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Hygiene After Delivery: Tips

By Padmapreetham Mahalinga

Giving birth is a physiologic function; hence during the initial days after the baby's arrival, your body is vulnerable and will be going through a course of healing. From general health, dietetic status to your overall level of fatigue there are numerous factors that can affect you during this stage of healing.

While giving birth to a beautiful bundle of joy is one of the most important moments in a woman's life, it can also turn out to be distressing as your body goes through various changes like vaginal soreness and urinary problems. To recoup your health after delivery and to avoid complications during the initial postpartum stage, strict adherence to diet, good rest and post-delivery hygiene is necessary. Hypothetically after delivery most mothers ignore their well-being and only try to give special attention to their infant.

So it is advisable to consider delivery hygiene practices to keep your baby and yourself healthy. Following these postnatal hygiene care tips is important to ensure that you and your baby are in good health. Our postnatal hygiene tips will help you take better care of your breasts and stitches if you have had a caesarean section. Also keeping the intimate areas clean at all times is of utmost importance if you want to shun away the infection.

Hand washing
The first delivery hygiene practice that new moms have to follow is proper hand washing. This postnatal hygiene tip is simple but is also the best way to keep away from getting sick with cold, flu and stomach problems. Washing your hands can get rid of germs that you come in contact with in your daily life.

When can I wash?
There are two aspects of delivery hygiene when it comes to washing like "when can I wash" and "how do I wash". Wash your hands before and after eating, before dressing and giving medicine to a wound, before holding or carrying your infant and also before and after changing the diaper.

How do I wash?
Apply soap and rub your hands until there is lather. For 20 seconds continue to wash between your fingers, under the nails, the back of your hands, and also the wrists. Make sure to rinse your hands off well under running water.

Pour warm water
Postpartum urinary incontinence is a common problem among mothers. You may leak urine when you cough or laugh. To ensure proper post delivery hygiene use press pads against the wound to absorb leaking urine. The other postnatal hygiene tip to follow is to ask the practitioner if the urine incontinence doesn't taper off even after a few weeks.

Bladder infection
Pain or a burning sensation when you urinate frequently, indicates a bladder infection. The helpful tip for bladder infection is to drink plenty of water and urinating often can reduce the chance of bladder infection and cramping.

Reduce the infection
Every time you urinate or defecate, use a squirt bottle filled with water to douse off on your anus (perineum). After you have washed the affected area, remember to pat dry. This step is important delivery hygiene to follow that helps to reduce the pain and the infection.

Keep the perinea clean
Appropriate perinea care is important for preventing infection from the episiotomy and bladder. Make sure to keep the perinea clean from dried blood. Use sanitary pads to reduce the infection rather than tampons.

Maintain cleanliness
You may have a problem with stitches after you have undergone a caesarean. Maintain cleanliness and take care of the naval and also your stitches to avoid an infection.

Prevent infection in breasts
Take care of your breasts after breastfeeding by rinsing them with water so as to wash away the saliva. Cotton bras are good while breastfeeding as it dries quickly and also keeps the germ away. For leaking breasts post-pregnancy use breast pads, change them when wet since it can become a breeding ground for germs.

Lanolin cream to treat sore nipples
Lanolin cream is best to treat sore nipples. The lanolin cream doesn't have to be washed away before breastfeeding.

It is always essential for mothers to practise delivery hygiene after child birth and follow these postnatal hygiene tips to ensure proper healing and for speeding up the recovery process.

Story first published: Saturday, November 30, 2013, 5:04 [IST]
Read more about: pregnancy women hygiene