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For new mothers
For all the new mothers who are new to motherhood and life after pregnancy, it is even more essential to take good care of yourself while taking care of the baby. Dr Asha Dalal, director, obstetrics and gynaecology, Well Women Center, Sir H N Reliance Hospital and Research Center lists down some common health concerns new mothers should know and take care of, post-partum.
1. Mastitis or breast abscess
This will cause painful swelling and redness of the breast. There is difficulty in breastfeeding and can also cause fever. Management will consist of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery.
2. Postpartum depression (PPD)/post-partum anxiety or baby blues
PPD is a mood disorder that can affect new mothers and can develop within the first year after giving birth. Symptoms may include sadness, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and changes in sleep or appetite. PPD is treatable with therapy, medication, or a combination of both, but it is important for the family to recognise it and help her seek treatment.
3. Postpartum care also involves monitoring the mother to see if the uterus is involuting properly, the post-delivery discharge is normal, the blood pressure is normal, there is no excessive bleeding, the episiotomy, tear wound or whether the caesarean scars are healthy. Pain and discomfort need to be managed and adequate nutrition must be provided so that breastfeeding can be maintained. Breastfeeding support may be needed for latching techniques, common problems like cracked nipples or even dealing with mastitis or breast abscess may be required.
A lot of women go through a difficult time emotionally. During this period, besides medical care family members can be of great help in supporting the mother by sharing her chores and helping with baby duties. If they see signs of postpartum depression or baby blues, they must encourage her to seek professional help.