Navigating Postpartum and Interconception Care

Did you know that postpartum and interconception care are two vital pillars in maternal and reproductive health? 

Postpartum care refers to a timeframe spanning approximately six weeks after childbirth while interconception care encompasses the period between two pregnancies. Both are instrumental in ensuring the overall wellbeing of women – mothers in particular – and their future pregnancies. In fact, they are interlinked; enhanced postpartum care can lead to improved women’s health during the interconception period and beyond. 

Let’s dive deeper into each one of them.

In postpartum care, the health and wellbeing of both mum and newborn take precedence. This includes physical and mental wellbeing checkups for the new mother to ensure her full recovery, identifying and addressing any postpartum complications and family planning options,  as well as the growth and development of the baby such as their weight, feeding patterns, developmental milestones and vaccinations. 

Interconception care, on the other hand, is aimed at optimising women’s health between pregnancies by addressing and mitigating medical or lifestyle risk factors that could affect their subsequent pregnancies. It may also encompass taking care of unresolved postpartum issues and emphasising the importance of family planning. 

There is a slight overlap in both types of care, with postpartum care often being considered as a part of interconception care. However, there are also distinct differences between the two. 

For a quick recap, here’s a summary of the main differences:

TIME PERIOD

  • Postpartum care refers to the care received immediately following delivery for about six weeks.
  • Interconception care encompasses the care received in between pregnancies.

BREADTH

  • Postpartum care involves addressing the immediate needs of the new mother and her newborn baby.
  • Interconception care considers a more comprehensive perspective to ensure the woman’s overall health and wellbeing as well as reproductive goals. 

FOCUS

  • Postpartum care addresses the physical and emotional wellbeing of the mother as well as the baby’s growth and developmental milestones.
  • Interconception care attempts to reduce risk factors that might affect her possible future pregnancies. 

As an important component of interconception care, postpartum care is perceived to be an integral bridge between pregnancy and a woman’s continued healthcare. With the postpartum period being a challenging time for women due to the tremendous physiological changes occurring to their bodies as well as the emotional transitions that come with parenting a newborn, obtaining quality postpartum care is essential.

Reputable confinement centres are one way to ensure that you receive quality care during this critical time. At Danai Cresenvale Postnatal Haven, new mothers and their babies are monitored by a team of medical professionals. Mums are also provided with special food planned by trained dietitians and freshly cooked at every meal, in addition to being given guidance and classes on caring for their newborns.  

The care received at a confinement centre can help to facilitate the recovery of mums and the wellbeing of babies. With proper healing, the mothers are able to get a strong start for the interconception period, thus paving the way for optimising ensuing pregnancies as they continue on the journey of expanding their families.

Date Night Ideas for Parents

Life changes when your family expands. This is especially true when you have newborns or young children, who require your care and attention 24/7. As you and your spouse place all your energy on your little ones, more often than not, your relationship as a couple gets put on the backburner. Even as you get immersed in the world of parenting, it is also imperative that you carve out time to reconnect as partners. This is where allocating dedicated date nights can come in handy. 

Admittedly, a date night when you have young children in your life may look different from when there were just the two of you – when you could dress up, stay out as late as you want and paint the town red together. However, the time spent together sans children can be an essential kindle in refuelling the spark that made you fall in love with each other. In fact, date nights can be seen as a great investment in your relationship. It is often thought that couples who designate regular date nights tend to have tighter bonds, better communication and fewer conflicts.

Planning Your Date Night 

When planning your date night, you’ll need to figure out a couple of thing, such as:

  • When will it take place?
  • Will you need to find a sitter?
  • Do you have to prepare anything in advance? (either for your children or for your date)
  • What kind of activities will you and your partner actually enjoy?

Knowing these things will help you plan your date in advance. However, in the event that something does come up, such as your child getting sick, or even one of you getting sick, make sure you have a backup, just in case.

Fun at Home

If budget or lack of childcare does not allow you to indulge in a night out in town, date night at home can also be a fun way to purposefully reconnect with your partner. A bonus is that you won’t face the stress of navigating traffic or being too far away from your little ones! 

Here are some ideas of what you can do at home:  

Plan a game night

Pick up a variety of games (some strategic, some funny, romantic, etc.) and bust out the games after the kids go to bed or during nap time! This is a really fun way to spark up some friendly competition and even conversation with one another!

Look at old photos together

Looking at childhood photos from before you knew each other or old photos of the two of you together will spark some interesting conversations and bring back fond memories.

Have a movie night

This is a classic and a great way to relax after the little ones go to bed. Make some popcorn (or whatever snack is your favourite), get cosy and start the movie.

