10 common postpartum problems and how to deal with them : Evewoman - The Standard


Common problems that women face after giving birth and how to deal with them

ALSO READ: Five key tips for breastfeeding with small breasts

Giving birth is a unique experience that is often celebrated and marks the start of motherhood. After the delivery of your baby, your body changes both physically and emotionally. This can be sometimes overwhelming and the postpartum period can be quite difficult. Here are some of the common complications that come after delivery and how you can deal with them.

1. Hemorrhoids and Constipation

During pregnancy, a lot of pressure is exerted on the uterus and organs in the lower area of our body. This usually causes constipation and in more serious cases, hemorrhoids. Sometimes this condition continues even after childbirth. You can treat it with over the counter medicines but it is advisable to avoid self-medication and consult a doctor. 

2. Mastitis

This is a condition where breasts get an infection due to presence of bacteria leading to swollen breasts, redness and fever. The infection could be from dirty clothing or even the baby's mouth. You can treat mastitis by taking antibiotics to treat the infection and proper medicine to reduce the fever. Mastitis is not contagious so you can continue to breastfeed the child with the doctor’s instructions. 

3. Perineal Pain

Perineal pains refers to pain in the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the rectum. This area experiences the most stretching during birth and often gets bruised. Consult the doctor to make sure that it is not anything too serious. If it causes discomfort while sitting, simply use a soft cushion to sit on. 

4. Uterus Infection

This is usually caused when fragments of the placenta remain in the uterus. Symptoms include mild fever, uterus swelling, increased heart rate and in severe cases, intense lower abdomen pain and uterine discharge with an odour. A uterus infection can be treated using antibiotics, which should be taken immediately the problem begins to avoid more serious symptoms.

5. Postpartum Depression

After child birth, mothers can often feel overwhelmed with responsibilities. This leads to anxiety and feelings of anger which easily constitute to postpartum depression. This problem is especially common with first time mothers and single women who are juggling a lot on their own. To deal with it, make sure you have support, especially from family. Going for counseling as well as joining a support group will go a long way in treating the depression. 

6. Swollen Breasts

When breasts fill with milk they tend to swell and especially if one is not regularly breastfeeding. You can deal with the swelling by taking a cold shower. Wearing a well-fitting bra will also help ease the discomfort. 

7. Vaginal Discharge
You will experience vaginal discharge referred to as lochia for a few weeks after childbirth. The discharge consists of blood and tissue from the uterus. Avoid strenuous physical exertions as that will increase the discharge. Rest and allow your body time to heal and the discharge will clear up in about two weeks.

8. Hair Loss

You may experience hair loss after childbirth due to the reducing hormonal balance in your body which, usually can't maintain your hair. There is no need to worry about this however as it reduces as the months pass. Maintaining a protein-rich diet will ensure your hair remains healthy.

9. Stretch Marks

During pregnancy, pressure is constantly applied to your abdomen and the skin adjusts by stretching. This results in stretch marks after delivery. Drinking lots of water will keep you hydrated and helps the stretch marks fade away. Keeping your skin moisturized also helps. Rub warm olive oil or coconut oil on the stretch marks in the morning and at night, after a warm bath. 

10. Postpartum Hives

Due to allergens and hormonal changes during the postpartum period, the immune system reacts releasing histamine into the bloodstream. This protein causes itchy red rashes that are referred to as postpartum hives. They appear on arms, feet and on the back. There is not treatment required as they eventually clear automatically after a few weeks. To soothe the burning red patches however, you can apply coconut oil, some dermatologically tested and approved lotions or aloe vera gel on the affected area.


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