Immediately following delivery, the postpartum period begins. The transition to parenthood entails a significant psychological and physical adjustment for new and expectant parents. Focusing exclusively on the mother’s reproductive organs has resulted in neglect of the rest of a woman’s physical and mental well-being. A wide range of postpartum problems may occur for women, some more severe than others, with each having its symptoms. Deaths of pregnant women or those within a year of the end of pregnancy are considered pregnancy-related deaths. Nearly half of all pregnancy-related deaths occur during childbirth.
Following a postpartum period, several issues arise. A woman’s postpartum period is an exciting, dynamic time in her life. Promoting women’s health during the postpartum period may help modify the consequences of risky behaviours. The following are the risky postpartum issues:
A serious and dangerous condition followed by childbirth is severe bleeding. Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) usually occurs within 24 hours of delivery, but it can happen up to 12 weeks postpartum. Early detection and treatment of bleeding can result in better outcomes. When bleeding is severe enough to cause symptoms of too much bleeding or rapid heartbeat or blood pressure changes or when more than 32 fluid ounces of blood are lost after delivery, whether it’s vaginal delivery or C-section, postpartum haemorrhage is diagnosed.
There are two types of postpartum haemorrhage which are primary and secondary haemorrhage. Primary haemorrhage occurs within 24 hours just after childbirth while secondary haemorrhage occurs from 24 hours to 12 weeks postpartum.
Up to 80% of the PPH occurs when the uterus contracts to deliver the placenta which is known as the third stage of labour. In addition, contractions compress the blood vessels where the placenta was attached to the uterine wall. Sometimes, these contractions aren’t strong enough to stop the bleeding, which results in uterine atony. PPH is a fatal condition if it remains unnoticed for a longer period and causes a sharp decline in blood pressure, which can restrict blood flow to your brain.
Another crucial issue of postpartum is Perineum pain. As a result of pushing the baby through a relatively small opening, some tenderness and swelling may occur after delivery. Along with breast engorgement and uterine contractions, perineum pain is one of the most common types of postpartum problems. It’s perfectly normal to have a certain amount of discomfort. It could, however, be a sign of a postpartum infection if any of the following symptoms develop.
- Worsened pain
- Increased warmth, erythema or swelling at the site of the tear or incision
- High Fever
- Pus discharge
- Unpleasant odour
Furthermore, breast tissue can be inflamed and infected when mastitis occurs. This is another critical issue of postpartum. This inflammation causes breast discomfort, swelling, warmth, and redness. Fever and chills may also be present. Mastitis not only affects women who are breastfeeding (lactation mastitis) but also non-lactating mothers.
Symptoms of this issue include:
- Tenderness of the breast
- Swelling of the breast
- Breast lump
- Pain while breast-feeding
The main cause of mastitis is milk trapped in the breast. One of your milk ducts may become clogged if a breast doesn’t empty during feedings. Infection may result if milk backs up in the duct. This is known as a clogged milk duct. Breast abscesses can develop when mastitis is not properly treated or caused by a blocked duct. If antibiotics are required, those that treat Staphylococcus aureus (e.g., dicloxacillin, cephalexin) are preferred.
To avoid complications such as mastitis or to minimize your chances of getting mastitis, the following tips can be included:
- During breastfeeding, fully drain the milk from your breasts.
- You should allow your baby to completely empty one breast before switching to the other.
- From one feeding to the next, you should change your breastfeeding position.
- Ensure your baby latches on properly during feedings.
Postpartum depression tends to occur in women poses a threat to their health. Many women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD), which is characterized by physical, emotional, and behavioural changes. Three terms are used to describe the mood changes women can experience after giving birth. A psychological condition that causes the mother to experience mood swings, like feeling very happy and immediately feeling depressed or sad is known as Baby blue.
Another one is postpartum depression (PPD) which can happen a few days or even months after delivery. Another serious mental illness that can affect new mothers is postpartum psychosis. In many cases, this illness occurs within the first three months after childbirth. Delusions and auditory hallucinations are common among women, leading to delusions.
From the first week of your pregnancy until the forty-fifth, it’s imperative that you take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. Following your delivery, you should continue to do this.