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13 Sep 2016
Vatican City

Would you like to write for us about lifestyle, health, beauty, and fitness, etc.

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Published on: 11 Oct 2016 by jennings


Care of the mother after the birth of a baby is a very important aspect of modern mothercraft. Up-to-date methods aim at ensuring her quick return to normal health and strength.

THE postnatal period lasts from immediately after the birth of the baby until about two months later.

In that period the uterus shrinks down or "involutes" to its usual size and position, the stretched ligaments which hold it in place tighten up, the flabby abdominal and pelvic floor muscles gradually strengthen, and the softened, relaxed pelvic joints return to normal.

The bladder and the bowel, on which there has often been great pressure, regain their muscular tone, and function normally again.

It is most important that special postnatal exercises should be done regularly as soon as possible.

Some can be done in bed very soon after baby is born, unless there have been complications or stitches, in which case the doctor will advise when to begin.

Physiotherapists are attached to most big maternity hospitals, and they demonstrate and teach the exercises.

When the mother goes home, she should set aside at least ten minutes daily for the exercises for the first few weeks, to regain her figure and good posture.

Until normalcy is reached she may experience constipation, backache and other discomforts. After the birth, the doctor will have advised the mother to visit his surgery in about six weeks' time for an examination and a check-up to make sure everything is again normal.

In this postnatal period, breastfeeding, after some probable early difficulties, becomes fully established.

A young mother with her first baby also has to make many adjustments (some emotional) to the entirely new life she will be experiencing.

She needs rest and every consideration. Breastfeeding can be easily disturbed, and the baby, who is just learning to nurse and live outside his mother's body, upset if she is worried, emotionally bothered, or physically over-tired.

The modern trend in the early after-care of the mother is for early "ambulation."'

Whereas in the past mothers were kept quietly lying in bed for ten to fourteen days, they are now advised to sit out of bed, get on to their feet a few hours after the baby is born, and soon to walk about for short periods, and in three days, to have a shower.

This early activity seems to stimulate the circulation and elimination as well as aiding drainage, and the quicker involution of the uterus.

This does not mean that newly made mothers are not to rest most of the time at first, and '"go slowly''.

(One young mother I know, who felt so well the first day she got home that she tackled a big accumulated wash, paid for it the next day by losing her milk.)

The importance of adequate care of the mother after the birth of her baby (especially her first baby) is often not sufficiently recognised.

During pregnancy she probably had every consideration shown to her by relatives and friends and was guarded against overdoing things.

But as soon as the new baby is brought home he takes the centre of the stage, and everyone's interest in him is so keen that the mother may not perhaps get enough consideration, help, and cooperation.

Those around her do not understand, perhaps, that she has been through a big physical and emotional strain; that it takes some little time for both body and mind to get back to normal; that she will need rest and quiet.

The husband can do much to protect his wife from worry during these early days, and if domestic help is unobtainable he should cheerfully undertake a share of the household chores.

She needs change of environment and thought, and if she never gets out she may feel that there is a monotony in her life and become depressed and worry and fret.

Too many visitors from the day she brings her baby home often prove a curse to the young nursing mother.

Not long ago a girl brought her six-weeks-old baby in for me to see, and she told me she had just put it completely on the bottle.

When I questioned "Why?" she said the first day - she arrived home she had an influx of 13 visitors to see the new baby and there had since been a steady daily stream. She blamed this for her failure in breastfeeding.

When the young mother first arrives home, the extra work, a certain amount of nervous excitement, plus the responsibility of her baby can interfere with breastfeeding.



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