Health Risks During the Postpartum Period
posted by Maria Oneida, MD | May 23, 2018
Most expecting mothers know that there are potential risks when it comes to childbirth, but many of us focus more on the risks involved during pregnancy and up to delivery, and less on the risks afterward. The postpartum period (the time after a woman gives birth) can impact a mother’s risk of chronic conditions, the health of future pregnancies and the well-being of her child.
Here’s some information on how the postpartum period can affect your health and how you can stay healthy after giving birth.
A study funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation surveyed over 2,000 women who had given birth between the ages of 18 and 45 in US hospitals. Here’s what they found:
According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rates of death for mothers in the days, weeks and months after giving birth in the US are higher than other developed countries—and this rate has been rising for two decades.
Death after giving birth is often caused by conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and others. It’s vital to meet with your doctor or OB/GYN before conception to talk about everything you can do to have a healthy pregnancy and recovery healthy recovery.
Here are the leading causes of death in mothers after birth:
Symptoms to Look For
If you experience these symptoms during postpartum, contact your doctor:
Steps You Can Take for a Healthy Postpartum Period
Here are some precautions you can take to minimize the risk of postpartum death and other complications:
Your doctor or OB/GYN can offer further recommendations when it comes to a safe pregnancy and postpartum period.
I practice the full range of family medicine including obstetrics, pediatrics, adolescent medicine, adult medicine and some orthopedics. I also perform colposcopy, cryotherapy and vasectomies. Due to the volume of deliveries we do, my practice has evolved to be more centered on women and children’s medicine, although I enjoy all aspects of family medicine.
“The Time After Childbirth Is More Dangerous Than You Think. What to Watch For.” WebMD. https://blogs.webmd.com/womens-health/2017/11/the-time-after-childbirth-is-more-dangerous-than-you-think-what-to-watch-for.html
“What Health Concerns Do U.S. Women Have After Giving Birth?: A Listening to Mothers III Data Brief.” Transforming Maternity Care. http://transform.childbirthconnection.org/reports/listeningtomothers/healthconcerns/
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.
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