Self-care after baby: Nurturing your wellbeing in the postpartum period | Health - Hindustan Times

Self-care after baby: Nurturing your wellbeing in the postpartum period

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Feb 24, 2024 08:19 PM IST

The postpartum period feels challenging in the first few months for the mothers. Here are expert recommended self-care tips to nurture your wellbeing after baby

After giving birth, it is all about the baby and people forget or overlook the fact that women also change into motherhood and it may be a difficult for the first timers as they go through all the post delivery phases. The women go through so much emotionally and physically after delivering a baby and the toll of it lasts at least for 6-8 weeks.

Self-care after baby: Nurturing your wellbeing in the postpartum period (Photo by Ana Tablas on Unsplash)
Self-care after baby: Nurturing your wellbeing in the postpartum period (Photo by Ana Tablas on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rashi Agarwal, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Expert and Educator, expalined, “In this, the body tries to go back to the pre-pregnancy stage while also preparing to take care of self and the child in this newly formed stage. Rest as much as you can. This might be easy to say but not that much to follow. One needs as much help as they can for other activities so that the new mother can focus on just feeling the baby and resting. Good nutritious diet which includes milk and water in good quantity if she’s breastfeeding as well as a combination of vegetables, fruits, and legumes to replenish her body.”

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She advised, “While taking care of the physical health. Mental health gets neglected. Due to new responsibilities and hormonal changes, there’s a lot of emotional turmoil that also happens. A lot of support from the husband and care from family is required. In many cases it’s okay to get help from a mental health professional as postpartum issues are so real and are manageable with medicines and therapy. The issues during this time can include sleep issues with mood swings, frequent crying, no attachment towards the baby, even to the point of not wanting to live and in some severe cases psychosis also. All these if easily picked and if the person gets the right help at the right time, then they also subside soon.”

According to Luke Coutinho, Integrative Lifestyle Expert, self-care after having a baby involves thoughtful communication, pre-planning and understanding shared responsibilities between partners. He shared, “Before embarking on the journey of parenthood, couples should engage in open conversations about expectations, commitments, and how they will divide responsibilities. This is a crucial step towards planning for a baby, even more than planning a pregnancy photoshoot. It's important to address the crucial aspects of being parents. In my practice, I often see new moms worried about sleep deprivation while breastfeeding and receive many related questions. While sleep is undeniably important, it's crucial to understand that waking up during the night to feed a newborn is a natural part of a mother's biology during this time. The body of a new mom is designed to adapt to this cycle; waking up often to feed the baby isn't harmful.”

Luke Coutinho cautioned, “If a mom is scrolling on her phone during feeding times, it is, of course, unnatural. Not only can it disrupt the bonding experience between mother and baby, but it can also make going back to sleep after feeding difficult. Additionally, some mothers decide to extend maternity leave to fully recover, while others choose to dive straight into work, each for their reasons but this can impact how the mother copes with this new change in her life. Everyone’s journey through postpartum is different and unique, and I believe it should be approached with compassion and understanding. If there is a need for therapy and counseling, one should never shy away from seeking help. It might feel challenging in the first few months, but with support and the knowledge that the human body can adapt, we gain the strength to move forward.”

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