After giving birth, a woman’s body goes through an incredible transformation to return to its pre-pregnancy state. However, this process can, unfortunately, come with some uncomfortable and often serious side effects, including postpartum illness. In this article, we explore the causes of postpartum illness, its symptoms, and what treatment options are available to new moms who are struggling with it.
It’s not uncommon for new mothers to feel a bit off after giving birth. In fact, up to 80% of women experience some form of postpartum illness1. While the “baby blues” are fairly common and usually resolve within two weeks post-delivery, more severe forms of postpartum illness can occur.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to postpartum illness, including hormonal changes, lack of sleep, stress, and anxiety. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so you can get the help you need.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum illness can include:2
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Restlessness or irritability
- Crying more often than usual
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to reach out for help. Postpartum illness is treatable and there are a variety of options available. Treatment might include medication, therapy, support groups, or a combination of these approaches. Don’t suffer in silence – reach out for help if you need it.
Causes of Postpartum Illness
It is estimated that up to 20% of new mothers experience some form of postpartum illness, which can range from mild to severe. While the exact causes are not known, there are several factors that may contribute to the development of postpartum illness, including:
After childbirth, a woman’s hormone levels rapidly decline, which can lead to physical and emotional symptoms.
New parents often have difficulty getting enough sleep, which can worsen symptoms of postpartum illness.
A lack of certain nutrients, such as iron, can contribute to the development of postpartum illness.
The stress of caring for a new baby can be overwhelming and can trigger or worsen symptoms of postpartum illness.
Symptoms of Postpartum Illness
It is not uncommon for new mothers to experience some form of postpartum illness. In fact, it is estimated that up to 20% of women will suffer from some form of postpartum illness in the first few weeks after giving birth. The most common symptoms of the postpartum illness include:
This is one of the most common symptoms experienced by new mothers. It is normal to feel exhausted after giving birth, but if you are finding it difficult to function or get out of bed, this could be a sign of postpartum illness.
Many new mothers experience mood swings in the first few weeks after giving birth. These can range from mild irritability to more severe mood swings that can include depression and anxiety. If you are feeling excessively sad, anxious, or angry, this could be a sign of postpartum illness.
Body Aches and Pains
Many women report experiencing body aches and pains after giving birth. These can range from mild discomfort to more severe pain that can make it difficult to move or function. If you are experiencing pain that is interfering with your ability to care for yourself or your baby, this could be a sign of postpartum illness.
It is common for new mothers to have difficulty sleeping in the first few weeks after giving birth. This can be due to exhaustion, stress, anxiety, or pain. If you are finding it hard to fall asleep.
Becoming a parent can be isolating, especially if you don’t have family or friends nearby who can help out. This isolation can compound the feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm.
Society puts a lot of pressure on new moms to “bounce back” quickly after giving birth. The reality is that it takes time for your body (and your life) to adjust to this new normal. Trying to do too much too soon can lead to burnout and resentment.
Treatment Options for New Moms
It’s no secret that having a baby is hard work. Your body is going through so many changes and you’re probably not getting much sleep. Add to that the stress of caring for a new human being and it’s no wonder that so many new moms feel overwhelmed.
If you’re feeling anything other than elated after giving birth, it’s important to speak up. Postpartum illness is more common than you might think, and there are treatment options available.
Your Body After Your Baby
Such drastic physical changes come during pregnancy and usually expound after. A woman’s body already undergoes so many phases in the usual cycle of her life, and all these become extra after labor. Most common symptoms and changes are seen in physical appearance but emotional shifting strikes a huge impact, too. Postpartum discomforts are common after labor and these vary from woman to woman. It is important for a mother to learn and reflect on her own discomforts; in that way, she is able to discern how to carefully go through it before it takes a toll on her physical, emotional, and mental well-being of herself and the people around her.
Here are some of the common things a newly-turned mother may experience after birth and how she can optimize her maternity leave to aid for it:
Following a vaginal birth, pelvic or perineal pain and discomfort are normal. This is due to the force exerted which tires out the muscles and extracts the bones. The time it takes for these symptoms to go away depends on how much swelling or tearing there was. Here are ways to lessen discomfort:
- Ice packs
- Warm baths
- Anesthetic spray
- Wound exposure
C-section mothers typically stay in the hospital for up to five days following delivery. There, nurses encourage them to get up and move around within 24 hours after being admitted to the hospital. Moving can hasten the healing process, but moderation is key. When they are discharged, doctors usually give them the truth about how soreness and discomfort may last until 2 weeks after labor. Here are things you have to be reminded of:
- Do not stretch and carry heavy stuff
- Ask your doctor for a pain relievers prescription
- Get enough rest and sleep; stay in line with baby
- Follow proper breastfeeding positions recommended
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sweating all the time
Your body eliminates the blood and tissue that were inside your uterus after you give birth to your child. This is referred to as lochia or vaginal discharge. It is thick, bright crimson, and may have blood clots during the first few days. The flow becomes lighter in color and less frequent with time. You might experience discharge for a few weeks, maybe even a month or longer. Here are some tips for dealing with it:
- Use sanitary pads or panty-liners
- Wash the outer part of the vagina three-four times a day
- Change panties from time to time
Your breasts will enlarge as the milk in them begins to expand. Typically, it occurs a few days following childbirth. Your breasts might feel achy and painful. Once you begin breastfeeding frequently, the discomfort usually disappears. It may last until your breasts cease producing milk if you aren’t breastfeeding, which typically happens within a few days.
