Depression is common among women after the childbirth as a result she usually loses sexual and other interests besides feeling irritability and fatigue. The depression is more likely to occur if a woman feels isolated and inadequate support from her husband and other members of her family.
If the mother is breast feeding, menstruation usually does not return for about six months, but approximately 10 – 15% women start to menstruate by two or three months after childbirth and 25 – 30% by three or four months and remaining by six to seven months. Ovulation is useful before the 20th week after the childbirth, but very few lactating women ovulate before this period. However, pregnancy rarely occurs in the first four to five months of puerperium. Continue breastfeeding, even if periods have started. The periods leave no ill effect over the quality of breast milk.
After childbirth, a woman’s sexual desire and activities are conditioned on several factors such as strain of parenthood, reduced sexual desire and arousal and because of a painful episiotomy scar. Whenever a woman feels comfortable about having sex, sexual intercourse can be performed. Woman who breastfeed are usually more sexually aroused and responsive than woman who chooses to bottle feed their baby. If intercourse continues to be painful, consult your doctor.
If you have gained weight, your tummy must have put on extra flesh after the childbirth, as your skin and muscles must have grown to hold the constant weight of body in womb. Do not worry as the muscles will gradually tighten up again, but do not forget gentle exercises. Breast feeding helps the stomach get back to shape as it encourages the uterus to contract and after two months of delivery the uterus should be in its non-pregnant size.
Sometimes, few days after the childbirth, the discharge changes to pale brown. Some women have a rush of blood when the baby breast-feeds. If you pass blood clots or fresh blood or the lochia smells unpleasant, consult your doctor immediately, these are the signs of the part of placenta has left inside the womb or there is an infection. After giving birth to a baby, women are often prone to infections. Make sure to keep vaginal area clean and wash the area with a mild soap and water after every trip to the toilet. Once the lochia has stopped, a breast-feeding mother may not have periods for several months, after childbirth, the mothers often have painful contractions. Suckling breast nipples causes the uterus to contract to its normal size. Post-birth pains are common and these stop after few days. If there is continuous pain or bleeding, consult your doctor. Constipation, too, can be a problem if you have stitches. Do not push or strain while in toilet. Take care if you suffer from backache after the childbirth. Do not lift heavy weights during this period.
CONSULTING A DOCTOR:
The mother should pay a visit to the doctor for check up between six and eight weeks after delivering the child, which gives the mother the opportunity to discuss any problem faced by her.
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