The days and nights may blur together when you have a newborn since you’ll be up all night caring for your kid (and worrying if you’ll ever sleep again). It’s tempting to put your own needs on the back burner when caring for a baby requires near-constant feeding, changing, rocking, and soothing.
It’s natural to feel exhausted and sore in the days and weeks after giving birth, but it’s important to know when “normal” stops being applicable. Some issues after delivery, if not treated, might slow recovery and even cause permanent damage.
Keep in mind that there are many things your kid will require, but none more so than you. Learn to tune in to your physical needs, practice self-care, and discuss your health problems with a medical professional.
Below is a list of some of the most common postpartum issues, along with warning signs and when you should seek medical attention.
Despite the fact that postpartum bleeding is common (and typically lasts between 2 and 6 weeks), some women may have abnormally heavy bleeding.
Whether a newborn is delivered vaginally or surgically, the postpartum period of normal bleeding normally begins right after the birth. Heavy bleeding and the passage of large amounts of red blood cells and clots immediately after giving birth are both normal. (You might feel like you’re having your period again after a hiatus of nine months!)
However, bleeding should gradually lessen in the days following birth, and you should eventually observe a decreased flow of darker blood that may linger for weeks. Each day should bring a lighter flow, though there may be transient spikes with increased physical activity or after breastfeeding.
When to see a doctor
if you’re having considerable pain or cramps along with an increase in flow;
- if your blood flow has reduced but then suddenly gets heavier;
- if your blood color returns to brilliant red after becoming darker or lighter; and if it has been 3 to 4 days since your bleeding began.
There are many potential causes of very heavy bleeding. In fact, overtraining can result in a momentary boost. Setting down and resting usually helps with this. (We know it’s tough, but take some time to just sit and hold that beautiful new bundle of joy!)
More serious causes, such as a retained placenta or a uterus that doesn’t contract, may call for medical or surgical intervention.
Confer with your physician if you need clarifications.
Irregular bowel movements or incontinence
Experiencing a bout of sneezing and/or incontinence in the infant section of Target is embarrassing for anyone, but it’s also quite typical. More new moms than you might imagine experience urinary incontinence just after birth. Furthermore, this issue poses no real threat, yet it may be unpleasant, embarrassing, and inconvenient nonetheless.
A simple routine of at-home exercises, such as Kegels, can sometimes resolve the condition. In severe cases, medical treatment may be required.
Also, birth trauma or muscle weakness can cause you to leak feces. The good news is that this, too, is probably going to get better with time. Incontinence pads or other menstruation protection may be useful in the meantime.
It’s one thing to have trouble holding it in, but quite another to be unable to relieve yourself. You may have problems passing stool from the time you finally get to go to the bathroom after giving birth and beyond.
Altering one’s diet and maintaining a healthy fluid balance may stimulate continued motion. Hemorrhoid pads and lotions are other options for relief. Before using any laxatives or other medications, it’s important to consult with your doctor.
When to see a doctor
In the days and weeks following childbirth, many women report a dramatic improvement in their urine or fecal incontinence. However, if it doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor. Additional medical or surgical intervention may be required in rare circumstances.
Constipation and hemorrhoids are similar cases. If they persist in the weeks following birth, or if your symptoms worsen, your doctor may be able to recommend additional treatments to help.
Physical Discomfort In The Breasts
Breast soreness and discomfort are common postpartum issues, regardless of whether or not you decide to breastfeed.
After around three to five days postpartum, when the milk first begins to flow in, you may have considerable swelling and soreness at the breasts.
It can be difficult to alleviate the discomfort of engorgement if you aren’t breastfeeding. It is possible that warm showers, over-the-counter pain medications, hot or cold compresses, or a combination of these methods will help alleviate your discomfort.
While learning to latch and nurse, both you and your baby may experience nipple pain and discomfort if you decide to breastfeed.
Still, breastfeeding shouldn’t be a difficult experience. If you notice that your nipples are cracking and bleeding, it may be time to see a lactation consultant for advice on how to assist your baby in latching without causing him or her discomfort.
In the early stages of milk production, whether you opt to breastfeed or not, you may be at risk for mastitis. While unpleasant, mastitis is a breast infection that is usually treatable with medication.
When to See a Doctor
Indicators that you might be suffering from mastitis are:
abnormal redness of the breasts
breasts that are too hot to touch, fever, and other flu-like symptoms
It’s crucial that you keep nursing if you’re experiencing these symptoms, but you should also see a doctor. Sometimes, antibiotics are needed to treat mastitis.
Negative emotions after giving birth
It’s common to have some emotional fluctuations or increased sensitivity in the weeks following childbirth. The “baby blues” are a common phenomenon that affects the majority of mothers.
However, postpartum depression may be present if these signs persist for more than a few weeks or if they get in the way of your caring for your newborn.
Although the symptoms of postpartum depression can be debilitating, they are manageable, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or guilty about seeking help if you’re struggling. There is a rapid improvement in health for many of the women who seek help.
When to see a doctor
Please see your doctor immediately if you or your spouse are concerned that you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Just be open and honest about how you feel to get the support you need.
While they are less prevalent, other significant problems after childbirth are still urgent medical concerns.
In the postpartum period, a woman’s body may experience a variety of difficulties, including:
Sepsis-related cardiac complications
Embolus disease, stroke, and deep vein thrombosis
Call your doctor immediately if you suffer any of the following symptoms: chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, convulsions, or thoughts of killing yourself or your baby.
a high body temperature, a thigh that is red and warm to the touch, rapid bleeding (through a pad in an hour or less) or huge, egg-sized clots, and a persistent headache that causes visual disturbances are all signs of an infection.
Tiredness, as well as possible pain and discomfort, are to be expected during your days caring for a baby. You are the expert on your own body, so if you see anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to consult a medical professional.
Most postnatal check-ups are scheduled between 2 and 6 weeks after birth. You shouldn’t hold off on discussing problems until after the scheduled visit, though.
Complications after childbirth are common and usually easy to remedy. Once you’ve taken care of the problems, you can give your full attention to your infant, secure in the knowledge that you’re also doing everything in your power to ensure their health and happiness to their and your well-being.