Postnatal care in nursing

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Postnatal care in nursing

Do you want to study postnatal care in nursing but do not know what it entails? Maybe you are interested in caring for a mother and her newborn, but you do not know what it entails. This is a sensitive course, and you must understand how to go about it. Worry not, as this article will help you understand the course.

Having a newborn is a life-changing experience, both physically and emotionally. Getting the right postnatal care is essential for both the mother and child. After giving birth, a mother should get time to concentrate on taking care of herself and the newborn during the first few weeks.

What is postnatal care in nursing?

Postnatal care in nursing is the attention and care provided to a mother and baby during the first six to eight weeks after giving birth. This time marks the beginning of a new phase of life for families.

For many women and babies, the postnatal period is not complicated. Effective care is also about establishing any unexpected occurrence after birth. The role of a postnatal nurse is crucial at the moment. You should identify danger signs affecting mothers and babies during and after delivery.

Antenatal versus postnatal care

Antenatal care involves the examinations, consultations, and ultrasounds a woman gets while pregnant. This can also be called maternity care or pregnancy care. Your doctor gives you appointments to ensure you and the baby are safe. On the other side, postnatal care is the care a mot/her gets for the first few weeks after giving birth.

What are the components of postnatal care?

  1. Nursing and breast care

The first few times you try to breastfeed a baby may be painful and uncomfortable. However, the pain should disappear with time. If you have cracked, sore or bleeding nipples, press a few drops of milk before nursing your baby. To ensure you do not get future irritation, keep your nipples clean and change your nursing pads regularly.

Try different breastfeeding positions to find the one that works well for your baby. You can try holding your baby such that their head rests on your arm. Ensure your baby’s mouth covers at least an inch of your nipple when breastfeeding. Use a pillow to provide extra arm support to add comfort when nursing.

When you are not nursing, wear a well-fitting bra while your breasts are distended. For the first nursing days, you can place ice cubes under your armpits and the side of the breasts to engorge properly. Do not worry if your body temperatures go a little high, and milk will leak from your breasts during the period.

  1. Postnatal care nursing diet

While pregnant, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet, and once your child is delivered, you should keep putting your nutrition first. Consume a wide range of food, focusing on fresh produce, healthy protein, and lean meat. As far as you can, avoid processed foods and empty calories from foods heavy in carbohydrates and sugar.

Avoid starting a diet immediately to shed your pregnancy weight, but if you’re worried about it, limit your intake of alcohol, high-fat, high-sugar foods, bread, and cereals without going too far. Continue taking prenatal vitamins for the first three months of breastfeeding to ensure you get the necessary vitamins for yourself and your baby.

  1. Contraception and sexual intercourse

It is acceptable to engage in sexual activity if you feel safe doing so, which is normally six weeks after giving birth, although it is best to wait until your mucus is clear. If you moisturize the area with a contraception cream or foam rather than Petroleum jelly, you may be able to reduce vaginal soreness.

You and your spouse should discuss your contraception alternatives before starting sexual activity again. Without prescriptions, condoms, foam, and vaginal lubricants are available and safe to use while nursing. When you visit the doctor for your postnatal examination, be careful to discuss alternative birth control methods.

  1. Postpartum natal care in nursing exercise

Mild activity can be started after two weeks of rest and recovery following childbirth, but more demanding exercise should be postponed for four to six weeks. Start with simpler exercises and progressively raise the difficulty as long as it is pleasant for you and does not hurt. After having a Cesarean section, wait a minimum of six weeks before starting an exercise regimen, and only then with your doctor’s approval.

  1. Constipation and Hemorrhoids

Maintaining regular bowel movements after giving birth is crucial to preventing constipation. Drink more water and eat a balanced, high-fiber diet. Your doctor might also provide a stool softener like Surface or Colace if required. Colace and Milk of Magnesium hydroxide are safe to consume while breastfeeding if a stimulant is required.

Use prescription cream or suppositories if you have hemorrhoids as an issue. Try laying on one side with your upper thigh slightly bent and taking soothing Sitz showers to ease extra hemorrhoid pain.

  1. Medical checkups

It would help if you visited healthcare providers for checkups two to five weeks after giving birth. The appointments provide a space to discuss with the doctors any concerns you might be having. This includes; contraception issues, emotional recovery, and physical recovery process.

