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Don’t ignore postpartum infections, ladies! An expert shares self-care tips

Women's bodies are prone to infection after pregnancy due to several changes that take place in the body. Come, find out how to deal with it.
causes of pelvic inflammatory diseases
There can be many causes behind a urinary tract infection. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 20 Nov 2022, 13:30 pm IST
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Infections can be extremely uncomfortable and challenging to treat. The discomfort is more so postpartum. After giving birth, a mother already has to cope with discomfort and a number of other difficulties. In addition to these problems, having an infection can be critical to their health. If you get an infection after pregnancy, don’t delay treatment.

The highest death rates were associated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with heart and blood circulation issues. However, postpartum infections, which accounted for 13.9 per cent of all pregnancy-related deaths, came in second.

Health Shots reached out to Dr Asha Hiremath, consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist, and laparoscopic surgeon, at Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, to find out the possible causes behind infection after pregnancy or delivering a child.

How to treat an infection after pregnancy?

Having a baby is a feeling that cannot be compared with any other joy. The feeling of holding your newborn is the best one can ever get. But giving birth can come up with discomforting complications such as postpartum infections. Knowing more about these symptoms is the best way to deal with or prevent them.

Read the causes of postpartum infections

Postnatal infections, which can be brought on by bacteria and other germs that typically reside in the healthy vagina, can be more likely to affect a woman’s body after delivery. Postpartum infections can come with abscesses (boils) in the breast, chills, fever, body swelling, or abdominal pain after delivery.

Conditions that make a woman more likely to develop an infection include the following:

  • Prolonged labour
  • A cesarean delivery
  • Many cervical examinations during labour
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Young age
  • Staphylococcus
  • Premature rupture of membranes (PROM)
infection after pregnancy
Infection is common post-delivery. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Common signs of postpartum infections:

  • Bleeding or hemorrhage discharge from the vagina
  • Foul vaginal smell
  • Little or no bleeding after delivery can be a problem
  • Increment or swelling of the uterus
  • Breast pain on one or both sides
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting
  • Having hot or tender legs
  • Breathing problems
  • Vaginal itching
  • Having flu-like symptoms and high fever
  • Problem when urination

The first thing you should do if you experience any of these symptoms and are unsure whether you have a postpartum infection, is to reach your doctor. You can find out if you have it or not by being checked up and undergoing some tests. And in case you get diagnosed with any infection, your treatment can be carried out accordingly. When it comes to postpartum infections, you don’t need to worry too much because antibiotics can usually treat them. Don’t ignore symptoms; keep an eye out for them.

Also read: Postpartum bath: Should you not bathe for a few days after delivery?

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What should you do if you have a postpartum infection?

Preventing and treating the infection is really important as a delay in treatment can make your symptoms worse. Dr Hiremath suggests some ways by which such infections can be prevented. Here they are:

1. Maintain proper cleanliness and hygiene post-delivery, especially around the vagina.
2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and flush out the toxins from your body.
3. Wash your hands before you touch the perineal area.
4. Wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom.
5. Do not use deodorants, sprays, or perfumes on the genital area.
6. Wear only cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes to keep the area sweat free and fresh.

infection after pregnancy
Unhealthy hygiene practices may lead to vaginal infections. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Use maxi pads only for postpartum bleeding and avoid the use of tampons in such cases.
8. Change the pad on time because not changing the pad on time is one of the major causes of infection.
9. Know your symptoms and risk factors and do your best to minimize the risk.
10. Take antibiotics but only when they are prescribed to you.
11. Take iron-rich food and iron tablets, as anemia can cause infections.
12. Don’t douche as your vagina is a self-cleaning organ also douching can disturb the natural pH levels.

You must ensure that you’re taking care of your vaginal health in order to avoid the infection!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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