Advice Given To Women During The Postnatal Period

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Advice Given To Women During the Postnatal Period Who Have Suffered a Second Degree Tear

Advice Given To Women During the Postnatal Period Who Have Suffered a Second Degree Tear

Information available to women once they have a baby is sadly lacking. All the focus of information is mainly on the pregnancy and birth. The postnatal period begins from birth and ends when the baby is six weeks of age. The postnatal period is a very special time where women undergo the transition into motherhood. For during pregnancy it can be very difficult to comprehend just what being mother will be like. However once the baby is born women have no option but to face major changes in their lives. The changes women undergo do not just include the physical changes that occur from the birth, but social and psychological changes as well. Each woman's experience is different. However it is not unusual for a woman to take time emotionally and personally feel to like they have 'become a mother'. A woman's experience as new mother is shaped by her past experiences. These experiences include the nature of her baby, prior experience with babies and the amount of support available to her.

Commonly women feel that the experience of mothering a new baby is very challenging. Women often feel drained as their role is all consuming. Tiredness is a common problem. Some women find that they feel alone or isolated - this is particularly evident in women who have worked full time and have not built a support network. Women also report a sense of loss. Be that a loss of time, freedom or loss of control. However once women grow in their confidence of parenting their new baby the challenges begin to ease. By acquiring knowledge and skills about caring for a newborn baby - women are able to work it out and enjoy this wonderful part of life (Barclay, Everitt, Rogan, Schmied and Wyllie, 1997).

The physical changes a woman experiences after birth are dramatic and amazing. Once the baby and the placenta have been born, the uterus begins to shrink. After birth the uterus weighs nearly one kilogram, by six weeks it weights approximately 100 grams. The process by which the uterus shrinks is not very well understood, but it appears that the muscle fibers of the uterus are gradually broken down. The uterus continues to contract after birth to control any bleeding. These contractions can cause lower abdominal pain (or afterbirth pains) in some women. These afterbirth pains tend to be worse in women who have had a baby before.

Women experience a vaginal blood loss known as lochia. Lochia is like a heavy period loss for the first twelve hours after birth and then begins to slow down. The lochia is usually bright red in color for the first couple of days, then changes to a pinky, brown color which can continue for up to four weeks after the ...
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