Normal Physical and Psychological Changes in a Postnatal Mother

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.

Postnatal mother
Fig: Postnatal mother

Danger Signs for the Women During Postnatal Period:

It includes-

  • Excessive vaginal bleeding,
  • Difficulty in breathing,
  • Severe headache/blurred vision,
  • Convulsions/loss of consciousness,
  • Four smelling vaginal discharge,
  • Temperature,
  • Behavior that may suggest she will harm herself or baby.

Normal Physical Changes in a Postnatal Mother:

It includes-

  1. Pulse – Few hours of the after normal delivery pulse rate is slightly raised to be normal during second days.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. Gastro- intestinal tract- Increase thirst & constipation due to slight intestinal paresis.
  2. Weight loss.
  3. Fluid loss – At least 2 liter fluid loss during the first weeks & additional 1.5 liter during the next 5 weeks.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

It includes-

  • Fear & in security regarding baby,
  • Postpartum psychosis,
  • Depression,
  • 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:

  1. What do you mean by post natal period?
  2. What are the danger signs for the women during postnatal period?
  3. List the post natal danger signs.
  4. What are the normal physical changes in a postnatal mother?
  5. What are the normal psychological changes in a postnatal mother?
  6. How to assessing and monitoring women in the first hour after birth?

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