Postpartum nightmares: what could possibly go wrong after giving birth

When we think of pregnancy and childbirth, we typically picture an extraordinary, emotional period. A woman’s body undergoes profound changes during pregnancy and adapts in beautiful ways to make room for her child. 

However, while this process is pretty miraculous, it can also come with its fair share of side effects. The process doesn’t end when we deliver the baby – in fact, it marks the beginning of a whole new chapter in the child-rearing process. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes tend to gloss over the downside of giving birth. There are several emotional and physical changes that a woman experiences postpartum, which can be incredibly uncomfortable and jarring. 

A lot can go wrong if you don’t know which signs to look out for. So, below we’ll talk about some of the most common complications.

Birth injuries

Birth injuries are some of the biggest concerns postpartum, and they have a profound effect on the whole family. Pre-natal complications, although unfortunate, are entirely unpreventable. However, birth injuries can alter the course of your and your child’s life while being altogether preventable. 

Also read: Talking to Children About Cancer

Furthermore, birth injuries are often undetectable until years or months after birth. Typical forms of birth injuries include cerebral palsy, where the baby suffers from head trauma or lack of oxygen to the brain, or other forms of brain damage. 

Erb’s palsy, newborn jaundice, and infant hematoma are other preventable conditions that can severely impact newborns. If you feel that your child suffered a birth injury, it’s never too late to file a birth injury suit. 

This lawsuit can help you hold negligent practitioners accountable and get the support you need to deal with your child’s condition. Finding the best birth injury lawyer can help you receive financial compensation for the years of trauma your family experienced.

Infection and sepsis

Birth giving can be an incredibly messy process, and most new mothers are at a high risk of developing an infection postpartum. Giving birth can mess with your immunity level, and you can be incredibly vulnerable to developing a range of conditions. 

Most commonly, women experience infections at the wound site. If the perineum has been cut or torn during birth, it can quickly become an infection site even after stitches. Furthermore, many women can experience mastitis, urinary infections, uterine issues, and respiratory problems.

With diligent care, it can be possible to keep these postpartum complications at bay. It’s important to go easy on your body and give it time to heal and recover in the days following birth. An ice pack can be your new best friend, and it can help you immensely when dealing with swelling, soreness, and pain. 

Furthermore, it’s vital to clean all wound sites carefully and to ensure that you keep an eye out for signs of infection. Antibiotics can clear up issues detected fast, but you may be at risk for sepsis if you delay.

Mood disorders

Although less talked about, experiencing mood disorders postpartum is easily one of the most common experiences. 1 in 5 women experiences mood disorders postpartum, making it the most common complication postpartum. 

Some cases can be ‘baby blues,’ and women can experience heightened emotions in this period. However, in some cases, the situation can escalate into postpartum depression, which can have a significant, negative impact on the mother and child’s life. 

Postpartum depression is a somewhat taboo topic because we often expect women to be ecstatic after childbirth while ignoring the fact that their hormones are all over the place and that they’re going through a traumatic experience.

These mood disorders are often caused by a ‘perfect storm of biological, genetic, social, and environmental factors. Some women may be genetically predisposed to developing postpartum depression. 

Experiencing postpartum depression can be incredibly traumatic for the mother, keeping her from bonding with her baby. Fluctuating hormones can make the situation worse, as can social expectations we have upon entering parenthood. Support and timely intervention can keep this issue from escalating into something serious.

Excessive bleeding

Childbirth can be incredibly challenging for the body to handle, and especially for new mothers. A standard vaginal delivery without complications can cause the mother to lose more than 500ml of blood. 

In typical cases, blood stops flowing once the mother delivers the baby. However, in some cases, the uterus can fail to contract fully and can cause excessive bleeding.

There are also cases where excessive bleeding is instantaneous and can occur after 24 hours of delivery. However, if some parts of the placenta are still attached, extra bleeding can occur up to 12 weeks after delivery. 

This Excessive bleeding can cause organ failure, low blood pressure, shock, and even death, depending on the amount of blood lost.


Although birth and the subsequent child-rearing process can be a wonderful time, it’s also vital to understand the risks that come with it. New mothers need to know the issues they can encounter to be better prepared to watch out for the warning signs. 

Delaying interventions can change the trajectory of an entire family and cause unnecessary issues. The post-natal period is just as sensitive as the pre-natal one, and it’s vital to ensure that the mother and baby get the care and support they need.

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