Post giving birth to the baby, you can expect to experience a myriad of mental and physical changes from bleeding to even mood swings. What exactly do these changes comprise of? How to make out whether the changes are normal or a doctor needs to be called? There is an advice by a family physician at a Women’s College Hospital in Toronto to pay attention to the warning signs:

Bleeding
One can consider bleeding to be normal, similar to a period, that my last up to three weeks postpartum. At this point of time, after delivery, the lining of the uterus is shedding, hence it is normal to experience a heavier flow early on, that should lighten over the next few weeks. However, if you are soaking through a pad every hour that is abnormal. If you are passing clots bigger than the size of a loonie or if there is a foul-smelling discharge or a fever that may be indeed abnormal and may be due to infection or retained placenta.

Vaginal Soreness
It is usually normal to have an episiotomy, or small tears, during delivery, so it is common for that area to be sore and uncomfortable for a few weeks. It is wise to keep the are clean and use a squirt bottle filled with water after urination or a bowel movement. Some are used to utilizing an ice pack, especially 24 to 72 hours after delivery, to ensure the swelling has reduced. One can also sit on a donut pillow and use stool softener to ease the pain. However, something that is abnormal is if you have taken Tylenol or Advil and still there is ample pain, or if the pain has got worse it is wise to consult the doctor.

Hemorrhoids
Developing hemorrhoids is common amongst women during pregnancy or during the time frame of delivery. What really happens is that the intraabdominal pressure forces veins to swell and stretch around the anal area. One can have a treatment for pain, itching or discomfort by going in for a warm sitz bath (a shallow bath with warm water) for around 10 to 15 minutes. It is must to consume lots of water and eat high fiber diet to avoid straining. You will find it useful to apply witch hazel, which is soothing, or use an over the counter product containing hydrocortisone and zinc oxide. However, something that is abnormal for many women is that hemorrhoids may still linger on for long term for some women, while for many women they will eventually go away. Do consult the doctor in case you are bleeding or are in a lot of pain. Surgery remains the last resort option.

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