8 Common Illnesses after Giving Birth to a Baby

Post labour is a precarious time for a mother where the immunity system degrades after delivery. At this time, the mother can easily become ill and even potentially getting serious diseases, sickness or common illnesses. Therefore, one must pay attention to the reasons behind the common illnesses and potential risks.

1) Puerperal Fever (Common Illnesses)

common illnesses

In the process of delivery, the birth canal, perineum, and uterine wall are the places susceptible to wounds. If these wounds become infected, which leads to inflammation and with fever or high body temperature present at the same time, this situation is called Puerperal Fever. Normally, 2-3 days after delivery, it starts to abate. If a high temperature of 38-39 degrees Celsius lasts for more than 2 days, it is time to consider if this is Puerperal Fever. If symptoms are mild, the condition will usually disappear. However if serious, it will last for between a week to 10 days. Accompanying a high fever, there can be fester wounds, an odorous stench, and serious pains in lower abdomen. The reason for this is the bacterial growth in the cervix or vagina during pregnancy, bacterial infection at early stages before delivery, or bacterial infection due to surgical wound produced during delivery.

Treatment Method for Puerperal Fever

Once high fever is confirmed, the mother must keep as still and calm as possible, then go to the hospital to be medically examined, accept antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, anti-and an anti-pyretic medicines. A suitable precaution is to improve immunization during pregnancy, often maintaining the hygiene of the body and a sterilized environment.

2) Retained Placenta

A ‘retained placenta’ is when the placenta is not fully out of the womb. Generally speaking, the placenta will be released along with childbirth. Rarely in some cases, it will remain in the womb. If, 10 days after childbirth, the colour of the lochia is red, the mother should consider if this is a retained placenta.

Treatment Method for Retained Placenta

The method used is an Uterotonic, which allows the placenta to be released from the womb or use appropriate tools to manually remove the placenta.

3) Urinary Incontinence

Many mothers suffer from urinary incontinence. When a mother sneezes or laughs or undertakes heavy lifting, urine will be forced out of the body. Urinary incontinence causes not only inconveniences in daily life but also a great mental burden. Mothers who have weak sphincter muscle of the anus or urethra, those who give birth to larger babies, or those who experienced difficulties in giving birth will normally suffer from this urinary incontinence.

Treatment Method for Urinary Incontinence

The best method to cure this is by doing sphincter exercises. Let the sphincter of perineum to be tensed for about 10 seconds, then relax. After approximately 3 months, you will see a beneficial result due to the cumulative exercises. If the illness persists, visit your gynaecologist.

4) Cystitis

The symptoms of this include micturition, residual urine sensation, and painful urination, etc. The pain is located beside the birth canal. If the bladder accumulates urine, bacteria can intrude and grow easily resulting in cystitis. If the mother is infected with cystitis, she will not easily pass urine. Even if the mother does feel the urge to urinate, urine is not easily passed or little urine is passed at a time. When the colour of the urine is white or yellow, this is caused by the baby’s head and pelvis obstructing the bladder. Urine accumulates but the passing of urine is still inhibited.

Treatment Method for Cystitis

After delivery, the mother should take good care of her vaginal hygiene. Do not suppress the urge to urinate. If symptoms persist, do not delay and should receive immediate medical treatment. The common treatment method is either through chemotherapy or antibiotics.

5) Pyelitis

If a mother appears to have high fever above 40 degree Celsius with the presence of serious cold at the same time, she will feel pain at the position where kidneys are located and experience serious stress. Generally, this is due to the intrusion of E. Coli. It is easier to be infected at the time when the catheter is inserted before delivery.

Treatment Method for Pyelitis

The infected urine will contain protein and red blood cells. Sufficient water intake should be ensured to remove the bacteria or viruses through urination. Without immediate or quick treatment or if this issue is ignored, it will develop into chronic kidney inflammation and affect pregnancy. Thus, mother should try to treat or cure this as soon as possible.

6) Uterine Contractions Imperfecta

At least 6 weeks after childbirth, the womb is supposed to return to its original position. If it is not in a normal contraction, it is called Uterine Contractions Imperfecta. If a part of the amnion or placenta is left inside the womb, there’s a presence of extreme labour pains, or there is trouble in urinating or defecating, this will most likely result in uterine contractions imperfecta.

If a mother suffers uterine contractions imperfecta, the body will have no way to stop the flow of bleeding. Mixed brown blood in lochia will result in anaemia. If for 10 days before or after childbirth the mother can touch and feel womb in the lower abdomen, it is time to visit a medical specialist.

Treatment Method for Uterine Contraction Imperfecta

Use uterotonic or hemostatins to cure this, or antibiotics for serious bleeding. During the treatment, sexual behaviour is prohibited.

Tip: Excess Amount of Bleeding

Normally, there are 2 to 3 days with a little amount of vaginal bleeding. It is not a problem if the amount of bleeding is lesser than what’s encountered during menstruation and will gradually reduce. For cases with higher amount of bleeding, place an ice bag below your uterus position, massage it, and take a medicine that encourages uterus contraction. However, if the amount of bleeding exceeds 500 cc, it will be very dangerous. The worst situation is when blood transfusion or uterus removal is required.

7) Toxemia Complications

If certain symptoms such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and edema persists post delivery, this is called toxemia complications. Women who are diagnosed with toxemia in the very beginning of pregnancy can easily develop toxemia complications. Most of them are healed post delivery. You cannot delay treatment for toxemia complications or it will become chronic day after day. 1 month post delivery, if you find out that your legs are as swollen as when you were pregnant, please consult your doctor.

Treatment Method for Toxemia

You have to check for indications of proteinuria and high blood pressure. Or else, it will be of great hindrance to your next pregnancy and your overall health. As a result, if you still have edema 1 month post delivery, please check with the doctor.

8) Mastitis

This is caused by stockpiling your breast milk or when you develop a bacterial infection in the wound of your breast. It’s common in primipara 2-6 weeks post delivery. Your breast will swell and become harder. Sometimes, you may even have a fever. The most serious complication is the swelling of your lymph glands underneath your armpit, along with pus discharging from your nipples. You have to squeeze your remaining secretion before bacterial infection sets in. After that, compress cold towels on your breasts to effectively alleviate your pain.

Treatment Method for Mastitis

You will develop fever, pain, and pus during inflammation. At this time, you must take advantage of antibiotics to treat your inflammation. If it’s too serious, then it’s necessary for the doctor to perform a surgical procedure on your breast to remove the pus. To prevent yourself from getting mastitis, you must wash your hands, breasts, and nipples thoroughly before lactation. Also, squeeze the remaining secretion in your breast after lactation.

Common Knowledge: Situations where Immediate Hospitalization is required

One must receive a post delivery checkup 6 months after delivery. The doctor needs to examine the size of the uterus whether it returns to original condition, and whether the recovery of surgical wounds is completed. However, if the below symptoms appear before post delivery checkup, immediate hospitalization must be required:

- Serious nausea and vomiting

- Originally is brown blood, but suddenly blood clots and fresh red blood appears

- Body temperature exceeds 37.7 degree Celsius

- Serious bleeding

- Feeling pain during urination

- Vagina and anus encounter pain

- Breast pain and fever

- Lower abdomen in serious pain

With all those common illnesses that mothers experience after giving birth, one must take all precautionary measures needed.

Sandra Henderson

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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