If you’re an early bird, you could even start your morning by getting up before the kids to enjoy some coffee together while watching a movie. There’s nothing like a little snuggle time and  movie to start your day!

Cook up a romantic meal

There’s a reason why the saying “The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach” is so popular. A great way to say “I love you” is with a romantic, home-made meal! Surprise your partner with a special meal. You could add in extra touches like strewing rose petals, putting on some nice perfume and dressing in their favourite outfit, and really turn it into a romantic affair.

Make cocktails or have a wine, cheese or chocolate tasting night

Have a cocktail night: try to recreate your favourites or experiment until you come up with a signature cocktail you can call your own. Or have some wine and cheese or chocolate. Wine goes great with cheese and chocolate, so you know you can’t go too wrong with either of these pairings.

Give each other massages

Being parents can be tough. A great way to add in some romance is by giving one another a massage! Not only does it feel nice to feel your partner’s touch, but it probably feels so relaxing to get a massage after a long day. Find a video on YouTube and try some new massage techniques, or go freestyle! 

Take a bath together

This one will really kick up the romance a notch, but hey, that’s what you’re here for, right?

Be sure to pour a glass of wine or your favourite drink, add in some calm scented bubbles, and enjoy your warm bath with your partner!

Get outside and watch the sunset together

Depending on what time your kids go to bed, you might be able to catch a gorgeous sunset with your partner! There’s always something special and mesmerising about snuggling up with your partner and watching the sun go down together.

Have You Heard About Parent-and-Child Dates?

Parents are always looking for ways to spend quality time with their children. One way to do so is via parent-and-child dates. A family with more than one young child, especially, may find it harder to have one-on-one time with each child. However, taking the time regularly to really connect with each child will go a long way in tending to their heart. Caring for their carnal needs and health is important but so is caring for their spiritual and mental health. Taking each child on special dates is one way to purposefully stay in tune with all of your child’s needs. If you’re looking for some fun one-on-one date ideas, look no further! 

  1. Have a picnic in your backyard or at a nearby park
  2. Go on a nature walk together and see who can find the most interesting rocks, leaves or flowers
  3. Head to the bookstore and pick out a few books to read together. Make it extra fun by reading in silly voices or acting out the story
  4. Go to the zoo and name all the animals 
  5. Build a fort out of blankets and pillows and have a movie marathon inside it
  6. Do a parent-child cooking class together
  7. Go for a ice-cream or milkshake
  8. Have a water gun battle
  9. Give each other manicures or pedicures
  10. Go on a bike ride together 

Be sure to put away your phone, turn off the TV and really focus on your child during your date. No matter what you choose to do, the important thing is that you are spending quality time with your child and showing them that they are important to you.

Benefits of ‘Dating’ Your Children

While every parent-child relationship is different, most children generally crave attention and quality time with their parents. In today’s world, it can be hard to find the time to truly connect with our children. We are often pulled in many different directions and our children can easily get lost in the shuffle. Here are the benefits of going on dates with your kids:

Improved Communication

Children need individual attention. It gives them time and space to communicate away from other distractions (and siblings) and it lets them know you care about their contributions to the family.

Better Behaviour

Having a tough time with your child’s behaviour? It often comes down to them wanting to be seen and needing attention. When you’re one-on-one with your kids, it’s so much easier to acknowledge their positive attributes personally. 

Happier Parents

Going on dates with your children also helps you, the parents. This is an opportunity for you to feel more connected with each child and each other, as well. 

Make it Happen!

It’s not an easy thing to carve out time for dates with your children, but you should seize the opportunities when you can, or it might soon be too late. Children grow up so fast. Here are a few thoughts on how you can make it work.

Alternating dates with each parent

Each parent can take one child on a date at a different time. For example, mummy can take one child on a date in the morning while daddy takes another in the afternoon. Switch next month!

Finding a sitter so both parents can go

It’s not always realistic but if both you and your partner have a chance to take one child out together, that’s even better. They will absolutely love spending time with just mummy and daddy.

Let the child pick the activities

You’d be surprised at how happy they can be with a simple outing.

Have suggestions ready if they can’t decide

No one wants choosing a fun activity to turn into a stressful experience. If your children have a tough time making decisions, offer a couple of suggestions and let them choose. This keeps them involved in the process while limiting their anxiety over making a decision. 

Start planning now and make your dates special, memorable and fun!

Must-make Memories for New Parents

There are innumerable beautiful moments and memories to be formed when new mums and dads embark on the exciting road of parenting. From the first grin to the first tooth and other milestones, these memories will be treasured for a lifetime. It therefore only makes sense that these are commemorated in a special way.  

