Taking Care of Mom After Baby

Image of an adorable baby

Child birth is a miraculous and joyful time. But ask any new mom and she will tell you - it is also a time of exhaustion, physical pain and a roller coaster of emotions. It's important for new moms to be cared for and know how to care for themselves in the days and weeks after delivery.

The postpartum period begins after the delivery of the baby and ends when the mother's body has nearly returned to its pre-pregnant state. This period usually lasts six to eight weeks. During that time, new mothers need to focus on taking care of themselves, not only so that they can properly care for their baby but also because their own health and well-being are important.

While still in the hospital, a new mom should focus on rest and recovery. While having visitors - especially immediate family - is exciting, it's important to limit the number of visitors and the length of visits. Allow only the people you are closest to visit the hospital. And ask them to stay 20-30 minutes.

Sleep as much as you can while in the hospital. Don't worry about daytime or nighttime - your body's clock will be off schedule for at least a few months to come. Sleep when your baby is sleeping and sleep when your body needs it. Don't hesitate to let your partner or the hospital nursery care for your baby for an hour or two in order to allow you to sleep.

New moms also need to focus on nutritious, filling food. Your body has just been through a lot and it needs vitamins and nutrients to heal and recover. You may have overwhelming feelings of hunger, especially if you are breastfeeding. Focus on protein-rich foods with lots of vegetables, fruit and complex carbohydrates. While this is not the time to diet, it is not the time to be fueling up on fast food and empty calorie. Focus on high quality, nutrient-rich foods.

Monitor your water intake. Your body may be dehydrated from delivery itself, which can be compounded by the extra hydration that breastfeeding requires. It's also easy to forget to drink water when you are busy, distracted and emotional. Keep a water bottle near you at all times and don't hesitate to ask friends and family to refill it for you.

Speaking of help, ask for it! Especially while you are in the hospital, where the nursing staff is there to help you. If you are unsure about something with your recovery or with your baby's health, ask. If you food, water or a comfort item - ask for it.

At the Dignity Health hospitals throughout the Sacramento area, the comfort of each new mom is a priority. From the moment you pull up to the "Mother in Labor" parking area, our hospitals make it all about mom. Laboring mothers experience labor and delivery in the same spacious private birthing suite. Each contemporary suite and postpartum room is thoughtfully provided with an abundance of special features, which (depending on the specific hospital) may include organic bath and body products; massage treatments; gourmet coffee and flavored water station; gourmet meal and celebratory cupcakes; iPod docking station; WiFi access; fold-out sleeper sofas; flat screen TV; DVD player and movie library; family kitchen; and aromatherapy.

To learn more about the Dignity Health family birth centers and their amenities, visit our website.

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