Healthy Food and Clean Environment Vital for Mother, Newborn

March 05, 2020


RECOMMENDED post-natal care focuses on the new mother’s well-being including a healthy diet, said medical experts.

The Health Ministry has stated the monitoring parameters in its ante-natal book that is distributed at all mother and child health clinics.

Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Norintan Zainal Shah said it was important for mothers to be examined by medical personnel in the first 21 days after delivery to look for signs of a medical problem.

“Body temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate and breasts will be checked and examined.”


She said the medical personnel would also measure the height of uterus, inspect Caesarean-section wound (if any) and lochia, check on hygienic maintenance of perineum as well as the mother’s urinary and bowel functions, among others.

She added that it was important for a mother to be assessed on her ability to walk or ambulate and have her calves and legs examined to prevent or detect deep vein thrombosis.

“If a mother shows signs of medical problems, she will be referred to the clinic or hospital, ” said Dr Norintan.

“The medical personnel must also be vigilant about breastfeeding in post-natal mothers to address problems that may arise.


“At the end of the puerperium, which is about six weeks, mothers are advised to visit the doctor for a physical examination, pelvis ultrasound, pap smear and family planning discussion, ” she added.

Columbia Asia dietitian Rafidah Abdul Rashid said a mother’s diet during this period was very important, for the benefit of both her and the newborn.

“A balanced and healthy diet not only helps her replace nutrients lost during pregnancy and delivery but it will also help the mother produce enough milk for her newborn.”

As for the newborn, Columbia Asia consultant paediatrician Dr Jasvinder Kaur said the mother might need help to care for her baby.

Besides the basics of feeding and cleaning, she said vital aspects include umbilical cord care and a hygienic environment.


Dr. Norintan Zainal
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist
Columbia Asia Hospital – Seremban
MBBCh BAO (Ireland), LRCP & SI (Ireland), MMed (Obs & Gyn) (USM)
 
Dr. Jasvinder Kaur
Consultant Pediatrician
Columbia Asia Hospital – Setapak
MBBS (West Indies), MRCPCH (UK), Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology (Canada)
 
Rafidah Abdul Rashid
Dietitian
Columbia Asia Hospital – Taiping
 
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  This article first appeared in The Star Online, 21 February 2020
 
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