The postpartum phase is replete with unique challenges and problems, and we aren’t even talking about baby care. Giving birth is a monumental task for the body, and as it slowly heals, you will feel numerous side effects and repercussions. Most people (and even books) forget to discuss post-delivery problems with new moms, and turns out, these can be Uncomfortable with a capital U!
Uncomfortable Postpartum Complications You Must Prepare For
1. Vaginal Bleeding
If you had ‘heavy’ periods before pregnancy, time to appreciate a new definition of heavy! Many women experience really heavy-flow bleeding after delivery. While this flow might slow down after two periods, your body needs to make up for all those months of not having periods. So, you will continue to have light bleeding for up to six weeks after delivery. This can become extremely uncomfortable, especially given how delicate your body is at this stage. Time to stock up on those pads and keep yourself well-hydrated!
2. Acne and Pimples
Acne and pimples are commonly thought of as teen problems and considered to be a sign of puberty – the most embarrassing and tumultuous phase of life. Prepare for a resurgence! With pregnancy hormones making your body go haywire, you'll find yourself having to face pimples all over again. And this time, they might not limit themselves to just your face either! You may need to turn to those acne creams and face treatment masks all over again. Severe cases may require medication. Remember – do not apply/consume any medication without consulting your doctor, especially if you are breastfeeding.
3. Leaking/Uncontrolled Urine
This is perhaps one of the most distressing postnatal complications that many new mothers have to battle. Your body changes drastically from the strain of pregnancy and delivery. It is possible that you might feel you've lost your urine control and have trouble holding in your pee. It is quite common for postpartum women to even face leaking urine due to poor bladder control!
Urinary incontinence can be a tough problem to tackle, especially when outdoors or travelling. Since this problem can extend for several months after delivery, you might find yourself facing the tough choice – either remain confined to the house, or risk using dirty public toilets. Even if you do find a clean public toilet, you can be in for a harrowing time if you also have post-pregnancy body pain and struggle with sitting/bending.
An innovative savior that can help you face this situation is the PeeBuddy
. It is a portable urination device for women which makes sure you don't have to compromise in your post-pregnancy days, whether it be on hygiene or on travelling. With PeeBuddy, you can stand up and pee!PeeBuddy can be particularly beneficial for women who have had C-section deliveries; it doesn’t need you to bend over to pee so your surgical wound/incision doesn’t get pressured. Now this is what we call a really thoughtful ‘buddy’ for a new mother, saving her from quite a few embarrassing moments!
4. Sore Feet
While sore feet are common in pregnant women, they might just refuse to get better even after delivery. Sore feet can sometimes persist for a long time, even more in women who have delivered by C-section. And while this might not seem like as big a problem as compared to some of the other problems in this list, we will talk more when you crave that foot massage and foot spa!
Sore feet can take a while to get better after pregnancy. Consider consuming a calcium and Vitamin-D rich diet. And yes, allow yourself that foot massage when it gets too bad!
Simply put, a queef is a ‘vaginal fart’. This is basically gas escaping from the rectum and sliding into the vagina. Queefs can be funny or embarrassing depending on the way you look at them, but queefing is one of the most common postnatal problems. It can become a real problem for your sex life too – at least when you start out again after delivery. Just as you get the courage to try out sex for the first time after delivery, you’ll have a big moment that will interrupt you unexpectedly!
All you can do is be prepared – queefs are quite common – and meanwhile, do your Kegels. Doctor-approved pelvic floor exercises can also help.
6. Uncontrolled Bowel Movements
This is not a very common problem, but does end up affecting several women after delivery. Having an uncontrolled bowel movement – also known as Postpartum Fecal Incontinence – is probably a sign that you need to stay indoors longer than you anticipated after your delivery. You'll be able to regain complete control in a maximum of 6 months, but it's advisable you find yourself close to a toilet at all times in such cases.
Kegel exercises are recommended to help rebuild your strength. Discuss this with your doctor who will be able to guide you and see if you need alternate treatment.
7. Leaking Breasts
While all of us may have heard of leaking breasts, you may still find yourself caught unaware if they leak at the most inopportune times! Overfull breasts can cause a number of problems, including breast engorgement, pain and discomfort.
Try expressing and storing your milk till you're able to balance out demand and supply. Use soft pods to absorb the breast leaks when you go out to avoid any embarrassing moments.
8. Gas and Burps
As icky as they seem, gas and burping are probably the least of your uncomfortable complications after childbirth! That being said, burps and gas will have you feeling uneasy for a good chunk of your recovery period.
Keep walking around when you can and avoid consuming gassy or fried foods. Also, take your doctor's advice on the types of over-the-counter medicines you can use in severe cases. The problems are many, and time to tend to yourself? Very little. While your baby probably occupies all your head-space now, we urge you to please not ignore your own health and fitness. Yes, most of the problems in this list will fade and disappear over a few months, as your body slowly recovers. But if any of your postpartum problems are turning out to be exceedingly painful or troublesome, please consult your gynaecologist.