Having a baby can really play havoc on a womans body, and so often we're so busy wrapped up in our roles as new mums that we neglect our own health needs.
When I had my first child I was truly shocked at just how many after effects I had from the pregnancy and birth, and how many aspects of the my health and overall wellbeing had been affected.
It's so important to ensure that we're looking ourselves as well as our babies in the months following giving birth, here are 5 things to keep a check on.
Changes in hormones, metabolism and blood circulation during pregnancy can have an effect on your vision. In most cases the changes are temporary, but 10% of women report that the deterioration of their eyesight during pregnancy did not correct itself following the birth of their baby.
If you feel that your vision has been effected, make an appointment with a reputable opticians such as Optical Express to have yourself checked - if you already have prescription lenses they may need to be updated.
Following on from the birth of a baby, you may find yourself more susceptible to infections than normal - bladder, kidney and urinary infections are those which most commonly affect women post-natally. If you're experiencing symptoms of an infection don't brush it off as post-birth healing or pain, see your GP as you may need to be given antibiotics.
Although it can be embarrassing to talk about, incontinence affects a high number of women after giving birth - it's estimated that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK suffer with incontinence and a large percentage of cases occur after pregnancy and vaginal delivery in particular.
There is really no need to feel embarrassed and you don't need to suffer in silence, as your Dr can help in a number of ways - such as suggesting exercises to regain your muscle & bladder control, suggestions certain products and sometimes surgery can be used to rectify particularly acute problems.
Post Natal Depression
Post natal depression affects around 1 in 7 women after giving birth, and symptoms include a low mood, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, loss of libido, excessive fatique and a feeling of not being able to cope.
It can be difficult to recognise the signs of post natal depression in yourself but if you are worried that it might be effecting you, speak to your GP - don't wait to see if it will pass, the sooner you speak to someone the better.
With life so hectic after having a baby, your own healthcare appointments can fall by the wayside but if there's one thing you must ensure you do it's to keep up to date with cervical smears. If you are due a smear, you can book in for one 12 weeks after your baby is born.
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