Challenges that New Mothers go through After Delivery; Life with a newborn baby: Prenatal classes focus mainly on the birth of the baby, most mothers are therefore not well prepared what to expect in the postpartum period. Postpartum period is the period after delivery up to when the mother’s body has nearly returned to its pre-pregnant state. During this period the mother goes through physical and emotional changes as she heals and learns to care for the newborn. Every mother, especially first time ones, need emotional and physical support after they have been discharged from the hospital to cope with their new roles and body changes. They need to get enough rest; balanced diet and help with house chores to help them rebuilt their strength. During this period mothers are likely to face a number of challenges.
- Inadequate sleep.
From the time a baby is born up the time they are around 3 months of age getting adequate sleep at night may be a thing of the past for most mothers. This is because most babies have irregular sleep patterns; they need to feed up to four times a night and changed diapers at least twice in a single night. It is advised that mothers try to get enough rest by sleeping when the baby is sleeping day and night to avoid being worn out excessively. Lack of enough sleep is one cause of post-partum depression.
As natural as it may seem, breastfeeding is not always easy for new mothers. It comes with challenges of inadequate milk, too much milk, sore nipples and engorged breasts in the first couple of days after delivery before their bodies and minds get adapted to the role. Adequate nutrition and correct latching of the baby to the breast are very important in managing such issues.
Delivery whether normal or C-section comes with some physical and emotional trauma. For mothers who had a vaginal birth they may experience vaginal soreness, pain, discomfort and numbness for 6 to 8 weeks post-delivery. Mothers who have had a C-section will experience pain on the lower belly and may have two pain killers to relieve the pain for up to two weeks. Proper hygiene, good nutrition and enough rest facilitates the healing process. It is always advisable to have someone helping with house chores for the first couple of weeks to let the mother heal.
- Handling visitors
Another challenge that most mothers face in the first couple of weeks post-delivery is having to handle many visitors. Everyone wants to see the new baby and you cannot turn them away. However, it is not easy for new mothers to handle continuous streams of visitors in the fast few weeks as they too need rest during the day. It is always advisable to let your visitors understand when and why you can or cannot see them.
- Colicky nights
Colic is a common condition that occurs in babies from the age of 2weeks to around 3 months. This basically means babies experiencing a kind of cramping pain that makes them cry for up to three hours. During the colic episodes babies are inconsolable and they cry as if they are in great pain. It is both physically and emotionally draining to an extent that even the mother breaks down. It is advisable to burp the baby (put their tummy against your shoulder to remove excess gas after breastfeeding), dads can always help with this, to minimize or avoid colicky episodes.
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