Top Postpartum Complications New Mothers Should Be Aware Of

If you stumbled across this article online, you are either a new mother or expecting childbirth in the coming months. To begin with, congratulations, as motherhood is like no other feeling in the world. Having said that, the postpartum period, around 6-8 weeks following childbirth, is crucial for the mother’s body to heal and adjust after the changes experienced during pregnancy and labor.

According to the latest study, at least 40 million women worldwide experience a long-term health issue caused by childbirth every year. While many women experience a smooth recovery, it’s critical to be aware of possible complications.

In this article, we will try to empower new mothers with knowledge about some of the most common postpartum complications so that they can optimize their postpartum recovery.

Physical Postpartum Complications

Physical complications are the most common types of postpartum issues that every new mother faces. And because many do not care to make a postpartum visit, these issues tend to get severe over time.

Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH)

PPH refers to heavy bleeding after childbirth in case of multiple births, prolonged labor, or a larger-than-usual infant. Symptoms include passing large blood clots or soaking a pad in less than an hour. According to WHO, every year, around 14 million women experience PPH, and 70,000 new mothers lose their lives globally. It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately in the case of PPH.

Postpartum Infections

One of the most common childbirth complications is the postpartum infection in the uterus, breasts, urinary tract, etc. It typically manifests itself during prolonged labor and c-sections. Patients experience fever, chills, pain, redness, foul-smelling discharge, and swelling. Maintaining good hygiene and seeking timely treatment to prevent infections is crucial.

Perineal Pain and Tears

Another painful outcome of labor is perineal pain and tear, which refers to pain or discomfort between the vagina and the anus. This usually happens during the first childbirth, with a large baby, and the use of forceps or vacuum during childbirth. The condition is controlled by using warm baths, ice packs, and pelvic floor exercises.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT is considered to be one of the most common medical problems in the U.S., with an annual occurrence of around 80 per 1000 individuals. It refers to a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg. New mothers who are immobile, obese, have a family history, or undergo c-section are more susceptible to DVT. Symptoms include leg pain, swelling, redness, and warmth. It can be prevented by early movements, compression stockings, and blood thinners at times.

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

SUI is an inconvenient issue where new mothers experience urine leakage when coughing, sneezing, or exerting. The primary cause of the condition is weakened pelvic floor muscles due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Medications, pelvic floor exercises, or procedures like transvaginal mesh implants can help manage the condition. According to TorHoerman Law, while many women benefit from mesh-related surgeries, others have experienced injuries and complications.

These injuries and complications include mesh erosion, infection, bleeding, organ perforation, and more. Because of the financial loss and suffering caused by the transvaginal mesh implant, there is a vaginal mesh lawsuit against the makers of these implants. More than 100,000 lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women injured by the transvaginal mesh products.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)

The vaginal mesh is also used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, but FDA banned the use of the product for the condition in 2019 because of all the issues caused by it. POP refers to the descent of the pelvic organs into the vagina. The condition is caused by obesity, multiple natural births, and chronic constipation, among others.

Mental Health Postpartum Complications

Beyond physical complications, new mothers also undergo several mental health postpartum complications as well. These include baby blues conditions like postpartum depression and anxiety. Let’s take a look.

Postpartum Depression (PPD)

You must have heard of baby blues, where new mothers experience a sudden onset of sadness in the weeks following childbirth because of hormonal changes. PPD is a serious mood disorder, more severe than baby blues. Studies revealed that around one in seven women can develop PPD, which affects their ability to return to normal function.

Postpartum Anxiety (PPA)

PPA is an exaggerated state of anxiety involving excessive worry, motherhood-related fear, and restlessness. It causes insomnia, racing thoughts, and panic attacks in new mothers. It’s crucial to seek therapy, join support groups, and seek medications to manage this condition. It’s crucial for new mothers to prioritize their mental health and reach out to a healthcare professional promptly.

The postpartum period is when a mother experiences immense joy and transformation. However, it’s important to acknowledge the issues that can arise from pregnancy and labor. While the conditions listed in this article might appear daunting, awareness and early intervention are the keys to a smooth recovery.

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