How to take proper care of hygiene after childbirth?
For 6 weeks after the birth of the baby, the mother's body regains strength and returns to its pre-pregnancy state (unfortunately, this rarely applies to extra pregnant kilograms). Childbirth is a time when a woman has to take special care of her hygiene. And it's not just about intimate hygiene.
Childbirth period and hygiene
For a mother, childbirth is a special moment ending a 9-month waiting period. The child is born and a 6-week convalescence begins for the woman. However, the puerperium period can be tiring and painful. The body gets rid of postnatal remains and the uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size. During the first 3-4 weeks, the woman excrets puerperium droppings (dungeon), which resembles a prolonged menstruation. During the postpartum period, crotch wounds or stitches from Caesarean sections heal. Lactation appears.
In the postnatal period of 6 weeks, the woman's body is weakened and therefore susceptible to various infections. Neglecting hygiene therefore increases the risk of disease in both the mother and the baby. The special hygiene in childbirth applies not only to the woman who gave birth, but also to all those who take care of the obstetrician and her newborn baby.
Hygiene in the toilet
During each visit to the toilet in the first weeks after childbirth, the woman should wash and dry the intimate area. To reduce the use of toilet paper, which can irritate painful areas, it is recommended to spray intimate areas with warm water. They can then be dried with cold air from a hair dryer.
In order to maintain proper hygiene in the postpartum period, you should also regularly change the postpartum primers (used in the first days after birth) or sanitary towels. Afterbirth excrements are an ideal environment for the development of bacteria and fungi, so their contact with intimate places must be limited. The straps should therefore be replaced every 2-3 hours. Under no circumstances may tampons be used during the puerperium period. Their use can lead to a serious infection.
Postpartum wound care
During childbirth, the perineum can break during natural birth. Sometimes the doctor must also cut them if a woman has difficulty in having a baby. Sewn crotch needs time to heal and for some time it is painful. A fresh wound is also easily infected if hygiene is neglected. The postnatal wound should be washed in the shower, using mild intimate hygiene products. The use of preparations containing benzidamine hydrochloride is recommended to alleviate pain and to decontaminate the stitched area more thoroughly. The substance has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, as well as disinfecting and anaesthetising effects. Good hygiene in the puerperium means showering in the morning and in the evening and washing yourself after each use of the toilet.
In the case of caesarean sections, the intimate areas should also be cleaned. The morning and evening showers should be as short as possible to avoid soaking the fresh scar.
Post-natal hygiene is not only about intimate areas. When lactation begins and your baby sucks his breasts, you should also take care of your nipples. Breasts should be washed with delicate, odourless preparations, which should be rinsed thoroughly. After washing do not lubricate breasts and nipples with lotions and fragrant oils. Instead, we can use olive oil or coconut oil to moisturise the skin (avoid lubricating the nipples).
If you use lactation pads, you should change them when they are very wet. Wet inserts are a warm, humid and sweet environment ideal for bacteria and fungus. During breastfeeding, we wear airy cotton bras without whalebones, which can compress the breasts and cause milk stasis. For your own comfort, we should also change our bra every day. Milk residues leave stains and unpleasant smell on the bra.
We don't have to wash our nipples every time we feed them. Around it there are subcutaneous glands (Montgomery glands) that secrete natural substances that purify and moisturize the nipples and areola.
If you breastfeed your baby after exercise, rinse your breasts thoroughly to rinse them off with sweat and clean them of bacteria.
When we pump milk with a breastpump, we rinse and wash every part of it thoroughly after use. If we do not do this, bacteria will multiply in the breastpump that will degrade the quality of the milk. The equipment does not need to be sterilised - just rinse it with hot water to stop the growth of microorganisms.
Taking care of health and well-being
Postpartum hygiene also includes an adequate diet and activity. Meals should therefore be rich in vegetables, unsaturated fats rich in omega-3 fatty acids and complex carbohydrates. A breastfeeding mother should eat about 500 kcal more or less (about the same amount of calories the body needs to produce milk). It is important, however, that these are not empty calories in the form of sweets, white bread and highly processed products.
There are no contraindications for activities such as walking or gentle stretching exercises in the puerperium. Relaxed activity and large doses of sleep allow for faster regeneration of the body after childbirth.
During the postpartum period, all visitors to a young mother and her baby should also take care of their hygiene. Before every contact with a newborn baby you should wash your hands thoroughly and refrain from kissing the baby.
Please note that the above advice is only a suggestion and cannot replace a visit to a specialist. Remember that in case of health problems it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor!