Sexuality and Reproductive Issues after having a Baby!
The period of pregnancy is a prolonged stage. These nine months, women have to lead a very restricted lifestyle for the betterment of their own health and their baby.
They not only have to think about their own self during nine months, but also about the tiny human that is slowly taking shape inside her belly. So, many think that after the delivery of their baby, they can let go off some of their restrictions.
But immediate abandonment of schedules and diets can be harmful for the new mother.
Dealing With the First Six Months Post-Pregnancy
A pregnant woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during those nine months.
After the birth of the child, the mother experiences a rush of feelings and there are a lot of technical terms attached to the parting of the child from the mother’s womb, like post-natal and post-partum.
These words can be associated with the new mother for a period of six weeks. But it does not mean that women can go back to their patter pattern of lifestyle prior to their pregnancy.
After, the initial six months are up. Before finalizing any schedule, it is mandatory to check with the general physician and the gynecologist. It is of utmost importance to get a proper post-natal exam done by the doctor, so that the proper treatment can be received.
It is should be done so as to identify any issue, if they arise, under any circumstances. That would also be the ideal time to talk about contraception, if it hasn’t been considered already.
Facts about the Vaginal Bleeding after Delivery
The term which is often used to refer to vaginal bleeding is ‘lochia’. This continuous period of bleeding usually takes four to six weeks to diminish, after the delivery of the baby. The shade of the blood might range from pink to brown.
If the mother is not breastfeeding her child, then the first period, might take place as early as four weeks after the delivery of the child.
While, for those mothers who carry on with breastfeeding, the average time taken for their periods to return back is not fixed, it depends on numerous variable factors.
Prevention is better than Cure
Just like the saying goes, it is always better to take all the due precautions in time. Therefore, it is advisable to begin the consumption of contraceptives after 21 days post-delivery, provided the new mother is not breastfeeding the baby.
There is a separate code of conduct recommended for IUDs. They are either recommended by the doctors to be inserted sometime, within the initial forty-eight hours of the birth of the baby or around four to eight weeks, post-partum.
Other preventive measures of pregnancy like the injection, whose acronym stands for DMPA, implants and progestogen-only pills can also be initiated post-delivery.
The lactational amenorrhoea method can also be used by those women who are breastfeeding their baby.
This method, more popularly known as LAM can be used for the first six months, only under certain circumstances like the periods must have stopped and the newborn baby has its mother’s milk without long intervals and is not provided with any other supplements apart from water, vitamins and juices.
This procedure has been proven to be 98% effective. Though it must be kept in mind that it is possible for a woman to ovulate before the commencement of her periods, so it is advisable for those mothers who are breastfeeding to use an additional method of contraception, in case they wish to minimize the chances of another pregnancy or evade it.
The Emergence of Depression
It is a very common phenomenon for women to experience what is known as ‘the baby blues’ or more scientifically referred to as post-natal depression, if it continuous for a prolonged period of time. The mother misses her child in her womb.
For a long period of nine months, she had felt a life grow inside her womb, and to suddenly not have the life growing and staying inside your belly, can be a very overwhelming feeling.
Women are known to become depressed, anxious, tearful and experience terrible mood swings (though that might also be a result of the hormonal changes which take place during that period of time, added to the stress of delivery and labor).
These terrible mood swings and depressions generally last till the first week after the birth of the child.
After a period of rest and reconciliation with coherence after the pain of labor and excitement of childbirth, this post natal depression generally goes away and the new mother settles down into her new role.
However, if the symptoms of depression persist after a period of two weeks, then a physician must be contacted. Severe cases of post-natal depression might hamper the ability to function with daily schedules.
It is a treatable illness, but a proper physician must be duly contacted.
Addressing the Issue of Sexuality Post Child Delivery
After the delivery of her child, a woman might take some time before resuming any sexual activity. Delivery is long tiring process which at times has the propensity to take the sexual drive away from some time.
Also, there might be swelling and bruising of the vulva and the vagina post-delivery. Moreover, if it had been a complicated delivery procedure and the mother had needed stitches for an episiotomy or perineal tear, then that region might remain tender and fragile for months, till its gets healed completely.
If it doesn’t get the proper time and treatment to heal properly, then it will result in pain during penetration.
Therefore, the doctors generally advise to try other types of sexual activity which would not involve vaginal penetration, till the region heals completely. The hormonal changes also contribute to the persistent feeling of discomfort and pain.
In case of involuntary tightening of vaginal muscles, it should be treated by a physiotherapist with a specialization in pelvic floor problems.