Embracing parenthood is an amazing experience but it does come with a set of challenges and responsibilities for a lifetime. Role of the mother is very crucial as she keeps the baby in her womb for nine months, undergoes a painful process of childbirth and is responsible for providing care and nourishment to the baby thereafter. Needless to say, childbirth is extremely challenging for the woman as her body undergoes drastic changes which affects her both physically, mentally and emotionally. It can get overwhelming which might take a toll on her health. Thus, postpartum care is highly important. During the recovery period, the body is healing from the tiresome childbirth process and a woman is at risk of developing postpartum complications. Some conditions are normal like pain but some complications are critical and require immediate medical attention. Only if you know about them, you can take an immediate action when needed. Therefore, Dr. Sarada M, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad lists down possible postpartum complications that every woman should know about.
Bleeding or Postpartum Haemorrhage
Bleeding after delivery is common but only if it is light. Heavy or excessive bleeding can be a complication and it is called postpartum haemorrhage or excessive blood loss post-delivery. This is mostly seen in women who have given birth to multiple babies or who underwent long labour or who caught uterine infection during or post delivery. If you experience heavy or uncontrolled bleeding along with blood clots, you must consult your gynaecologist immediately.
Another common complication is infections after childbirth. Women who delivered through a caesarean or c-section have potential chances of developing infections. These could be kidney infections, uterine infection and even stomach infections.
If you get high fever, tenderness around the uterus, increased heart rate, foul-smelling urine discharge, you might be having a uterine infection. Kidney infections are characterised by frequent urination, back pain, problem in urinating, heavy bladder, etc. You must report this to your doctor to avoid further fatal complications.
Tender and Painful Breasts
Clogged milk ducts, breast engorgement(milk is not fully removed from the breasts) and mastitis(acute itching in breasts) are some of the common breast-related complications that new mothers experience. While these are common, it should subside within a couple of days or weeks.
In the first two to three days after delivery there will be only watery secretion from breasts. When milk secretion starts, by three to four days, breasts become heavy and hard. Women should use warm compress and express extra milk to keep the breasts soft. If breasts are very hard,painful with fever consult your doctor.
As said earlier, childbirth can be an overwhelming experience for a mother as she faces a whirlwind of emotions before, during and after childbirth. While she is extremely happy to have given birth to a baby, she won’t get ample rest which can tire her to the core. This can make her cranky, sad and even depressed. Some women slip into postpartum depression in which they don’t take care of herself let alone the baby. Family members need to be vigilant and notice signs to comfort the mother and help her overcome the depression. You can take help of a psychologist also.
Women undergo hormonal changes after childbirth that can impact their health. They may also experience incontinence, constipation and bleeding. Thus, eating a high-fibre diet is advised for new mothers.
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