Postnatal period is the time when you are recovering from the body changes associated with pregnancy. This is the time for adapting to a new life, especially for the new mother. During the nine months of pregnancy, the woman was the centre of attention for everyone. But now, it is the newborn baby. It is likely for you to get so busy with your baby that you may neglect proper postnatal care.
The postnatal period is a very vulnerable time for the mother since she is prone to various infections. It is also a time when she requires a lot of physical and emotional support from her family, especially from her partner. Neglecting to provide hygienic care for the mother during this time will only increase the chance of infections in both the mother and child. Postnatal hygiene is essential for prevention of infections and to speed up the healing process of the mother's body to return to the pre-pregnancy state. Postnatal hygiene is applicable not only to the mother but also for the people around her, who are caring for her and the child. We give you few useful postnatal hygiene tips that are easy to follow:
Washing hands- An effective way of ensuring postnatal hygiene is to wash your hands with lather and rinse under running water. Wash your hands before you eat, after washing the infant's clothes and after a trip to the toilet.
Toilet hygiene- Frequent urination after childbirth leads to infection if not cleaned properly and promptly. To maintain postnatal hygiene, you should clean the genital area with warm water from front to back and pat dry.
Stay hydrated- During the postnatal period; there is an urge to urinate frequently as the body gets rid of the extra water accumulated during pregnancy. Drinking lots of water during the postnatal period would also reduce bladder infection
Maintain breast hygiene -It is essential to maintain the hygiene of your breasts as any infection may also spread to the baby. As a postnatal hygiene, it is advisable that you rinse the breast with water to avoid spreading the infection to the baby.
Perinea care- For a proper perinea care, it is advised that the area is cleaned twice a day with diluted antiseptic mixed with water. It must also be understood that the stitches in the perinea takes some time to heal.
After a cesarean - After a cesarean delivery, the postnatal care becomes even more critical to the hygiene of the woman’s body. It should be ensured that the stitches and the naval area is kept clean and moisturized so that there is no itching sensation. Be extra cautious about not putting pressure on the stitches while holding the baby or feeding.
Rest and exercise- Though it is widely acknowledged that you will feel exhausted after childbirth, you must start to mix up some basic exercises in bits and pieces so the body is not pushed to a state of sloth, which in turn causes weight gain. It is equally important to get enough sleep.
Food hygiene- Since the mother is recovering from the physical as well as mental stress of maternity; it must be ensured that she is given hygienic food. The fruit meant for serving the mother of the child must be washed properly. Also, the vegetables should be properly cooked as to they are not raw or unfit for consumption.
Visitor’s hygiene- In the postnatal period, both baby and the mother can pick up infections from visitors who could be friends or other members of the family. It is therefore advisable that the number of visitors is limited during this period to reduce the risk of getting any infections.