Causes of Postpartum problem
Vaginal Discharge: Also known as lochia, this type of vaginal discharge is commonly seen post delivery. It consists of old blood clots, vaginal discharges, and placental remnants. It appears bright pink to red initially, slowly reducing in a few weeks time.
Uterine infection: After the delivery, some remnants and fragments of the placenta remain within the uterus and lead to an infection characterised by fever, chills, uterine swelling, and pain in the lower abdomen.
Post-partum constipation: Constipation occurs not only during pregnancy but can occur after delivery as well. This occurs because of excessive pressure that was put on the organs of the lower abdomen during delivery.
Swelling in the breasts: Post-delivery, your breasts start forming milk to feed your baby. But, there can be swelling in them if breastfeeding is not done regularly.
Mastitis: This is another post-delivery problem noted with the breasts. It is a form of breast infection that is characterised by nausea, fever, chills, and red spots on the breasts. Over-suckling can lead to cracked nipples which are the primary source of the infection.
Hair loss: Both pregnancy and post-pregnancy are roller coaster rides due to the hormonal changes. The hormonal changes post-pregnancy are responsible for excessive hair loss that some women face.
Post-partum depression: The hormonal changes, overwhelming anxiety, and increased responsibility often push women to a point where they develop depression characterised by sadness, anger, or irritability. It is very common with first-time mothers.
Urinary incontinence: Excessive strain on the muscles while giving birth can lead to them becoming sore. The same muscles help control the bladder. So, post-delivery, when these muscles are sore, they lead to loss of bladder control and cause urinary incontinence.
Apart from this, there are other problems that women face post-delivery that include rectal or bladder prolapse, difficulty in having intercourse, stretch marks, inflammation of the thyroid, frequent headaches, etc.
Vaginal discharge: It is common and one can only wait it out. Do not worry if certain actions like excessive activity or breastfeeding cause it to increase. There is no treatment for the same.
Infections of the cervix, kidneys, urinary tract or uterus are commonly treated with antibiotics (oral or IV) along with a strict diet and lots of hydration and bed rest.
Post-partum constipation: It is a self-relieving condition that resolves in a week or two after the delivery. However, you can increase your water intake, dietary fibre intake, and improve physical activity, all of which can help relieve the condition.
Breast swelling: This condition is easy to treat. You can maintain a regular breastfeeding schedule or pump out the excess breast milk and store it. Using pain killers or a cold compress can provide symptomatic relief.
Mastitis: Since this condition is diagnosed only by a doctor, the treatment includes antibiotic therapy and hot/cold therapy on the affected areas. Avoid sweat formation around the nipples.
Hair Loss: A temporary condition that can be resolved by trying to balance your hormonal cycle. Your doctor can help you with the same. Increase protein intake in your diet.
Post-partum depression: Speaking to a family member or your doctor is the best way to come out of this condition.
Urinary continence: It often resolves on its own. You can, however, do exercise that helps strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Consult with your obstetrician and gynaecologist for all your post-delivery concerns.
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