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Why you need to let your body heal after delivery

By Agnes Kyotalengerire

Added 7th September 2017 01:42 PM

It takes about 42 days for a woman’s body to recover after delivery, although complete recovery can stretch to six months.

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It takes about 42 days for a woman’s body to recover after delivery, although complete recovery can stretch to six months.

PIC: A mother receives her new born baby. Child birth is stressful on a woman's body. (Agnes Kyotalengereire)

HEALTH: MOTHERHOOD

On Tuesday, Brenda Suubi Asinde, the NRM’s Flagbearer in the Iganga district Woman MP by-election, left people gobsmacked when she addressed a rally barely hours after giving birth.

Asinde reportedly gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday morning at about 7:00am at Musana Community Health Centre, in Nakalama sub-county.  By 4:00pm, on the same day, Asinde addressed a rally at St. Jude Church grounds in northern division Iganga municipality.

Whether out of pressure to resume work or sheer lack of options, some women tend to get back on their feet just a few hours after  delivering.

Resuming work immediately after delivering a baby, according to Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a senior consultant gynecologist/Obstetrician at Mulago Hospital, interferes with the healing process of the new mother.

“Remember, the woman is still going through the process of recovering from child birth,” says Kiggundu.

According to Kiggundu, it takes about 42 days for a woman’s body to recover after delivery, although complete recovery can stretch to six months. This also depends on the circumstances under which the woman delivered; normal child birth or caesarean.

Aside from that, child birth itself is stressful. So there is a risk that engaging in work activities can predispose her to other complications, for example, excessive bleeding, also known as post-partum hemorrhages.

“Severe bleeding which tends to occur within the first 24 hours after delivery is a number one killer of women. Although the risk of bleeding excessively does not happen to every woman,” Kigundu explains.

According to Dr. Imelda Namagembe, also a senior consultant gynecologist and obstetrician at Mulago Hospital, it is estimated that about 20 to 25% of women die due to severe bleeding after delivery.

Namagembe explains that it is important that the mother is monitored within the first six hours following delivery, to rule out any danger signs including severe bleeding and a rise in blood pressure. The mother should also be checked six days and six weeks after being discharged from hospital.

Engaging in work immediately after delivery according to Namagembe, distracts the mother from paying attention to the new-born and might miss any signs of complications that may arise.

Additionally, Kiggundu says being with the baby goes beyond the physical presence of the mother, but also calls for mental and emotional stability.

"A mother should have time to bond with her new-born but also to harness the benefits of nutrition, like exclusive breastfeeding. This significantly impacts on her health, as well as that of the baby," he says.

According to the experts, a mother who is supported and more relaxed tends to breastfeed better than a woman who is stressed and running around with work.

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