How A New Mom Can Care For Herself And Her Baby

Mothering is hard work. No matter how prepared women are during the pregnancy, once the baby is born issues lurk in. So, how can new moms care for not only the health of her baby but of hers as well?

By Gowri Kulkarni

How A New Mom Can Care For Herself And Her Baby

It is common for all women to go through phase after childbirth where they experience feelings of stress and apprehension, but in a few days, they'll overcome these factors and get accustomed to these changes. Moreover, mothers have the innate qualities to adjust accordingly.

Nowadays, information on caring for oneself and the baby can be found from various sources. If your family is not around you could consult a doctor in case of any doubts. Also, there are great health blogs available online that can help new mothers to cope with these changes and adjust accordingly.

Immediate breastfeeding is of utmost importance:

The new mother should keep in mind that they should initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth. This ensures that the infant receives the “colostrum”, the first milk which is rich in protective factors. Breastfeeding boosts immunity in infants and helps in safeguarding them from illnesses. It also helps to create a close bond between the mother and the child, also known as maternal bonding.

Kind of nutrition needed during this period:

First and foremost, a lactating mother should have food, which is rich in protein, calcium, iron and multivitamins. Some factors related to diet during this phase include.

  • Alcohol and smoking to be avoided at all costs.
  • A limit on high-caffeine food and beverages should be put.
  • A watch should be kept on the intake of calories.
  • One should resist the temptation of quick weight loss through diet or medication. In fact, minimal exercising can help.
  • Include plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and milk products, fish, poultry, nuts, whole grains, parboiled rice, beans and lentils.

Hydration needs for a new mother:

A new mother should ensure she is properly hydrated always. One should drink enough water to quench thirst plus a bit more since thirst is not a completely reliable indicator of fluid needs. Milk-making hormones help the body conserve water. However, failure to drink enough water will not affect the fluid content of the volume of your milk. But, not getting enough fluids can contribute to maternal constipation, fatigue, and impaired concentration.

Watching your infant grow is a wonderful experience. However, you need to be aware of certain developmental milestone that he or she will go through. Know more by flipping through the pages of this ClipBook.

How to care best for your baby:

To begin, you should keep a watch on feeding times. You can try to feed your baby small quantities at frequent intervals, 8-12 times a day. Ask for help if you need and it is important that both parents should be involved in the care of the baby.

Sleep requirements for mom and child:

0-2 month: 12-18hrs

3-11 month:14-15hrs

1-3 years: 12-14hrs

Lactating mother should sleep 7-9 hrs a day

How to know if your baby is feeding well:

  1. There are many ways through which you can know if your baby is feeding well:
  2. The baby feeds at regular intervals, 8-12 times a day.
  3. Your breasts feel softer and less full after feeds.
  4. Baby looks a healthy colour, and has firm skin that bounces right back if you pinch it gently.
  5. Your baby is wetting two or three nappies in the first 48 hours, which becomes more frequent in the forthcoming days. Once the baby is over five days old, the baby should have at least six wet nappies every 24 hours. The baby’s urine should be pale and odourless.

How to know if your baby is hungry:

● Crying- Hunger cry is usually short , low-pitched and rises and falls

● Waking up and acting restless

● Sucking on his fist, smacking his lips

● Rooting

● Closing up lips

● Turning his head away

● Breathing fast

Type of clothes to wear for mom and child:

● Choose proper fabrics

● Avoid tight elastics

● Make sure clothes are well seamed

● Avoid clothes that can scratch the baby's skin

● Avoid choking hazards

● Mothers can wear clothes which is helpful for easy nursing. Like nursing bras, nursing night suits etc.

Are Indian home remedies safe?

Home remedies could be safe, sometimes even if they don't have a negative effect they won't have a positive effect too. So, if you're in pain or sick the best thing to do is to consult your doctor. If you can't make it to the hospital, you can even consult a doctor on your phone with the help of portals like DocsApp.

It's always better to be safe than sorry.

How to schedule visits to the doctor for mother and child?

  • Birth examination
  • Routine checkup for Immunization
  • Postnatal check-up at 6 weeks is required for the mother.

Dr. Gowri is Head of Operations at DocsApp.