Here are some must-do activities for new parents to enjoy and celebrate:

Baby’s First Photo Shoot

Arrange a professional photo shoot to capture your newborn’s charming innocence. These timeless photographs will serve as a lovely memory, reminding you of those early days and the immense joy your child brought into your lives. 

Making Hand and Footprint Art

Use imaginative art projects to preserve your baby’s small handprints and footprints. Create one-of-a-kind prints on paper or canvas with non-toxic, baby-safe paint that can be framed and exhibited in your home. It’s a wonderful method to document their development and preserve those minute details that seem to change so quickly.

Baby’s First Outing 

Go on a family outing for the first time, whether it’s to the park, to see loved ones or to a special destination. Capture your baby’s grins, laughter and wide-eyed awe as you introduce him or her to the world.

Milestones

Record and celebrate your baby’s developmental milestones, beginning with the first time they roll over, sit up, crawl and take their first steps. Capture these accomplishments in images or films to create a visual record of their growth and development. These priceless memories will make you smile as you reflect on how far they’ve come.

Bedtime Rituals and Storytime

Creating nighttime routines and sharing storytime with your child is an unforgettable bonding experience. Create a nice environment, snuggle up together and read their favourite stories aloud. These calm moments of connection will be treasured by both you and your child.

Baby’s First Celebrations

Enjoy your baby’s firsts with excitement and delight. From their first New Year to their first birthday party, these unique celebrations provide an opportunity to make unforgettable memories and develop traditions that will last a lifetime for your child.

Time for You
Finally, as a parent, don’t forget to generate memories for yourself. Make time for self-care as well as engaging in hobbies and planning times for rest and renewal. Remember that your happiness is crucial for providing a caring and nurturing atmosphere for your child.

In the midst of the frenzy that is parenthood, it is critical to pause and consciously create these must-make moments. Accept the excitement, hardships and love that come with being a new parent, and cherish the moments that will mould your family’s story for generations to come.

Top Tips for Managing Fussy Eaters

It’s natural to worry whether your young child is getting enough food if they refuse to eat sometimes.

However, it’s perfectly normal for toddlers to refuse to eat or even taste new foods. Do not worry about what your child eats in a day or if they do not eat everything at mealtimes. It’s more helpful to think about what they eat over a week.

If your child is active, gains weight and seems well, then they’re getting enough to eat. As long as your child eats some food from the four main food groups (fruits and vegetables; potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates; dairy or dairy alternatives; and beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins) you do not have to worry. 

Gradually introduce other foods and keep going back to the foods your child did not like before. Children’s tastes change. One day they’ll hate something, but a month later they may love it. Keep offering a variety of foods – it may take lots of attempts before your child accepts some foods.

Tips for parents of young fussy eaters:

  • Give your child the same food as the rest of the family, but remember not to add salt to their food.
  • Try to eat with them as often as you can. The best way for your child to learn to eat and enjoy new foods is to copy you.
  • Give small portions and praise your child for eating, even if they only eat a little. If your child rejects the food, do not force them to eat it. Just take the food away without saying anything.
  • Try to stay calm, even if it’s very frustrating. Try offering the food again another time. Do not wait until your child is too hungry or tired to eat. 
  • Your child may be a slow eater, so be patient.
  • Do not give your child too many snacks between meals. Two healthy snacks a day is plenty.
  • Do not use food as a reward. Your child may start to think of sweets as nice and vegetables as nasty. Instead, you could reward them with a trip to the park or promise to play a game with them.
  • Make mealtimes enjoyable and not just about eating. Sit down and chat about other things. 

The transition from milk to solids is a big change for your child. Not only are they swapping the comfort of the breast or bottle for textured solids, but they are also entering a new world of high chairs, bibs, spoons and messes.Some will take more easily to the process, gobbling up new tastes, but there are no prizes for the child (or their mum) who eats the most at a certain age.

Many mums of older children who are now excellent eaters will tell you how tricky weaning was for them. Some toddlers will be more fussy than others. But also remember that your baby is learning to chew, swallow and deal with different tastes, which are big new skills to develop.

Screen-Free Toddler Activities while Mum is Busy

As mums, we often find that there are times where we need to get things done, but our toddlers or little ones may want to be held or demand one-to-one attention. While screens are a typical go-to to distract children so you can check off a chore or two, research has shown that this can actually hinder their development.

The good news is that you do not have to depend on screens. Children are naturally curious and will latch on to an activity in the right conditions. This is where, as a parent, you can help this happen.

