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Post-Partum Health Issues

A woman faces a wide range of problems after delivering a child. Post-partum challenges and problems can be different for every woman. They include:

Post-partum haemorrhage
Loss of more than 500ml of blood during delivery and later is known as post-partum haemorrhage. It occurs when the uterus cannot regain the pre-pregnancy state by contracting to its original size. This happens when the woman delivers twins or if the baby is large or if there are fibroids in the uterus. The main symptoms of  post-partum haemorrhage are excessive vaginal bleeding that is bright red in colour, fever and pain in the lower abdomen. The ailment is more common in women who are above the age of 35.

Depression after childbirth
A woman goes through a lot of emotional turmoil during pregnancy and it continues during the post-partum period as well. The sudden hormonal changes that occur after the baby is born are responsible for depression during post-partum period. Hence, every woman who has given birth to a child experiences mild baby blues but in some cases due to lack of family support, other stressful events, lack of sleep or long and painful labour the mother might experience post-partum depression.

After pains
After-pains during contraction or the shrinking of uterus are also common during post-partum period. They can be of severe nature, especially immediately after childbirth. The condition generally improves by the third day.

Sore muscles and fatigue
Sore muscles and fatigue are common after childbirth. All the stress and pushing during labour is responsible for the tiredness and sore muscles.

Breast engorgement
A woman might experience uncomfortable or swollen and painful breasts between the third and fourth day after childbirth. This happens when the breasts begin to fill with milk when the mother is unable to breastfeed or when she stops breastfeeding.

Cracked nipples and mastitis
During the post-partum period the mother faces a lot of problems like cracked nipples due to breast feeding or inflammation in the breast. Cracked nipples may be a result of leaving them wet for a long time or improper positing of the baby while breastfeeding. Another breast condition that might occur post childbirth is mastitis that develops in one particular area of the breast. The symptoms include a tender red patch with swelling and pain in that area. It might develop along with flu like symptoms, chills and breast inflammation.

Difficulty in urination and bowel movements
Due to the difficulties during delivery, or because of a caesarian or vaginal cuts there might be difficulty in urination and bowel movements, and it may continue for several days during the post-partum period. Drinking plenty of fluids and using stool softeners can be effective.

Pelvic bone problems
The pelvic bone might loosen or be misaligned during pregnancy. In some cases the tail bone or the coccyx may fracture, and it takes several months to heal. Usually this type of problems requires physical therapy and proper exercise.

Stretch marks and weight issues
The most common problems every woman faces after delivering a child are losing excess weight gained during pregnancy and stretch marks that often take time to go. A woman might also suffer from hair loss and darkened skin due to hormonal changes during the post-partum period.

The post-partum period can be a difficult time for a woman, and family support is of utmost importance to cope up with these difficulties. Regular check-ups and healthy and hygienic living can make the post-partum period easy.

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