Tips For Post Delivery Care during the Covid-19 Wave

Tips For Post Delivery Care during the Covid-19 Wave

The onslaught of COVID-19 has put people, especially the vulnerable, at risk. Pregnant women or new mothers should also be extra vigilant amid these unprecedented times. It is imperative to ensure the safety of both the newborn and that of the mother.

Following are some of the tips for post-delivery care for women.

Limiting Visitors 

Even though the arrival of a new member in the family is an occasion that brings together families and well-wishers, considering the risks of COVID 19 and complications related to it, it is recommended that you avoid visitors to see your newborn. To stay connected, you can take the aid of new-age video conferencing applications. So unless absolutely imperative, avoid visitations from loved ones for a while.

Keep depression at bay 

A recent study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston on 1,100 postpartum and pregnant women highlights that about 36% of the women admitted to being severely depressed, a rate which was 15% before the pandemic hit.

Women are in a vulnerable position during and after delivery, and the onset of pandemic vehemently increases their fears and anxiety, leading to depression. Thus, women should also prioritise their mental health postpartum. There are many support groups for postpartum depression where you can share and better deal with the condition. If the situation worsens, however, don’t refrain from seeking professional help.

Know the COVID symptoms in babies  

Although children generally get less severe cases of COVID-19, infants are at high risk of the disease.  The signs you should look out for in your baby are as follows:

  • Coughing
  • Sore
  • throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Frequent crying
  • Shortness of breath/rapid breathing
  • Vomiting/Diarrhoea
  • Low oxygen saturation of 92% or less
  • The signs for lower oxygen saturation are blueish colour on the lips or tongue of the baby, white fingernails, and a rapid heart rate.

Even though the risk of transmission of the coronavirus from the mother to the baby is low, still to be on the safe side, the mothers with known or suspected COVID-19 infection who are asymptomatic should consider opting for a postpartum maternal monitoring routine. In addition, physical examination, including temperature, blood pressure, oxygen saturation (SO2), and heart and respiratory rate, should be monitored regularly.

Keep your Hospital Ward/Room Clean 

The surfaces of the hospital/house premises in which the mother and the newborn are residing should be regularly disinfected with sanitiser to reduce the chances of spreading the bacterias through various fomites such as towels, medicine boxes, clothes, and door handles, etc. The virus that spreads through these surfaces reduces immunity and leaves both the mother and her child in a vulnerable position and infected with COVID-19.

Follow the Protocols

In general, the Pregnant or Postpartum Women should follow all the security protocols which a non-pregnant or a COVID-19 patient follows, which are washing hands for at least 20 seconds at regular intervals, following social distancing of 6 feet, sanitising the usable things, wearing a mask, not overexposing themselves to the outside environment.

Postpartum Diet

To recover quickly post-delivery, it’s crucial to consume a healthy diet. You can modify the diet as advised by your physician.

Protein-rich foods- To keep up with the recovery process, eating a good amount of protein is essential. You can include milk, cheese, yoghurt, beans, mushrooms in your diet plan. Milk offers a good boost of bone-strengthening Vitamin D and calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, then you can include meat, beans, and pulses in your meals.

Healthy Fats- Nuts, seeds, avocados are great sources of healthy fats. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats and vitamins like A, D and E. The key is to maintain portion sizes to get the benefits out of it without added weight gain.

Fibre-rich carbs- Quinoa is an excellent gluten-free source of fibre and protein. In addition, you can consider adding oats, sweet potatoes, kidney beans to your meal plan.

Fruits- From bolstering the immune system to improving breast milk production, citrus fruits like oranges and kiwi fruit offer significant benefits. For example, Sapodilla is rich in magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin A. For new moms, apricots are also great as they contain Vitamin A, C, K, E and dietary fibres.

Breastfeeding for NewBorn

Breast milk is full of nutrients and immunoglobulins that are vital for a baby’s healthy development. However, if you have just given birth,  breastfeeding may become relatively difficult. In this case, a lactation support provider can help you out while you recover. In addition, thorough advice and insight about relactation (restarting breastfeeding) should be gained from a certified professional before you continue breastfeeding your baby.

Final Note 

Pregnancy is a beautiful experience and a very delicate time for both the mother and the newborn. Therefore, take it slow and try to enjoy your recovery period.

Dr Priyanka Gupta Manglik

Gynaecologist, Manohar Lohia Hospital, Lucknow