5 Common Problems Post Pregnancy

Women playing with her newborn baby

After 9 months of pregnancy, you have finally given birth and your pregnancy has come to its end. However, you should be aware of the recovery process after your pregnancy and the common problems your body may face. Here are the 5 most common problems after giving birth that mothers face.

Uterine Infections

Uterine infections are any infections that take place in the uterus is a common problem after pregnancy. These infections may include1:

  • Retained placenta – when pieces of the placenta remain in the uterus
  • Amniotic sac infections – the bag of water surrounding the baby
  • Tissue infections – infected tissues surrounding the uterus

Symptoms of a uterine infection may include2:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • A high fever
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Abnormally high white blood-cell count, and
  • A swollen uterus.

Uterine infections are usually treated with antibiotics1.

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Postpartum Hemorrhage

Bleeding after delivery is completely normal. However, heavy bleeding/hemorrhage after birth is a more serious problem. Yet, hemorrhage only occurs in 2% of births, typically after long labors or multiple births1. Postpartum hemorrhage is the third most common cause of maternal death in childbirth1.

This usually happens because the uterus does not properly contract after delivering the placenta1. If heavy bleeding begins in the days following delivery, it could be caused by a piece of the placenta that has remained in the uterus. This will require surgery to be removed1.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) can happen following birth in different severity levels.

Many women tend to experience the problem of baby blues post pregnancy. This tends to happen because of changes in hormone levels and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn2. Mothers can feel

  • anxious,
  • overwhelmed, and
  • angry.

Fortunately, the moodiness and mild depression usually go away within days or weeks following delivery.

Sometimes a more severe depression can develop after birth, which becomes apparent two weeks to three months after delivery2. Around 10-20% of women who have just given birth suffer from this condition2. The symptoms of a mother suffering from PPD include2:

  • Intense feelings of anxiety or despair
  • Lack of sleep
  • Shifts in hormone levels
  • Physical pain after childbirth
  • Loneliness,
  • Fear, and
  • guilt.

Treatment includes seeking support from family and friends.Furthermore, discussing your symptoms with your doctor, who can help recommend treatment options2.

Swollen (Engorged) Breasts

Breast engorgement is common between the third and fourth days after delivery as this time frame is when the breasts fill with milk3. Symptoms may include2:

  • growth/swelling
  • hardness, and
  • soreness.

These symptoms will ease after establishing a breastfeeding pattern. Get the optimum nutrition with our post pregnancy supplements If you’re not breastfeeding, it will ease once your body stops producing milk. This will last around three days. Treatments include2:

  • Wearing a well-fitting support bra,
  • Taking a hot shower,
  • Applying ice packs to your breasts, and
  • Oral pain relievers.

Perineal Pain

For mothers who delivered vaginally, pain in the perineum is another common problem after pregnancy. During delivery, the surrounding tissues may have stretched or torn, which causes swelling and soreness.

To prevent perineal pain, consider an episiotomy as it can help to ease the discomfort2. An episiotomy is an incision made in the perineum during delivery to keep the vagina from ripping. However, if an episiotomy has not been made, your body should heal in the following weeks following childbirth.

1- Postpartum Problems: Sex, Skin, Urinary, and Other Post-Pregnancy Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/postpartum-problems#.

2- Postpartum Problems. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2017, from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51744

3- Postpartum: First 6 Weeks After Childbirth-Common Problems. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/tc/postpartum-first-6-weeks-after-childbirth-common-problems#1

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