May 20, 2019


Don't we all wish that birth was just a smooth and pleasant process where we watch in awe as we give life for like five minutes, hold it in our hands and bounce right out of the hospital in high spirits?

Well, if wishes were horses. We are left to deal with the reality that birth is often a painful process and even if you get the nice injection, you will certainly feel the effect on your body afterward. This effect is mostly felt in the injuries that most women get during birth.

Here are a few things you should know about birth injuries before your delivery:

TYPES OF BIRTH INJURIES TO THE MOTHER

There are five common types of birth injuries to the mother:

Vaginal Tears

This is a fairly common birth injury that occurs it nine out of ten delivering women. It refers to the tearing of the perineum which is the tissue between the vagina and the anus. The extent of the damage can be classified into degrees 1, 2, 3 and 4.

  • 1st-degree tears - These are small and skin-deep cuts found on the outer parts of the perineum. They need a little stitching and heal quickly.
  • 2nd-degree tears - These are deeper, and recovery takes a few weeks. They affect the muscles around the vaginal and the anus.
  • 3rd-degree tears - These are more serious and cause some significant damage to the anal sphincter.
  • 4th-degree tears - These are fatal and should be treated immediately. They cut through the entire perineum and damage the muscles that control the anus.

Post-natal depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is less physical and more mental. This refers to a state of mind of a new mother that makes them depressed, usually resulting from negative experiences they have gone through before, during and after childbirth. Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Difficulty bonding with the new baby
  • Constant crying and emotional breakdowns
  • A feeling of failure and sometimes, a premonition of doom
  • Isolation

Post-Partum Haemorrhage (PPH)

Normally, vaginal bleeding occurs after birth to about six weeks later. It gets lighter until it stops. In some women, however, bleeding continues heavily. This is dangerous and could pose serious health problems and even death. It is classified into primary and secondary PPH.

Ruptured Uterus

This refers to a state where the uterus walls tear. It is common in women who had previous C-sections. It is treated as a medical emergency as it poses a severe threat to both mother and baby.

Prolapsed Uterus

In this injury, one or more organs in the pelvic region bulge into the vagina. This is referred to as a pelvic organ prolapse. It is usually common where labor was exceptionally long, or the baby was huge. A prolapsed uterus slips out of position and into the vagina. While the condition is not particularly life-threatening, it can significantly affect the mother's quality of life.

In conclusion, no mother should ever have to suffer silently as she nurses her newborn. Any birth injuries should be reported to the doctor for proper medical action to avoid unnecessary complications and pain.


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