Normal Physical and Psychological Changes in a Postnatal Mother
Definition of Postnatal Period:
The postnatal period is usually considered the interval extending from the birth of the baby until 6 weeks after. It is the 6 weeks interval between the birth of the newborn and the rectum of the reproductive organs to their normal non-pregnant state. Postnatal care includes systemic examination of the mother & baby and appropriate advice given to the mother during postpartum period.
Danger Signs for the Women During Postnatal Period:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding,
- Difficulty in breathing,
- Severe headache/blurred vision,
- Convulsions/loss of consciousness,
- Four smelling vaginal discharge,
- Behavior that may suggest she will harm herself or baby.
Normal Physical Changes in a Postnatal Mother:
- Pulse – Few hours of the after normal delivery pulse rate is slightly raised to be normal during second days.
- Temperature -Temperature should not be above 99F within the first 24 hours. On the 3rd day there may be slight raise of temperature due to the breast engorgement.
- Urinary tract-
- Bladder wall become oedematous & hyperaemic and shows evidence of submucous extravasation of blood.
- Dilated uterus & pelvis return to normal size within 8 weeks.
- Gastro- intestinal tract- Increase thirst & constipation due to slight intestinal paresis.
- Weight loss.
- Fluid loss – At least 2 liter fluid loss during the first weeks & additional 1.5 liter during the next 5 weeks.
- Blood volume- Immediately following delivery there is a slight decreased of blood volume due to dehydration & blood loss. Blood volume return to normal level by second week.
- Menstruation- It women does not breast feed her baby menstruation return by 6 weeks following delivery in about 40% & by 12 weeks in about 80% of the case.
- Ovulation – In non-lactating mother ovulation may occur as early as 4 weeks. In lactating mother about 10 weeks after delivery.
Normal Psychological Changes in a Postnatal Mother:
- Fear & in security regarding baby,
- Postpartum psychosis,
- Post-partum affecting disorder.
How to Assess and Monitor Women in the First Hour after Birth?
Assessing and monitoring Women in the first hour after birth:
- Abnormal bleeding (how many pads have the woman).
- What does the fundus feel like is it well contracted.
- Lochia colour& smell.
- Does the woman have a headache, visual disturbances, and epigastric pain?
- What are her vital signs: Blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respirations? Has she passed urine? How is she behaving (neurological)?
- Breast feeding: is the baby feeding?
More questions related to this article:
- What do you mean by post natal period?
- What are the danger signs for the women during postnatal period?
- List the post natal danger signs.
- What are the normal physical changes in a postnatal mother?
- What are the normal psychological changes in a postnatal mother?
- How to assessing and monitoring women in the first hour after birth?
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”