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10 most common post-pregnancy health problems

Last updated on: June 09, 2013 12:39 IST

10 most common post-pregnancy health problems



Watch out for these issues that may plague you after your delivery.

Physical recovery might take some time post delivery. With C-section deliveries, your stitches might sore for few weeks; however with vaginal deliveries, you would hardly need any pain killers. But this doesn’t mean that you are totally back to normal. While healing your body would require extra sleep, rest and nutritious diet.

Walking is the best exercise to begin with. However you must consult your doctor before you start with postnatal exercises.

These are the common problems which moms face post delivery:

1. Vaginal bleeding

Periods usually slow down by end of two weeks, however light or intermittent bleeding might continue uptill six weeks. Recurrent heavy bleeding or clotting with or without foul smell must be reported to doctor immediately.

2. Sore Nipples

Any soreness in nipples is usually resolved within few days after delivery. Usually by then you would know how to properly latch baby to your nipples and baby also gets used to it.

To avoid sore nipples:

  • Allow nipples to get some air between feeding. Leave them open without latching the bra.
  • Put little of your breastfeed and allow it to dry after nursing.
  • Feed baby more often so that he gets less ravenous.
  • Try to reposition to get into comfortable posture.
  • Consult doctor for nipple soreness creams and medicines.

3. Breast Engorgement

Usually between second to fifth day after baby’s birth, your breast milk will increase to larger volume. At this point you would feel sensations in your breasts and you will hear baby swallowing while nursing. There is a possibility that your breast will get full with milk and become rock hard, this is called engorgement. To avoid engorgement, try and feed baby in shorter intervals. Till the time demand supply is not evened out you can express the excess milk from your breast. Storing breast milk is an option. Ice packs or hot towels soothe engorged breasts.


Welcome Little is a programme specially designed for the expecting parents to prepare them for welcoming their little one

Photographs: Nina Matthews/ from Wikimedia Commons


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4. Painful nursing:

Deep pain during breastfeeding is sign of some infection. Consult your doctor if your breast pain persists.


5. Leaking breasts:

Overfull breasts usually leak out. Put soft pads, while sleeping or going to out, to prevent major leaks. Change them frequently to keep your nipples dry.


6. Leaking Urine:

Muscles get stretched out during vaginal birth which leads to poor bladder control. Kegel exercises (consult your doctor to know more on kegels, short description is given at the end of the article) help strengthening your muscles. With C-section deliveries these problems do not persist.

Photographs: File photo, Canwest News Service

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7. Acidity and Gas Problem:

Lying down for long builds up gas inside. Walking around and lying on side would relive as it would help gas to move through. This problem is more pertinent with C-section deliveries as intestines often slow to recover from surgery.


8. Constipation:

Pain killers usually aggravate constipation. Intake of fluids and soft food prevents constipation. Too much of constipation and pushing during vaginal birth sometimes result in haemorrhoids development. These are present at anal opening and itch, burn and sometimes even bleed. Talk to your doctor if the problem persists.

9. Hair loss:

Hair loss problem is quite common after baby’s birth, due to sudden drop in hormone levels. This may be disconcerting, it is not permanent. It typically lasts upto six months.

10. Swollen feet:

After C-section, you might observe swollen feet because of high sodium content of the intravenous fluids that you received during surgery. Within few weeks this problem resolves as your kidneys starts clearing this excess fluid.

Kegel exercises:

  • Contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to stop your urine
  • Release the muscles.
  • Repeat this for 10-15 times multiples times in a day. Try to do 100-200 kegels each day.
  • You can also try holding them for 10 counts.

Photographs: Jeremykemp/Wikimedia Commons

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