections and blood clots are the most serious conditions after childbirth which will be determined through these tests. In case of a C-section, additional monitoring is required because of the sutures and the higher risk of infections. For women with no health issues, in case of normal delivery, they may even be discharged within the first 24 hours.

Postnatal Care For The Baby

Usually, in the first 24 hours, a Vitamin K injection is given to the baby to prevent rare disorders related to the blood. They may even offer this in a liquid form. The baby is checked for any chances of jaundice which is quite common after birth. Necessary care will be provided if the baby has any signs and symptoms of jaundice.

The meconium of the first stool of the baby is also monitored. If the baby does not pass it in the first 24 hours, the health of the baby is assessed to rule out any possible issues. In case there are no health issues, the baby is also given a BCG vaccine.

Feeding The Baby

The mother and the baby should not be separated for the first 24 hours unless there is any health-related issue. Mothers are encouraged to maintain skin to skin contact with the baby. This is very useful in helping your baby latch on when you breastfeed.

Breastfeeding should start within the first hour of the child being born. This helps stimulate the digestion process in the baby. Babies are very susceptible to infections. The colostrum or the first milk produced by the mother’s body can help protect the baby from these infections by stimulating the immune system. The earlier the mother feeds the baby, the easier it is to get the baby to latch on, preventing any suckling issues.

In case of a C-section, breast feeding is still encouraged immediately after the mother is back to her hospital room. However, you will be given additional support by the hospital staff as the medication and the epidural may affect the feeding behavior of your baby.

Also read: Postnatal Massage: Benefits And Precautions That You Should Take

Taking Care Of Yourself

The first 6 weeks are very important for you and your baby. Here are some tips on what you can due to continue your postnatal care and stay healthy through this period:

  • The focus on the first 6 months should be on caring for your baby. Make sure that you do not take on any additional responsibilities at this stage.
  • Try to get as much sleep as you can while your baby is asleep. Even if it is for a few minutes each time, you will see that you have more energy.
  • Move around and stay active. A small walk or a few postpartum exercises as explained to you by the doctor are highly recommended.
  • You can introduce the baby to a bottle after three weeks. This will help you and your partner share the responsibility of night feeding.
  • Eating well is crucial for your postpartum health. Include the five food groups, namely grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy in your diet.
  • It is a good idea to find someone in the family to help you care for your baby.
  • It is very important for you to communicate about the way that you feel after delivery with your partner and family. This can prevent several postnatal psychological issues.

Also read: Postpartum Diet – What Foods To Eat & Avoid After Delivery – Chart Included

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