The prenatal period and postnatal periods are extremely important times during a woman’s pregnancy. During this time, expectant mothers must go through training and treatment to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. In this article you will learn about the physical and mental needs of the prenatal and postnatal stages.
What are the physical and mental needs of the prenatal and postnatal stages?
What are the physical and mental needs of the prenatal and postnatal stages? This is a question that many first-time mothers ask. Here are some answers to assist you.
Before you give birth, follow this advice to ensure that your physical and emotional needs are met:
- Due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, you may experience feelings of impatience and fear as the delivery draws near
- Supressed emotions such as insecurity may resurface
- You may need therapy to talk about your thoughts and feelings during this time if they become too intense
- Take part in light exercise to keep you and the baby healthy
After you have given birth and the baby is at home with you follow this advice to ensure that your physical and emotional needs are met:
- Sit down and do things to save energy
- Cook simple meals to avoid overexerting yourself
- Ask friends and family members for help
- Postpartum depression can happen to anyone, seek help if you feel overwhelmed
- Take time out to relax
Essentials of Postnatal and Prenatal States.
Prenatal care reduces the risks of pregnancy related conditions and increases the chance of a healthy and safe delivery. It is important to visit the doctor regularly during the prenatal stages to monitor the pregnancy and pinpoint any complications or problems before they get any worse. When expectant mothers neglect their prenatal care, the baby has a higher chance of being born with a low birth weight, this means that their chances of death are five times higher than babies whose mothers were given prenatal care.
Ideally, prenatal care should start a minimum of three months prior to trying to get pregnant. During this time women should implement the following healthy habits:
- Quit drinking alcohol and smoking
- Take folic acid supplements daily
- Speak to your doctor about dietary supplements, medical conditions and any medication you are currently taking
- Avoid contact with toxic chemicals and substances at work or in the home
Once you get pregnant, you will need to book regular appointments with your healthcare practitioner as you go through the stages of your pregnancy. These visits may be scheduled:
- Once a month during the first six months of your pregnancy
- Every two weeks during the seventh and eighth month of your pregnancy
- Once a week in the ninth month of your pregnancy
The doctor will check the health of your baby and your health during these visits, this might include:
- Taking routine screenings and tests to check for your blood type, HIV and anaemia
- Making sure your blood pressure is stable
- Monitoring your weight gain
- Monitoring the heart rate and growth of your baby
- Discussing exercise and a special diet
Visits later on during the pregnancy will include highlighting changes with your body and the position of the baby. During different stages of your pregnancy, your doctor might offer you special classes for the following:
- Get you ready for the birth
- To learn the basic skills required for looking after your baby
- To speak about your pregnancy and what you should expect
If you are considered a high-risk pregnancy because of your health conditions or your age, you may need to see the doctor more often than normal.
Postnatal care is equally as important, this is the six to eight-week period after the birth of your baby. During this time, a mother will go through many emotional and physical changes while they learn to care for their baby. Postnatal care requires getting proper nutrition, proper rest and vaginal care.
Proper Nutrition: You must continue to eat a healthy diet after delivery. Breastfeeding mothers should eat when they are hungry, they should also do the following:
- Avoid snacks that are high in fat
- Consume low-fat foods that balance vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and protein
- Drink a lot of fluids
Proper Rest: It is important that mothers get their strength back after they have given birth, to ensure that you don’t get too tired, do the following:
- Make night feeding easier by keeping your bed and the baby’s crib close together
- While you are sleeping, allow someone else to feed your baby with a bottle
- Get some rest when the baby sleeps
Vaginal care is an important part of postnatal care, you may experience the following:
- A sore vagina if you had a tear while giving birth
- Pain during urination or a frequent need to urinate
- Continued contractions after delivery
- Small blood clots and discharge
Visit your doctor six weeks after giving birth to talk about your symptoms and to get the proper treatment. You should not have sex with your partner for four to six weeks after pregnancy to ensure that your vagina is healed properly.