The postpartum period or postnatal period is the time immediately after child birth to approximately 6 weeks after child birth. There is a great deal of information out there in relation to what to expect during your pregnancy but there isn’t a whole lot said about what to expect right after your child is born. Knowing what to expect will reduce your anxiety and help you prepare for the events ahead of you.
What Happens In The Hospital Immediately After Childbirth?
Most hospitals allow the mother to hold the baby for a few moments immediately after birth so that the two of you can bond. The baby will then be taken and cleaned up while you are being cared for as well. The process for the mother will depend on the type of birth it was. If it was a caesarean then stitching or stapling will be done to close up the opening. If it was a vaginal birth than the mother may need stitches if there was any tearing. The mother will then be taken to a recovery room.
While this is taking place a serious of tests will be conducted on the newborn. These tests are done to screen the baby for any potential disorders that will have to be addressed. The screening helps to identify metabolic or genetic issues that can prevent the child from developing properly. Early interventions can be introduced so that the child has the best chances for living a normal life. These screenings are generally conducted by poking the heel of the baby and placing droplets of blood onto testing strips. It is common for the baby’s hearing to be checked as well.
Breastfeeding After Childbirth
Once the mother and child have been examined and taken care of they will be reunited. If the mother is planning to breastfeed then a nurse will assist with the process. In the beginning breastfeeding can be a challenge for both the mother and the baby. It is important to try the different techniques the nurses ask so that you will know the proper way to get your baby the nutrition they need once you leave the hospital. Breastfeeding is natural but it is also a new process that both with have to adjust to. Make sure you feel comfortable with the process and you ask any questions you have.
Postpartum Depression And Other Mental Health Disorders After Childbirth
Postpartum depression has finally been recognized as a real concern that many women experience after childbirth. It can be brought on by a variety of factors including the stress of caring for an infant, poor relationships with others, other mental health issues, and feeling overwhelmed with having a child.
Some women experience other mental health disorders after giving birth including a nervous break down, depression, and feelings of not being good enough to be a parent. It is important to seek support for mental health concerns after giving birth and to have a strong support system in place to assist with the baby.
Other Complications after Childbirth
It is very important that new mothers take care of themselves after childbirth. They recovery period is different for each person but the doctor will give you some basic guidelines. The vaginal area will be very sore for a couple of weeks so sitting and bending should be done carefully. If a cesarean was performed the recovery period will be much longer and the mother needs to pay attention to lifting restrictions.
Not following the restrictions after childbirth can result in complications such as excessive bleeding, tearing, and an infection. It is important to report any such concerns or issues to a medical professional immediately to prevent further complications from resulting.