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The phase of pregnancy and delivery can be a daunting task for a woman. But the end result of having your cute little newborn in your arms makes all the pains of delivery go away. Their cute smile and otherworldly faces will become the reason for your existence. You then have to take on the new role of a mother and care for your baby in every possible way.
Isn't it what motherhood is all about? Being there and caring for your baby in every possible manner? Your baby will be completely dependent on you for all their needs and this can be quite scary to think for most new mothers out there. But the good news is that parenting becomes easy with each passing day. You will soon be able to understand your baby's schedule and needs, making things easier for you. But will that leave you enough time for yourself?
The important part of motherhood, that most women ignore, is to take care of themselves. Of course, you are extremely happy to have given birth to your cute little angel but that doesn't mean that your life should entirely revolve around them. It is very important to care of yourself as your body is still recovering from the complicated process of pregnancy. Though it may be a bit of a task for you initially, you need to make time for yourself to indulge in activities that help you relax and unwind.
A lot of women feel guilty about spending time away from their newborns after birth. But recent statistics suggest that 1 in 10 women suffer from some kind of postpartum depression after their pregnancy  . If not treated on time, this may scar the mother's psyche forever. Therefore, it is important for you to create a balance between yourself and your baby.
If you have already given birth to your bundle of joy and are already feeling the sleepless nights and the colic cries getting to you, we will tell you how to take the easier route to motherhood.
Here are some ways in which you can pamper yourself after childbirth, while being there for your baby as well.
1) Hire Help
Doctors suggest the best way to refrain from postpartum depression in new mothers is by having a solid support system to help you out with your baby and you, during the initial days of your motherhood  . This will not only ease the load on you but getting professional help or support from your loved ones will make it easier for you to cope with the stress of a newborn baby. Moreover, sharing the responsibilities of your baby will give you some time for yourself and allow you to catch up with your sleep.
2) Focus On Your Nutrition
Some doctors would recommend you to continue with your vitamins even after delivery. This is to make your body strong enough to heal after delivery and get back to normal  . This will also contribute to your overall well-being, months after childbirth as well. Furthermore, it is important to go for a routine check-up with your medical practitioner along with your baby weeks after pregnancy, just to keep both of you away from harm.
3) Never Stop Socialising
Socialising and meeting your set of friends is the best way to pamper yourself and beat the postpartum depression  . If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the tasks at your hand, it may be wise to take a break from it all and visit your friends for a cosy cup of coffee and some hot gossip. Trust us, when you are done meeting your friends, you will be in a much happier state of mind.
4) Get A Makeover
Most women do not like to look at themselves in the mirror at least for a few months after delivery. This may be due to them being self-conscious about their bodies. Though we do not suggest you go right away on losing your pregnancy weight as your body is still recovering, what you can do is get a makeover for yourself  . A new you will directly give way to new confidence, making you ready to take on any challenge that comes your way. Moreover, this will also give a reason for your significant other to notice you. After all, we women like compliments coming our way once in a while, right?
5) Stop Feeling Guilty About Impending Chores
The responsibilities of a mother and a woman may be a bit too much for you to handle. If you haven't been taking up the house chores much lately due to your time with the baby, there is no need to feel guilty about it. It is important for people around you to understand that you are just too exhausted and they will have to help you around with the chores.
Once you have established your schedule to make time for both your baby and you, it is time to move to the next level, healing your body.
It is said that the period after pregnancy is very crucial for your body as it is extremely weak and susceptible to diseases and infection. This makes it your priority to take care of your baby and help it heal, both physically as well as mentally.
Here are a few ways in which you can take care of your post pregnancy body and get back to the pink of health.
1) Eat Healthy Food
Your diet plays an important role in helping your body recover. Dieticians usually recommend the regular and controlled consumption of foods such as meat, oil, nuts, fish, beans, vegetables, cheese and milk  . You also need to keep a checklist of foods that are forbidden for you to eat during this time. If you are breastfeeding, there are some foods that will help increase your milk flow as well.
2) Get Immunity Shots
There are certain health care centres that provide post pregnancy immunity shots for women who have just given birth  . This will help keep you away from infections and diseases when your body's immune system is too weak to protect you.
3) Avoid Strenuous Exercise Or Heavy Lifting
It may be wise for you to stay away from any kind of heavy lifting or exercise that will put undue stress on your weak pelvic muscles  . This is especially advised for women who have undergone a vaginal delivery or an episiotomy.
4) Keep An Eye Out For Danger Signs After Delivery
Signs such as a constant headache or fits can serve as warning signs for some major underlying health issues that need medical attention immediately  . Even vaginal bleeding beyond what your medical advisor has suggested can be dangerous. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you notice one or more of these signs.
5) Indulge In Relaxing Activities
Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises will help calm your mind and bring in positive thoughts. Your mental health is as important as physical health. Therefore, if you are feeling anxious, confused or overwhelmed even weeks after birth, it may be wise to get yourself checked for postpartum depression  .
6) Do Not Compromise Your Sleep
Not getting adequate sleep will be the worst thing you can do for your body. It will not only bring you closer to postpartum depression but also prevent your body from healing itself internally  . If you do not have any help at hand, the best thing you can do is to sleep when your baby sleeps.
7) Keep Yourself Warm
This is something that elders often advice to women who are recovering from delivery. Opening yourself up to colder climate and wind will only give way for the pathogens to enter your body. The warmer you keep yourself, the better it is  . Also, it may be wise to avoid public places for a while as you may never know what kind of infections you may come across.
If you take proper care and precautions, the time after your delivery need not have to be that difficult. In fact, it may even be the best of the times you spend with your newborn, something that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
-  National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Depression, Parenting Practices, and the Healthy Development of Children; England MJ, Sim LJ, editors. Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children: Opportunities to Improve Identification, Treatment, and Prevention. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009. 5, Screening for Depression in Parents.
-  Counselling for Maternal and Newborn Health Care: A Handbook for Building Skills. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013. 11, POSTNATAL CARE OF THE MOTHER AND NEWBORN
-  Azale, T., Fekadu, A., Medhin, G., & Hanlon, C. (2018). Coping strategies of women with postpartum depression symptoms in rural Ethiopia: a cross-sectional community study.BMC psychiatry,18(1), 41.
-  Gould Rothberg, B. E., Magriples, U., Kershaw, T. S., Rising, S. S., & Ickovics, J. R. (2010). Gestational weight gain and subsequent postpartum weight loss among young, low-income, ethnic minority women.American journal of obstetrics and gynecology,204(1), 52.e1-11.
-  National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care (UK). Postnatal Care: Routine Postnatal Care of Women and Their Babies [Internet]. London: Royal College of General Practitioners (UK); 2006 Jul. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 37.) 5, Maintaining Maternal Health
-  Crenshaw J. T. (2014). Healthy Birth Practice #6: Keep Mother and Baby Together- It's Best for Mother, Baby, and Breastfeeding.The Journal of perinatal education,23(4), 211-217.