By Rishu Gandhi
Isn’t it true that your little one is your reflection? The key to a baby’s health lies in his/her mother’s health and for an infant, it stems very much from hygiene. Parents and to-be-parents are aware that the process of nourishing their little ones starts as soon as they start existence in the womb. Hence, parental hygiene begins right from pregnancy and goes on till your child is dependent on you.
Various health related studies have found out that one out of every five pregnant women are likely to suffer from bacterial vaginosis at some point. Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common vaginal infections in pregnant women. The infection is known to leave some harsh effects like premature birth, low weight baby, second trimester miscarriage, etc. This clearly emphasises how a mother’s hygiene is a must for a healthy baby.
Hygiene comes in several forms and here, we will decode the various suggestions that a mother should abide by, during and post pregnancy.
Ensure cleanliness around you
The most common mistake that most mothers make is of not keeping their surroundings clean. Unclean surroundings often result in a range of infections. Therefore, if you want to keep yourself safe from bacterial infections, ensure that you stay in a hygienic atmosphere.
Stay away from chemicals
A pregnant woman’s private parts are more sensitive as there is an increase in vaginal discharges, blood circulation and hormonal changes. Even though the markets are flooded with feminine washes that claim to help women in keeping bacterial infections at bay, you must remember not to use these beyond a limit as they could affect the pH balance of these areas. Also, avoid using vaginal deodorants or perfumed products because of the chemicals they contain.
Keep your breasts sanitised
The journey of caring for your breasts start right from your pre-delivery stage. After the 12 weeks of your pregnancy itself, your breasts start releasing fluids which later makes the milk for your little one. The secretion of this fluid often dampens and causes itchiness in your breasts. Hence, it is very important that you keep your breasts and surrounding areas clean.
Post-delivery, once you start with breastfeeding, caress a bit of breast milk into your nipples as soon as you finish feeding your baby. Let your nipples breathe by providing them with as much air as possible. Keep them clean and dry. These steps will help you have a healthy breastfeeding.
Wash your hands
This can be considered the very preliminary step for a hygienic routine. Washing your hands properly at timely intervals ensures you stay away from infectious diseases as well keep your baby away from them as well. When you wash your hands regularly, you keep germs at bay. Ensure you wash your hands before and after every meal, when you change the diaper of your baby or touch any chemicals.
In tandem with the above shared regular hygiene tips, Ayurveda can also help greatly in maintaining hygiene. Ayurveda emphasises on consumption of a lot of water to ensure a free passage of motion, and a balanced diet to stay healthy by all means. It also believes that oils and regular massages can be very fruitful for a mother as well as a baby’s health. Various oils like sesame oil, mustard and coconut oil frees the movement of joints and muscles, increases blood circulation and removes metabolic wastes from your body keeping your fit overall. There are several exercises that you can focus on during and post-pregnancy to keep yourself healthy and fit.
These steps can keep you away from infections and ensure a healthy lifestyle for your baby. You can also use organic baby care products like water wipes which are free of alcohol or paraben-free.
(The writer is Founder & Head Brand Strategy, Mother Sparsh.)