Postnatal Care

Historically, maternal health focused on pregnancy, labour, and delivery. This often leads to little to no attention on preterm and postpartum care. Preterm and postpartum care is as important as pregnancy. Thus, through this article, we shed some light on postnatal care.

What is postnatal care?

Postnatal care refers to the care provided to mothers and babies for 6–8 weeks following the delivery date. The care includes catering to the specific needs of mothers as well as babies. It is used as a means of prevention, early detection, and treatment of complications that might arise due to pregnancy. These few weeks following birth are very critical.

"Early" or "immediate" postnatal care refers to the care provided to the mother and child in the first 24 hours after birth. It is necessary not only for survival but also for the health and development of mothers and babies. After birth, the mothers and newborns should have a full-body check and assessment within one hour of birth, six hours after birth, and finally, 24 hours after birth, before discharge. Thus, mothers are often requested to stay hospitalised to monitor their own and their baby's health. Following the three checkups in the immediate 24 hours, a minimum of three consultations are recommended in the next six weeks.

What are the different types of postnatal care?

Postnatal care comprises care for the mother and the newborn baby. Some aspects of postnatal care for the mother include:

  1. Support during breastfeeding: This includes providing lactation counselling and breastfeeding tactics to the mother.
  2. Rest and healthy food: The body goes through a lot of exertion giving birth, and breastfeeding requires a lot of nutrient absorption too. Thus, new mothers should rest as much as possible and eat proper food.
  3. Regular doctor visits: Mothers should go to regular doctor visits to ensure their bodies are in prime condition and no complications arise. Regular visits also ensure that there are no tears, blood clots, prolapses, or bleeding.

Some aspects of postnatal care for the baby are:

  1. Monitoring the health: Often, newborn babies are unable to adjust to the world outside the womb and are susceptible to complications that can be life-threatening. In such instances, it is essential that the newborn be monitored and that any changes in their health be reported to the healthcare professional.
  2. Proper feeding: At times, the babies are unable to feed properly. In such cases, mothers must take preventative measures and go through lactation counselling. Thus, postnatal care also comprises proper feeding.

Why is postnatal care performed?

According to reports by the World Health Organization, a large number of mothers and newborn babies die hours after delivery. A considerable number of newborns and mothers also end up dying during postpartum. Postnatal care is performed to maintain the health and livelihood of parents and newborns in the long run. It is also performed to ensure that no complications arise and that mothers and newborns can adjust to the outside world.

What are the benefits of postnatal care?

Some benefits of postnatal care are:

  1. It promotes a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition.
  2. It helps detect and prevent diseases.
  3. It provides support to women who might be experiencing intimate partner violence.
  4. It ensures access to sexual and reproductive health.
  5. It helps in family planning.

If you recently had a baby or are pregnant, it is time to start thinking about postnatal care now! Seek help from experts regarding postnatal care.


Thus, postnatal care refers to the care provided to mothers and babies 6–8 weeks after the delivery date. It helps monitor, prevent, and treat any complications that might arise postpartum. Postnatal care is considered essential, as many babies and mothers succumb to death a few months after delivery. Some aspects of postnatal care for mothers include support for breastfeeding, ensuring rest and healthy food, and regular doctor visits. On the other hand, some features of postnatal care for babies include proper feeding and newborn monitoring. There are numerous benefits to postnatal care, too. It promotes a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition, helps with family planning, supports women who might be experiencing intimate partner violence, etc.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Kondapur. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Are postpartum women susceptible to depression?

Yes, women are susceptible to depression after delivery. Nearly one in seven mothers suffers from postpartum depression. Thus, mental health is one of the pivotal characteristics of postnatal care.

2. Is smoking allowed during postpartum recovery?

Yes, women can smoke during postnatal recovery. However, it is advisable to not smoke, as nicotine can get mixed in breast milk and affect the baby's neurological health and development.

3. Is there another word for postnatal?

Yes, the first six weeks postpartum are also known as the confinement period. During this time, new mothers are discouraged from travelling or exhausting themselves.

4. Should women take oil massage during postnatal?

Yes, oil massages during the postnatal period are a form of care for mothers and newborns. They help relax the body, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle tension, and restore the size of the uterus.

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