The Health Issues That Can Affect New Mothers

Having a baby can be a wonderful experience. But often the process of conceiving, being pregnant, giving birth, and then caring for your newborn infant can take its toll on your health. Here are some of the issues that might affect you right now.




Fatigue is more than just mere tiredness. It’s a state of being where you feel physically unable to carry out your regular tasks for an extended period. Not only can it interfere with work and relationships, but can also impact the level of care that you can offer your baby.


Being fatigued is often part and parcel of having recently given birth. The process of giving birth is demanding on the body and made worse by the fact that you now have a dependent infant who needs looking after. Lack of sleep, extra caring work, and nighttime feeding can all take their toll.


The problem with not getting sleep is that it can lead to increased inflammation in the body which can provoke feelings of worthlessness and depression. So depression and tiredness can form a vicious cycle where you end up feeling worse and worse. Mothers who are struggling should seek support from their partner or from family members to ease the burden through the most challenging phases.


Vaginal Pain


Having a baby is taxing on the birth canal and the reproductive organs in general. The vaginal opening has to dilate to many times its regular size to allow the baby’s head and body to pass through. Because this is a rare event, it can lead to damage to the surrounding tissue, causing long term pain.


Pain can occur elsewhere too. If you used Essure birth control inserted into your fallopian tubes (which can sometimes fail), you might have additional complications.


It’s essential, however, that you distinguish between regular, expected pain, and pain caused by medical mishaps or internal issues. If you continue to experience pain after the birth, make sure to check with your doctor that you’re not damaged in some, as yet, undetected way.


Pain In The Breasts


When the body detects the birth of an infant, it begins to generate milk in the glands inside the breast tissue. These glands become full and then put pressure on the surrounding area, sometimes leading to pain.


As a first step, apply a compress to the breast before feeding. Second, use ice packs in between feeding sessions to reduce swelling. You can also try eating an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in vegetables, to reduce inflammation from the inside out.


Finally, if the baby is causing you pain during feeding (perhaps due to a wayward tooth), consult with a lactation expert. Lactation specialists can provide advice on breastfeeding if the infant fails to latch or causes damage to the breast itself.


Urinary Issues


As the baby passes through the birth canal, it places pressure on the rest of the abdomen. This pressure can then cause damage to surrounding tissue, particularly the bladder and urogenital system. It’s not uncommon, therefore, for new mothers to experience a degree of incontinence in the months following birth.


Childbirth can weaken the muscles in the pelvic floor: muscles responsible for holding liquid in the bladder until it’s time to go to the bathroom. The good news is that these muscles strengthen again soon after birth, and can return to normal in a matter of months. If you’re worried about your pelvic floor, you can do exercises to strengthen them again naturally.


Heightened Risk Of Infection




You can see why C-section births would increase the risk of infection. When the body is cut open, it increases the opportunity for pathogens to break through the skin barrier and thrive in the body’s relatively hospitable internal environment. But why does a natural birth increase the risk of infection?


The problem with natural births come with the rupture of the membranes on the inside of the body that protect it again outside invaders. When a baby passes through, it can tear the sensitive membrane lining on the inside of a woman’s body, providing an opportunity for bugs to get in. The longer the labor, the higher the likelihood of an infection.


Problems can also occur if the placenta doesn’t detach properly from the lining of the uterus. Sometimes, the placenta can bring part of the uterus lining with it, causing bleeding and leading to a risk of infection.


New mothers should be alert to signs of fever. If you have a temperature after birth, return to the hospital for a check-up to make sure that there aren’t any postpartum complications.


Speak Your Mind