Expecting your delivery date can be an overall exciting and nerve-wracking experience, especially knowing that your family will be there to support you during that time. In recent years, however, many studies have been looking into the after-effects of childbirth on mothers. According to the CDC, pregnancy-related complications can arrive that can cause future issues for both the mother and newborn. For the mother, pregnancy-related deaths become a huge risk even before conception. Even with a healthy pregnancy, mothers can also face physical and mental challenges that cause long-term issues.
With this in mind, we’re here to outline these various signs you should watch out for to help you have a happier pregnancy and healthy motherhood for years to come.
Healthy Pregnancies Begin With Healthy Moms
When addressing postpartum deaths associated with pregnancies, these deaths are most often associated with underlying diseases and medical conditions. Conditions such as heart disease, obesity, substance abuse, and diabetes can all lead to complications during pregnancy. It’s essential to maintain your health before conception to help address the many symptoms that arise during pregnancy and the changes women’s bodies go through throughout their trimesters—in these cases, meeting with your gynecologist and primary doctors before conceiving is extremely important for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy postpartum recovery.
Looking out for your well-being during and after your pregnancy is vital. Some of the signs you should look out for include:
- Hemorrhages: Often, the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths after delivery is hemorrhages or excessive bleeding that isn’t recognized and treated quickly enough. Being aware of your symptoms after your delivery is essential, and establishing a hemorrhage protocol with your hospital can help mitigate the risks. Hemorrhages are normal when under control because this excessive bleeding can often occur for up to two weeks after delivery.
- Infection: Obesity and diabetes can lead to an increased risk of infection, specifically skin, uterine, and respiratory infections. Bacteria can easily infect the tissues during this time, and due to a weakened immune system from the intense amount of stress, hormonal changes, and bodily changes that occur during pregnancy, the risk becomes higher after delivery.
- Heart Disease: Heart disease also presents complications for women but is also more difficult to diagnose. Many of the pregnancy symptoms often coincide with heart failure, but symptoms such as trouble breathing while lying flat, coughing up blood, severe headaches, chest pain, and chest palpitations often indicate the warning signs of heart failure. Speaking with your obstetrician about your health and what symptoms to look for will help you address these concerns more clearly.
- Depression: Post-partum depression remains one of the most under noticed causes of death among mothers. Due to its complexity, this form of depression can be difficult to notice firsthand. While the stigma surrounding postpartum depression is slowing, raising awareness for this issue is the key to treating it.
What You Can Do To Be Proactive During Your Pregnancy
For preparing for your delivery date, make sure your associated hospital has hemorrhage and sepsis protocols in place, and meet with your obstetrician to discuss your health issues, medications, and vaccinations before getting pregnant. As women’s health specialists, we are here to help you through all aspects of your pregnancy.