Post Pregnancy: 4 Health Considerations for Women Who’ve Given Birth
Following the miracle of childbirth, you can face a number of health problems. Many women are unprepared for these issues. Here are some things that you should watch for following the birth of your baby.
Following childbirth, you will have vaginal bleeding for two to three weeks. With a vaginal delivery, there can be tearing and stretching of the muscles and skin that will take time to heal. Another common problem is atrophic vaginitis. This is caused by the change in your hormone levels following delivery. It is similar to what women experience during menopause. It results in vaginal dryness and can make the cells in your vagina prone to injury. Many women may even have burning and itching associated with this condition. This is the leading cause of pain during intercourse.
Having bladder leakage is another issue that many women face post-delivery. The cause is because during pregnancy the base of the bladder is stretched by your expanding uterus. For many women, this is something that will resolve as the muscles return to normal. The process can be accelerated by doing Kegel exercises. Rarely fecal incontinence can occur. This is due to the pelvic muscles being stretched or injured during childbirth. For most women, this issue will resolve on its own. In some cases, surgical intervention may be required.
Postpartum depression is often referred to as the “baby blues”. It is caused by the sudden drop in your hormone levels following delivery. Not all women experience this difficulty. It is typically reported as starting between two weeks and three months after childbirth. At your six week check, your doctor will specifically inquire about your mental state. Having a new baby to care for is exhausting. Without having help, new mothers often feel overwhelmed. Asking for help and getting out of house can help with depression. Sometimes medication will be needed to get you over the worst of it.
Following delivery your breasts are trying to produce milk. This can cause your breasts to swell and feel sore and uncomfortable. Other problems that can occur while breastfeeding are mastitis and clogged ducts. Mastitis is often confused with a clogged duct, since both can be similar in appearance on your breasts. Mastitis is a bacterial infection in your breast. With mastitis, unlike a clogged duct, you will likely experience flu-like symptoms. You will need antibiotics in order to clear the infection.
Following childbirth, your body is undergoing some drastic changes. Watch for these things following the birth of your baby. Seek medical care if needed.