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The time following childbirth is not easy; it has its highs and lows, just like those nine months. Postpartum complications such as weight gain, depression and hair fall are very common. At times, while trying to take care of a new life and dealing with the changes in your own body, these health problems can become so severe that you may not be able to handle them on your own. At such a point, you should seek professional assistance or consult an expert.
To know more about such health complications post childbirth, Health Shots spoke to Dr Bharathi Ramesh, Senior Consultant-Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Banashankari, Bengaluru.
Dr Ramesh says, “Once a woman gives birth, everyone feels the hard part is now over and the focus shifts to the health of the child. While that is undoubtedly important, the mother will also experience certain postpartum health issues that need attention and should not be ignored.”
When you give birth, your pelvic floor muscles and tissues (that support the bladder, the bowel and the uterus) get stretched and remain like that for some time. Therefore, your bladder is weakened and may lose control, resulting in leakage of urine. This condition is very common in new mothers and can be improved with pelvic floor strengthening exercises.
Post pregnancy, the breasts will feel engorged as your body establishes how much milk is needed for the baby. Then the process of breastfeeding can also be uncomfortable or painful in itself. You can get some relief by applying a warm compress, which can help with the milk flow. If the pain persists, it would be good to consult a lactation expert who can guide you to ease the process.
Infections can occur post-pregnancy. The potential causes could be prolonged labour or rupture of membranes. Infections can occur at the surgical site of a C-section or at the tear in the perineum. You should watch out for symptoms like increased pain or fever, as they could indicate an infection. Your doctor will treat them with antibiotics.
New moms are constantly exhausted, and understandably so. They have to care for the baby, attend to the feeding schedule, and take care of the baby when they cry at night. All these things make it quite difficult to get a proper night’s sleep, leading to stress, irritation, and mood swings. You should lean on the support system of your spouse, friends and family and ensure you get at least 2 whole nights of sleep every week.
The birth of a child can be overwhelming. The physical changes along with additional responsibilities can bring about mental health issues, including depression in new moms. It is normal to feel a little sad postpartum due to hormonal changes, but if the feelings last for a long period of time, you should seek the help of a counselor or therapist to treat the issue.
Motherhood is a beautiful journey, but a new mom should make sure she is taking care of her own health and watch out for symptoms of postpartum health issues. A healthy and happy mom will ultimately lead to a healthy and happy baby.