  1. Postpartum emotional care

As you adjust to living with a kid, having a newborn is a special period in your life that is full of excitement and joy. However, it may also be a time of intense tension and anxiety. Try to pay close attention to your spouse’s and your own emotional support in the days and months following birth. After having a kid, it is normal to have complex and challenging emotions, but pay attention if those sentiments start to get out of control.

  1. Virginal bleeding

Normal postpartum bleeding resembles a heavy period and should stop by the third or fourth day, although it can continue for up to 4 to 6 weeks. You might notice more blood or blood clots on the first or third day at home due to increased activity. You need to take a break if you start cramping or bleeding excessively. Call your gynecologist if cramping or bleeding persists.

Unless you are nursing, menstruation usually occurs around 5 and 12 weeks after delivery. Nursing is not a method of birth control because it is still normal to conceive while nursing. However, it may postpone periods for some women.

Importance of postnatal care

Postnatal care in nursing is crucial because it ensures that a mother is correctly recuperating from labor and birth. Additionally, it gives a mother a chance to speak with her healthcare provider and express any worries or queries regarding the psychological, social, and physiological adaptations you are going through after giving birth.

Interesting postnatal care in nursing topics for research

As a postnatal care nursing student, you will be assigned a research paper at one point in school. If you have no idea the topics to write about, here are some interesting topics you can choose;

  1. Explain some of the vision changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  2. What are the health paybacks of breastfeeding to mothers?
  3. Discuss postpartum scar tissue massage as a recovery tactic in breastfeeding mothers
  4. What to assume from the diapers of a well-breastfed baby
  5. Effects of restless leg syndrome in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
  6. How to understand food allergies and sensitivities in a breastfeeding baby
  7. What are the best nutritional supplements for postpartum mums?
  8. How first-time mothers experience a decline in cognitive abilities after giving birth
  9. Preparing for a virginal birth after a cesarean delivery
  10. Complications resulting in a postpartum stroke
  11. What mothers should expect after they stop breastfeeding
  12. When do most mothers and children die in the period of postmortem?

Danger signs for the woman after giving birth

Every woman must be aware of the danger signs during the postnatal period. It is important to review all the emergency plans during the pregnancy period to see whether they are valid. As a nurse, you should remind mothers to come with their pregnancy health records for any postnatal visit. It is also important to discuss the danger signs with mothers to avoid maternal deaths that occur in the first few weeks.

A mother should go to the hospital if she experiences the following danger signs;

  1. Increased vaginal bleeding
  2. Difficult or fast breathing
  3. If she becomes weak or experiences fever
  4. Burled vision and severe headache
  5. Shortness of breath, swelling, or calf pain
  6. Fits
  7. Severe depression or any suicidal behavior
  8. Smelly vaginal discharge
  9. Infection in the wounded area
  10. Pain when urinating or leaking urine

Providing information and support for the care of a newborn

After assessing the newborn, you need to communicate with the mother on how to take care of the newborn. Advice the mothers and their family members on the following;

  • Keeping the baby warm

A newborn should wear one or more layers than an adult. When cold, the baby should wear a hat.

  • Caring for the umbilical cord

Advise the mother on taking care of the umbilical cord. This will help reduce the rate of getting infections. The mother should not place anything on the stump or wash the baby before the cord falls off.

  • Keeping the baby clean

It may not be necessary to bathe a baby every day. However, it is important to wipe the baby’s face when necessary. A mother should ensure she washes and dresses the baby in a warm room.

  • Provide breastmilk only

The baby should be given only breast milk unless directed by a specialist.

  • The baby should sleep on the back

A newborn baby should not sleep on the side or stomach to avoid infant death syndrome causes.

  • Visiting the hospital

The baby should be taken to a clinic anytime between 7 to 14 weeks after delivery for review.

To sum up

Postnatal care in nursing involves the care given to a mother and child after delivery. After giving birth, especially for first-time mothers, many changes happen, and they have to get the tactics to adapt. As a nurse working in the postnatal care nursing unit, you should ensure that a mother and her child get the right postnatal care.

Advise a mother and their family on how to care for themselves and the baby. Educate her on when to visit the hospital for checkups and educate them on any danger signs for her and her baby.

If you are a nursing student taking postnatal care in nursing and are stuck on writing assignments, reach out to us for help with any assignment. We have the best writers to help you attain the desired grades in school.