5 Common Issues to Watch for After Pregnancy
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A mother’s joy after having a newborn is priceless. Many mothers get caught up in taking care of the newborn and neglect self-care. There are several conditions to keep an eye out for, some of which are life-threatening to new mothers. It is therefore crucial for mothers to prioritize their health alongside that of the baby. Here are five common issues mothers need to watch for after pregnancy.
While bleeding after childbirth is normal, excessive bleeding two to three weeks later is cause for caution. Women lose up to an average of 500ml of blood during delivery. Should you experience heavy blood loss that might cause you to change pads frequently, then that is a symptom that all is not well.
Excessive bleeding is caused by the failure of the uterus to contract properly after delivery. Tears and lacerations in the uterine walls of the vagina and cervix can also cause heavy bleeding. It can also be due to pieces of undelivered placenta. Excessive bleeding can lead to postpartum hemorrhage, which is sometimes fatal.
When it is caused by your uterus not contracting, then your doctor can palpate your uterus until it contracts. It can also be treated by surgical removal of the undelivered placenta in your uterus.
Infections in the uterus are characterized by high fever, a swollen or tender uterus, and a smelly vaginal discharge. You can also experience headaches, rapid heartbeats, and shortness of breath. The infection of the amniotic sac also causes uterine infections during labor. The amniotic sac is the bag of water that surrounds the baby during pregnancy.
Should you experience any of these symptoms, please inform your doctor. Infections are treated using routine intravenous antibiotics, and full recovery is expected.
Separation of the Abdominal Muscles
If you still look five months pregnant months after childbirth, you might have a condition known as diastasis recti. Diastasis recti occurs when the muscles around the abdominal wall split. This condition causes the abdomen walls to stretch sideways, damaging the connective tissue located along the midline of your stomach.
This is a widespread condition after pregnancy, and it is characterized by a saggy abdomen after childbirth, often referred to as a ‘mummy tummy’. Other symptoms might include bloating, constipation, poor posture, and lower back pain.
The best treatment for diastasis recti is engaging in core workouts. Always consult your doctor before starting on the exercises to avoid further damage to your abdominal muscles. If you are looking for a more cosmetic option, then surgery is also an option. If you are unsure whether you have the condition or have excess belly fat, you can perform a simple diastasis recti test.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
DVT is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the legs. It is dangerous because the blood clots can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. It occurs mainly after childbirth because of the increased estrogen levels in the body. The symptoms are very subtle.
If you experience shortness of breath or significant swelling in one leg, then you may want to visit your doctor immediately. DVT is easily treatable with blood thinners when detected early.
Hormonal imbalance coupled with the stress of caring for a newborn makes many new mothers anxious, irritable, and moody. These feelings often disappear after a few days. However, a mother may experience a severe form of depression known as Postpartum depression (PPD).
PPD is characterized by severe anxiety, loneliness, and intense feelings of despair.
Some women experience deep guilt because they feel inadequate to take care of their babies. These feelings may result in them ignoring their baby and neglecting themselves. According to Forbes, PPD may persist for years if untreated.
The best treatment for PPD is strong psycho-social support systems. Most women are encouraged to reach out to their loved ones and friends and share their thoughts and feelings. Also, get them to help in caring for your infant. You can also talk to your doctor or caregivers for additional advice and support.
Women are strongly encouraged to take care of themselves after pregnancy. Doing so provides you and your infant a stable and nurturing environment to thrive in. Do not let these issues rob you of the joy of new motherhood.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.