Start by choosing ideas that target your child’s personal interests, gather the supplies they need, then let them be. Your child will need chunks of time and permission to make a mess. Look for ways to control chaos without limiting creativity, like painting on the patio. Then don’t disturb them – not even with a “Good job!” comment. Children learn best through trial and error.

However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to get involved. Your role is to help get things started, then sit back and watch the magic begin! Here are some screen-free ideas to help keep your little one busy while you get your own work done.

1. SENSORY BINS
Sensory bins are easy to put together with large bins, coloured rice, kinetic sand, scoops and toys. They will keep your toddler entertained for ages and you can easily switch out the toys periodically or prepare different themed bins ready to go.

2. NO OR LITTLE MESS ARTPut your toddler in a high chair with something they can safely make art with, such as non-toxic finger paints or toddler-friendly crayons, along with some paper, and just let them go wild!

3. PLAY-DOH
It doesn’t get much easier than pulling out a few tubs of Play-Doh and plopping them onto the table for an easy toddler activity! You can also whip up your own dough easily so your child will have abundant access to knead and sculpt as they please.

4. COLOURING PAGES
This is a classic activity for a reason. Just have a handful of colouring books and/or printouts at arm’s reach for a quick grab-and-go activity.

5. ALONE TIME PRACTICE
This is a big one. Kids don’t come into the world being able to play on their own; it’s a learned skill that most kids have a hard time with. Start with a five-minute timer and explain to your child that they get to start learning a new skill. Up the timer as they are able to play on their own until they can self-entertain for at least 30 minutes.

Not only are these activities screen-free, but they are also great in helping with the development of your child’s motor skills, imagination and more.

However, please remember that the activities are not meant to be a replacement for parental supervision. Always make sure that someone has an eye on your child at all times.

Bonding with Baby to Boost Their Brain Development

Early childhood is a time of tremendous brain development. The young developing brain literally changes shape and size in response to everything encountered in the early years. New environments, life experiences, caretakers and relationships can all affect the way complex brain circuits are wired. This network of synaptic connections will ultimately determine brain function and the development of behaviour. Even if those early “conversations” with your newborn may seem a little one-sided at first, you’re building your baby’s brain by recognising, acknowledging and responding to their cues. 

This rapid brain growth is key to physiological and behavioural functions and capacities, including physical abilities, early language skills, learning and memory, and emotional development. The period between birth to the age of two – often called the first 1,000 days – is particularly crucial.

Substantial brain growth occurs in utero, and at birth babies’ brains are just over a quarter the size of the adult brain. By the first year, the brain has already more than doubled in volume, and it reaches 80% of adult size by the age of two!

Prenatal

Before birth, certainly by the second trimester, many parts of your baby’s hearing system are functional. There is evidence that sound recognition and learning occur in utero. For example, newborns tend to prefer their mother’s voice to a stranger’s, their mother’s native language to another language, and even a story that had been read along during gestation compared to a new story. So do take the time to talk, read and even sing to your baby during this time. 

Neonatal

After birth, repeated skin-to-skin contact stimulates many physiological changes in both mother and newborn that help establish bonding immediately and in the longer term. Skin-to-skin care promotes the release of maternal oxytocin, a hormone that plays a role in social interaction and bonding by countering stress responses and promoting growth.

Infancy (0-2 years)

Consistent affectionate touch from a parent has established benefits for the infant including regulating stress responses and immune function and promoting psychosocial development and secure attachment. For young infants, simple games such as copycat, peekaboo and naming objects can help them to focus attention, use working memory, build language connections, develop self-control and build trust in the adult.

Early Childhood (2-5 years)

Spending meaningful time with a young child in a way that involves their growing interest helps promote bonding. A good example is shared book reading. This experience can be enhanced if the parent and child review the book content together with questions, answers and comments. As children are read to, they begin to strengthen their language skills. For example, if they repeatedly hear a word pronounced, their brains will register that pronunciation.

Although each child develops at their own cognitive rate, the best way to ensure your child’s brain power is off to a good start is by meeting their needs and giving them endless amounts of love. Your love alone has the power to fuel your child’s early learning and brain development! However, take heed that developmental milestones are something to be aware of, but not obsessed over. Don’t forget that every child learns at their own rate!

Postpartum Care for Mothers: What Can Fathers Do To Make It Easier?

There are many tips available to help new mums get through their postpartum period, but do new dads know what to do during this time? After the arrival of their little ones, many dads are often clueless as to how they can pitch in to care for their wives and newborns. 

