English essayist Leigh Hunt once said, â€œThe groundwork for all happiness is good health.â€ But if you have an embarrassing medical condition, it can make a trip to the doctor feel like youâ€™re part of the freak show from the local carnival.
That is exactly how my wife said that she felt. During the pregnancy and childbirth, and even during a few appointments after, she was prodded and poked to the point that talking about her body was embarrassing.
This held true even when she developed an embarrassing physical condition after giving birth to our child. Telling anyone else, even her doctor, did not seem like an option because she mistakenly assumed that nobody would understand.
She had never been so embarrassed in her life. But the worst part was that she was holding all of this in and trying to deal with it by herself. While she truly is a super mom, nobody expected her to try to be super mom.
Often I would ask her if she was okay, and how was she feeling after giving birth to our firstborn. While she always said she was fine, I sensed something was wrong. Finally one night she blurted out, â€œI hate having to go to the bathroom every five minutes!â€
Common Physical Complaints after Childbirth
A womanâ€™s body is never quite the same after childbirth. Many men, myself included, see women as more beautiful after childbirth but women see their own bodies with a more critical eye. And if an embarrassing health problem arises, they clam up about it.
However life is not a competition to see who can pretend to be the healthiest. If you are a mother experiencing an embarrassing physical problem there is hope for help (or perhaps a complete cure). This is true even if you gave birth months or years ago!
While every womanâ€™s body is different, here are some common ailments and issues that women complain to their doctors about after childbirth. If you are going through one of them, here is proof that you are not alone.
LEAKY BLADDER â€“ Otherwise known as urinary incontinence, physical stress from coughing, sneezing, or even laughing can cause urine to leak out. Because of the way muscles stretch during childbirth, leakage from the bladder is one of the most common post-pregnancy problems.
URINARY FREQUENCY â€“ Another problem among pregnant and postpartum women is the need to urinate more frequently due to a decreased in space for their bladder to expand. Hormonal changes can also play a factor here.
EXTRA GASSY â€“ The muscles and nerves that hold back gas are coincidentally the same ones that support your pelvis and growing uterus during pregnancy. Pelvic rehabilitation can help restore those muscles to their original strength, though.
PAINFUL SEX â€“ This one is embarrassing for both partners. However hormonal changes that affect vaginal lubrication and alter the pelvic floor sometimes contribute to pain during sex. While it is perfectly normal, you should still tell your doctor as soon as possible.
Know that You Are Not Alone
When you consider that nearly 4 million babies entered America last year alone, it is easy to see that you are not alone if you suffer from any of these common, postpartum problems. The good news is that each of the problems above is completely treatable.
For example, the National Association for ContinenceÂ reports that about 80% of all people who experience some type of urinary continence can find improvement or even a cure! But the first step is admitting the problem is there.
Once my wife blurted out her complaint about frequent urination to me, it made it easier to seek stress urinary incontinence help. I offered to go with her for moral support, and while she appreciated the gesture she said this was something she wanted to do alone.
The Importance of Good Health in Mothers
Addressing these issues not only helps treat them, but it is difficult to tackle everything that being a mother entails with the added stress and embarrassment of dealing with a physical health issue like the ones described above.
Facing the inevitable consequences of childbirth headfirst allowed my wife to take steps towards eliminating the problem without suffering through years of embarrassment in silence. I am really proud of her for taking that first step!
About the Author
Denver freelancer Benjamin Baker is a writing addict. He loves the research that goes along with his job whether it is perusing sites like www.bapelvicsurgery.com to gain knowledge about medical conditions or a webpage about the most eco-friendly gutters for Denver homes. When he isnâ€™t working Benjamin enjoys spending time with his wife and their busy, growing teenagers.