Childbirth, they say, is a chance at a new life for a woman. Though nearly every woman goes through the pains of childbirth at least once in her life, each pregnancy is a delicate matter. A pregnant woman has a lot of responsibilities on her shoulder – not just hers but also her baby’s. It is therefore important that special prenatal (before birth) and postpartum or postnatal (after birth) healthcare is provided to expectant mothers.
This is important because it includes various treatments and training, which could help expecting mothers steer through all the three stages of pregnancy (Pre-pregnancy, During pregnancy, Labour and delivery) smoothly.
Prenatal care is important because it forms the grounds for pregnancy and childbirth. If you are just starting out on the journey to motherhood, we would advise you to consult a well-reputed and experienced gynecologist. For any help, you can always visit this website.
It is important that in this stage, you regularly go for checkups. This would help the doctor keep an eye on any developments and complications of the pregnancy, and treat them early on. It has been seen that mothers who have had no prenatal care tend to give birth to underweight babies, and their chances of surviving are very little as compared to those whose mothers have had proper prenatal care.
Prenatal care starts three months before you try to conceive. One is required to quit smoking and drinking alcohol, and the soon-to-be mommy is also required to add folic acid supplements in her daily intake. The doctor should be informed about the medical history of the mother- to- be so that proper treatment is given to make the pregnancy uncomplicated. The mother-to-be should avoid all contact with any toxic substance.
This period requires regular healthcare appointments through every stage of pregnancy. One has to make regular monthly visits to the doctor in the first six months of pregnancy. Followed by fortnightly visits in the seventh and eighth months, and weekly during the ninth month.
The doctor will take routine tests and screenings, which will include :
- Testing of blood samples to check for anemia, HIV, and blood type,
- Blood pressure monitoring,
- Measuring weight gain,
- Taking special note of the baby’s physical growth and heart rate,
- Advising on the changes to be brought in the diet and exercise regime,
- Checking if there are any abnormal changes in the baby’s position.
Special classes are held at different stages of pregnancy. These classes prepare one for childbirth and play a significant role in relieving women of all their doubts. In case a pregnancy has complications and risks, more frequent visits and special care should be arranged.
Postpartum or Postnatal Care
The postpartum period continues for about eight weeks immediately after delivery. During this period, the mother learns how to care for her newborn. Postpartum care also includes a change in lifestyle in accordance to the moods and needs of the baby. A few important points for postnatal care:
- As rest and nutrition are important, one should sleep when the baby sleeps.
- Start to bottle feed the baby.
- Eat Right as a mother who has just been in labour, you would be exhausted.
- Breastfeeding also requires a healthy diet.
- Avoid high-fat snacks
- Focus on eating low-fat foods that balance protein, carbohydrates.
- Eat more fruits and leafy vegetables
- Drink plenty of fluids
Vaginal care is a very important part of postpartum care because there may be:
- Vaginal soreness.
- Urination problems like pain or increased frequency.
- Discharge, including small blood clots.
Sexual intercourse should be avoided for four to six weeks after delivery so that the vagina gets enough time to heal. Postnatal care is of equal importance as that of prenatal and labour stages because the health of the baby and the mother both depend on it.
We hope you found this article helpful.