New Delhi | Simran Srivastava: Pregnancy and the acceptance of motherhood can be a beautiful feeling for a woman, but it comes with many challenges and issues of its own. One of the hardest things a mother has to deal with during pregnancy is miscarriage. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the rate of miscarriage among pregnant women is 10-15%. Miscarriages are very common and one in five women who conceive miscarries for no apparent reason. The loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy is a miscarriage and the loss of a baby after the 20th week of pregnancy is called a stillbirth. A miscarriage can harm a patient’s physical health as well as their mental and emotional health. In our society, there are many misconceptions and taboos around talking about women’s health during pregnancy.
Pregnancy brings changes in a woman physically and mentally. A woman’s health problems do not end after childbirth, but the struggle continues as the mother has gone through many complications during pregnancy and childbirth. After childbirth, the focus is often on the well-being of the child, but the health of the mother is also important. A mother needs time to heal from childbirth and needs time to adjust to her duties as a mother. She can face many complications if her postpartum health is neglected.
What is the reason for miscarriage?
Dr Tripti Raheja, senior consultant in obstetrics and gynecology at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, told Jagran English that the most common cause of miscarriage is a problem with the baby’s chromosomes. “If the baby does not have the correct number of chromosomes, it will not develop properly. The chances of the baby having an abnormal number of chromosomes increase with the age of the mother, so the chances of miscarriage increase up to 50% if the age of the mother is over 40,” said Dr Tripti Raheja.
She further added that the risks of miscarriage also increase due to smoking, excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy, uncontrolled medical conditions in the mother, such as poorly controlled diabetes or thyroid problems, and diseases that increase the risk of clots forming in the blood vessels of the placenta.
What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?
Dr. Tripti Raheja informed that the most common symptoms of miscarriage are bleeding or pain in early pregnancy. However, there may be no symptoms and miscarriages are diagnosed during a routine ultrasound.
After the doctor confirms the miscarriage, the ultrasound shows that part or all of the pregnancy is inside the uterus. Therefore, medications or surgeries are needed to empty the uterus to prevent infections and future complications of a dead uterus.
When to try again to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
A patient can start her routine and physical activities a week or two after the miscarriage. However, emotional recovery can take a few months. Talking about trying to get pregnant after miscarriage, Dr. Tripti Raheja advises that a patient can start trying for the next pregnancy in 2-3 months once she is physically and emotionally recovered. She added that most miscarriages happen as a one-time event and there is a good chance of having a successful pregnancy in the future.
How to prevent a miscarriage?
* Check medical diseases before planning pregnancy.
* Start preconception folic acid at least one month before planning a pregnancy.
* Maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy
* Eat a nutritious diet
* Avoid too much caffeine
* Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol.
How to take care of your health after childbirth?
Taking care of yourself after childbirth is as important as taking care of your health during pregnancy. Giving birth affects a woman not only physically but also emotionally and mentally. While explaining how a mother can take care of herself after childbirth, Dr. Tripti Raheja advised the following things:
* Get enough rest after delivery and try to sleep when the baby sleeps.
* Avoid lifting heavy weights and climbing stairs frequently, especially after a C-section.
* Wash your hands frequently to prevent infections.
* Limit the number of visitors so the woman can focus on caring for herself and her baby. This will also minimize the chances of infection.
* Continue to take your prenatal vitamins every day.
* Eat healthy meals as it is a good idea to eat lots of green vegetables and fruits in the weeks following delivery.
* Drink eight large glasses of fluid each day.
* Take care of the stitches as advised by the doctor.
What are the common complications of the postpartum period?
Apart from pregnancy and childbirth, a woman can face many difficulties during the postpartum period. Dr. Tripti Raheja listed the following complications during a conversation with Jagran English about postpartum health care.
* postpartum infections, most commonly in the urinary tract and uterus
* excessive bleeding after childbirth
* postpartum depression
* sleep deprivation
* breast and breastfeeding problems, such as swollen breasts, mastitis or digestive and colorectal problems such as incontinence (both urinary and fecal), constipation and hemorrhoids
* hair loss
* perineal pain (the perineum is the area of skin and muscle between the vaginal opening and the anus)
* vaginal pain
* breast pain and tenderness
* pain at the incision site if a caesarean was performed
* vaginal discharge
What can be the mental effects on women after childbirth?
Giving birth to a child brings many major changes in the life of every woman. These changes are not only physical, but also mental and emotional. From changing your sleep schedule to adjusting to the new responsibilities of caring for a newborn, a mother goes through a lot. This often leads to postpartum depression. According to Dr. Tripti Raheja, postpartum depression is a common condition that affects many new birth parents. It’s a complex mix of physical, emotional and behavioral changes that can occur after childbirth and make you feel depressed.
Here are the signs of postpartum depression:
* A depressed mood for most of the day.
* Difficulty performing typical tasks around the house for your personal care or for your baby.
* Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby. This includes suicidal thoughts.
* Thoughts of hopelessness, anxiety, guilt, panic, or worthlessness.
Posted by: Simran Srivastava