The journey of motherhood is a transformative experience, marked by the joy of bringing a new life into the world. In a lot of these childbirth cases, most Americans opt for vaginal deliveries over cesarean ones.
According to the CDC, in 2021, 32.1 percent of live births in the US were cesarean deliveries. On the other hand, 67.9 percent were vaginal deliveries.
As per the American Academy of Family Physicians, following a vaginal delivery, a woman’s body undergoes significant changes, both physically and emotionally. Thus, navigating the postpartum period with attention to one’s well-being is crucial for the smooth recovery of both mother and baby.
In this article, we’ll explore a few essential postpartum healthcare tips that women can embrace after a vaginal delivery.
#1 Prioritize Rest and Recovery
The early postpartum days can be overwhelming as you adjust to your new role as a mother. However, it’s crucial to prioritize rest and allow your body to heal.
Adequate sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being, promoting healing and reducing the risk of postpartum complications. Enlist the support of family and friends to help with household chores, allowing you to focus on rest and recovery.
Create a soothing environment conducive to sleep by dimming lights, reducing noise, and establishing a consistent sleep routine. Remember that getting enough rest not only aids in physical recovery but also supports your emotional health during this transition.
As reported by the Sleep Foundation, postpartum insomnia is a common problem, especially among new moms during the first few postpartum weeks. Therefore, prioritizing proper rest is a must for new moms to ensure a healthy recovery.
#2 Pay Attention to Pelvic Floor Health
The pelvic floor undergoes immense strain during pregnancy and childbirth. After a vaginal delivery, it’s crucial to pay attention to pelvic floor health to prevent issues such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor exercises, commonly known as Kegels, can be initiated under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
Apart from pelvic exercises, consider consulting with a pelvic health physical therapist. They can provide you with personalized guidance on strengthening and rehabilitating the pelvic floor muscles. Monitoring and addressing any signs of discomfort, pain, or unusual sensations in the pelvic area is essential for overall well-being.
Many new moms dealing with pelvic floor disorders might opt for vaginal mesh implants. Such a surgical mesh or transvaginal mesh implant helps support weakened or damaged internal tissue. However, due to various vaginal mesh complications, experts advise to avoid such implants. In fact, the transvaginal mesh lawsuit was filed based on the complications caused by these implants.
According to TorHoerman Law, over 100,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed in the last few years. These were filed on behalf of women who were injured by vaginal mesh products. Some of the complications caused by these implants include severe pain, infection, bleeding, organ perforation, and urinary problems. Therefore, new moms should pay attention to their pelvic floor health without relying on implantable vaginal meshes.
#3 Stay Hydrated and Nourished
After childbirth, it is crucial to prioritize proper nutrition as it plays a key role in supporting healing and facilitating breast milk production. This is especially significant for breastfeeding mothers, where adequate hydration is a particular focus. Ensuring you drink ample water throughout the day is essential to staying well-hydrated and promoting optimal milk production.
A well-balanced diet is fundamental during this time, incorporating a variety of nutrients from fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. To address any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have, it is advisable to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or a nutritionist. They can assist in creating a personalized postpartum nutrition plan tailored to your specific needs.
#4 Monitor Emotional Well-being
The postpartum period is characterized by a diverse range of emotions, encompassing joy and excitement, as well as feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm. It is of utmost importance to prioritize your emotional well-being during this phase. Maintaining an open line of communication with your partner, friends, and family members regarding your feelings and experiences is crucial for a supportive environment.
If you find yourself grappling with mood swings, anxiety, or persistent sadness, it is imperative not to hesitate to seek professional help. Postpartum mood disorders, including postpartum depression, are not uncommon and are treatable. Recognizing the significance of mental health as an integral component of overall well-being, seeking support is a demonstration of strength and self-care.
#5 Engage in Gentle Physical Activity
Even though rest is crucial, incorporating gentle physical activity can prove advantageous for both the physical and emotional well-being of new moms. Before resuming any exercise routine, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider. Begin with light activities like walking or gentle stretching to ease back into physical activity.
Postpartum exercises, such as postnatal yoga, can play a significant role in restoring strength and flexibility. Beyond the physical benefits, these activities also offer a chance to connect with other new mothers, fostering a sense of community and shared experiences. It is important to listen to your body, gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts as you feel comfortable and ready.
#6 Establish a Support System
Navigating the challenges of postpartum recovery is more manageable with a strong support system. Communicate your needs with your partner, family, and friends, allowing them to contribute to your well-being. You also might consider joining a postpartum support group. Here, you can connect with other mothers experiencing similar challenges. Sharing experiences and advice can be empowering, helping you navigate the unique journey of motherhood with confidence.
#7 Schedule Postpartum Check-ups
Regular postpartum check-ups with your healthcare provider are essential for monitoring your physical and emotional well-being. These appointments provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have, ensuring that any potential issues are addressed promptly.
During these check-ups, healthcare providers may assess your pelvic health, discuss family planning options, and provide guidance on postpartum care. Open communication with your healthcare team is crucial for a comprehensive approach to postpartum health and well-being.
In conclusion, the postpartum period after vaginal delivery is a delicate and transformative time that requires attention to both physical and emotional well-being. Prioritizing rest, pelvic floor health, nutrition, emotional well-being, etc., are essential components of a comprehensive postpartum healthcare plan. By embracing these tips, women can navigate the challenges of the postpartum journey with resilience, ensuring a healthy and fulfilling start to motherhood.