With their hormones fluctuating, a new mum can be a bundle of emotions. An important thing that you can do as her partner is to be her source of comfort and reassure her that she is not alone. This will help to give her a sense of relief and calm her down. Taking the lead when it comes to household chores and taking turns caring for your new baby will also provide her with more time to rest, relax and recover. 

Pregnancy and childbirth stress a woman’s body, and this ordeal will continue through the postpartum recovery period, which goes on for around six weeks after childbirth. During this time, new mothers will still experience a lot of changes in their physique. Nutritional meals help to ease the healing process of the new mums. As a new dad, you can ensure that your wife follows a healthy diet that can help her to recuperate faster. 

However, it is understandable that, as a new dad, you may find it difficult to meet the needs of both the new mum and newborn. To avoid the stress, consider booking a confinement centre that will see to the needs of your wife and baby. This way, you can concentrate on enjoying quality family time together with your latest addition. 

A confinement package with Danai Cresenvale may be the perfect way to  facilitate your wife’s postpartum recovery. Danai Cresenvale’s comprehensive packages include round-the-clock babycare, healthy confinement diets and professional support for your wife and newborn. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about being separated from your family. There are family rooms available so you can choose to stay with your growing family, too. 

Welcoming a newborn can be both exciting and taxing. A confinement centre is the way to go if you want to help your wife to recover more easily. For more info, visit www.danaicresenvale.com.

Danai Cresenvale New Mothers Motherhood Confinement Center Malaysia

Building a Support Network: Finding Friends as a New Mom

Everyone has advice on what to anticipate during pregnancy, but few people take the time to prepare expectant mothers for the emotional roller coaster that follows childbirth. New mothers will experience a range of complex feelings following their delivery. Yes, joy is unquestionably one of them, as it will feel surreal to have someone so little, who means so much to you, bring you such joy and move you to tears.

On the other hand, you may be confronted with emotions that leave you feeling completely down, leading you to believe that something is wrong with your emotions. However, it’s natural for new mothers to feel this way, and we’re here to tell you why you’ll need a support network during your postpartum period.

Being a new mother is a taxing journey

After giving birth, women are physically and emotionally exhausted. It may be difficult to consider self-care, let alone making time for it. Having a network of support, whether it’s your first, second, or third child, can provide you with the resources you require. It is critical for all moms to recover from childbirth and to have less stressful days since caring for a newborn, producing breast milk, and breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours takes a lot of energy.

It is particularly important for high-risk moms and babies

All new mothers need a baseline of support – sleep, healthy food, and time to themselves – and there may be reasons for extra care and attention. Preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, heavy bleeding, and caesarean birth are just a few of the conditions that place women at a higher risk for postpartum issues, and it’s crucial to have a support network that always keeps an eye on your well-being and can help you in case of an emergency.

A listening ear for you to express your concerns

It’s no surprise that having a group of supportive friends is crucial to a woman’s happiness and health, especially when you’re a new mom. Up to 80% of women experience some form of the baby blues, and research shows that forging friendships  with other new moms might help make the transition to parenting easier. A social support network may include practical assistance such as babysitting and emotional support, or having someone listen to you when you are having a difficult time.

At Danai Cresenvale Postnatal Haven, we are dedicated to offering professional standard postnatal care for a memorable confinement experience that combines traditional wisdom with modern knowledge. We want to make sure that women heal well after childbirth, especially throughout the puerperium period, and that new parents understand how to care for their baby. Contact us for more info: https://www.danaicresenvale.com/contact-us/.

How to plan a positive postpartum experience

The first 6 weeks after giving birth can be a challenging time. During these weeks, you and your baby will begin bonding while you simultaneously need to go for post-delivery checkups with your doctor – all while your body heals. 

Here are some ideas to plan a positive postpartum experience.

1. Rest as much as you can

Adequate rest is essential for your body’s healing as well as your physical and mental health. Try adjusting your schedule to allow for rest when your baby is sleeping. Let your loved and trusted ones take care of you and your baby in order for you to get as much sleep as possible.

2. Nourish your body

You need to feed yourself well in order to feed your baby well, and a nutritious diet will certainly aid in your body’s healing. A combination of complex carbohydrates and proteins will help ease fatigue and provide you with more energy. Be sure to also stay hydrated.

3. Stay active

Discuss with your doctor the levels of activity that are safe for you. This also depends on the type of delivery you received. After your doctor has given you the all-clear, try going for leisurely strolls or yoga. Moving around is also encouraged to avoid blood clots.

Lastly, be kind to yourself and your body – postpartum can be a challenging time, and you’ve done an amazing job whether you realise it or not. Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself, just as you would with your baby. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to motherhood, so know that your experiences and journey are always valid.