After-delivery, your body has used all its nutrition to manage itself through labour and feeding. An after-delivery guide suggests to eat nutritious food and avoid processed foods with saturated fats, sugar, and excessive salt. Make sure your food is protein, iron, calcium, and fibre rich. As your baby eats what you consume, you need to be extra careful about what goes into your body.
Sticking to the food pyramid will help during this time. Especially because now your body has entered the recovery phase, which needs to be permanent in nature, nutritionally. This is not exactly the time to count your calories, but studies suggest that anywhere between 1800-2200 kcal should be enough. Even though most nutritionists and gynecologists have varied opinions on alcohol and caffeine intake, it is best to opt for the minimum amount as it can harm the baby.
Understanding your body
Please remember that this is not your permanent body. Your weight, how your stomach looks, patchy skin, stretch marks are all temporary and every woman goes through this phase. This is also a revitalization phase of the body. Your breasts may enlarge more than normal, but that will go with regular feeding. If the problem still persists, speak to your doctor.
Do not fret your vaginal discharge, this is just how your body reacts post-childbirth. This discharge can last up to two to four weeks. Vaginal discharge is your body’s way of clearing your uterus, which is filled with blood and tissue after delivery. You may experience blood clots, which can begin with heavy bleeding but this reduces with time. If this vaginal discharge smells bad, let your physician know. It is recommended to not use any product such as tampons in the vaginal area till the discharge subsides, to avoid infection.
Cramps are normal after delivery as well. As your uterus is shrinking back to its normal size, this can cause some discomfort. It is essential to remind yourself time and again that your reproductive system has gone through a 360-degree change, which needs time to recover. Breathe and let your body heal, naturally. This after-delivery care that you will give yourself will help your body heal and empower you in the long haul.
The biggest issue in Filipino households is the need to do everything on your own. This is not the time, so ask for help.
Right now, your baby needs all your attention and if you entertain unimportant affairs, the only person who’s left stressed is you. Let those around you be a part of this journey and follow the after-delivery guide. It will take 15-21 days for you to form a routine with your baby and spouse, and this is only possible if you invest time in understanding how this new person in your life functions. Doing laundry, house cleaning, or talking to visiting guests takes away from this precious time.
Post-pregnancy weight is a major issue for every woman. After delivery, you need to give your body at least six weeks before you jump back to exercise. The only exercise you should be doing in these first six weeks is Kegels to strengthen your pelvic region.
Once the initial phase is over, gradually increase your activity time and intensity of exercise. You can then also try different workout routines. Start by going for a walk or do post-natal yoga. Once your body gets used to vigorous movement again, you can opt for other workouts like dance, aerobics, swimming, or running. Ask your gynecologist before venturing into the exercise zone. According to the after-delivery guide, if you are willing to get into shape like old times, regular exercise or yoga or both is essential.