When urinating in the first few days after giving birth, you could experience pain or burning (pee). Or perhaps you try to urinate but are unsuccessful. You might not always be able to control your urination. We refer to this as incontinence. Once your pelvic muscles are once more strong, it typically fades away.
- Always use warm water in bathing
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
- Kegel exercises are suggested but not necessarily
Many women experience postpartum depression (commonly known as PPD), which is a medical disorder that is classified as intense emotions of anxiety, over-concern, exhaustion, and sadness that may persist for a long time and usually begins after birth delivery. A mother may find it challenging to care for both themselves and their infant as a result of these feelings. Most mothers develop this right after birth, and some experience its reflection after two to three weeks, but research had shown that it may persist even three years after. This, of course, may depend on the mother’s emotional capacities and could be affected or triggered by the environment she is in. While it’s a common symptom, the lifestyle of a mother which encompasses her whole being plays a huge role in its development and recovery.
Here are some of the signs of postpartum depression:
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Insomnia or inability to sleep
- Depressed feelings for most of the day
- Constant pressure, guilt, and failure
- Severe mood swings throughout time
- Little to no interest in most things
- Less or overeating for a coping mechanism
- Concentration and decision-making issues
- Thinking about self-harm and self-restraint
- Difficulty having an emotional bond with baby
- Urge to hurt either yourself or your baby
Here are a few things to be reminded of when you are experiencing postpartum depression:
- Consult a medical and psychological doctor and have yourself checked
- Have time to internalize past experiences which may be affecting you
- Drink prescribed medicine and follow instructions from professionals
Self-Care Tips for New Moms
As a new mom, it’s important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Here are some self-care tips to help you recover from postpartum illness:
Get Plenty of Rest
When you’re recovering from childbirth, your body needs time to heal. Make sure to get as much sleep as possible, even if it means taking naps during the day.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating nutritious foods will help your body recover from the stress of childbirth. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods and sugary snacks.
Take Breaks When You Can
Caring for a baby is round-the-clock work, but it’s important to take a break when you can. Ask your partner or a friend to watch the baby for a few hours so you can take a nap or just relax.
Connect With Other Moms
It can be helpful to talk to other moms who have gone through postpartum illness. They can understand what you’re going through and offer support and advice.
Seek Professional Help
If necessary, if your symptoms are severe or don’t seem to be improving, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about treatment options.
Dealing with Emotional Issues After Giving Birth
It is not uncommon for new mothers to experience a range of emotions after giving birth. While some may feel elated and blissful, others may feel anxious, depressed, or even angry. These feelings are all normal and can be attributed to the hormonal changes that occur after childbirth. However, if your emotions are interfering with your ability to care for yourself or your baby, it is important to seek help from a healthcare provider.
There are many treatment options available for postpartum emotional issues. Counseling and support groups can be helpful in dealing with the stressors of motherhood. Medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may also be prescribed if needed. It is important to work with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment option for you.
What We Can Do For You
Telling yourself that everything will be okay after going through such a nerve-wracking and heart-melting labor is not as easy as thinking about doing it, and we know that! Especially when the stuff mentioned above is quite anxiety-inducing and perhaps the ways we discussed to get through may not be enough for you; be it for cultural, other medical, or personal reasons. So if you truly cannot commit to being calm and trusting the process of recovery, let’s give you another option! Why we would also love to reiterate another way or an alternative if you think those tricks aren’t enough to check your sanity during healing!
If you have tried all the ways to make yourself calm and fresh or perhaps you may just be suffering from a loss of energy or confidence in beauty. Or, maybe you are undergoing postpartum stress! Either way, we got a little something for you that may be of help once you’re either settled with any of the above-mentioned situations!
Luckily, you can use our products!
Belta Mama Rhythm – Postpartum Care from Within
Post-pregnancy care is not only painful, but it also makes a woman lose her aesthetics. Luckily, Belta Mama Rhythm is here to encompass all the needed care.
Belta Mama Rhythm is a support supplement for postpartum and breastfeeding moms who are too busy with housework and childcare, neglecting their physical and mental health. However, it is not just for mommy but very beneficial too for the baby! It is best for babies’ growth & development while in the mother’s womb, it is also great with milk production for breastfeeding and only produces great quality. It also helps pregnant women adjust to their hormonal changes, and fight stress and fatigue caused by child care most especially after birth gives optimum energy to complete tasks daily as a working or house mother, manages anxiety and depression symptoms, and provides all the necessary nutrients needed by moms after painful childbirth.
The product would contain 90 Softgel capsules, with 1 tablet weighing 425mg, and is advised to be taken after meals, three times a day with warm or lukewarm water.
Postpartum illness can be a difficult and overwhelming experience for both new moms and their families. It is important to recognize the signs of postpartum illness and seek help from a mental health professional if you are feeling overwhelmed or experiencing symptoms such as depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, or changes in sleeping habits. With the right treatment plan tailored to your individual needs, these symptoms can be managed effectively so that you can take care of yourself and enjoy motherhood without any additional stress or worry.