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The importance of sufficient postpartum care and how it is vital to a successful post-birth experience for both mother and child - Essay Example

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Melissa Greenblatt Birthing Culture – HSOC 334 December 11, 2013 Importance of Postpartum Care Introduction The United States is a highly developed and leading nation in a number of industries such as technology, manufacturing and entertainment; however, when looking at the US birth process, we fail miserably…
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The importance of sufficient postpartum care and how it is vital to a successful post-birth experience for both mother and child
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The importance of sufficient postpartum care and how it is vital to a successful post-birth experience for both mother and child

Download file to see previous pages... This unwillingness to look beyond our own knowledge and experience comes at a high price, as there is momentous statistical proof that mothers in industrialized nations experience a much higher incidence of postpartum difficulties compared to a number of other cultures and countries. This dichotomy is largely a result of industrialized nations disregarding the fact that the postpartum period is a very important time in a woman’s life (1). During this postpartum stage, new mothers are weak, tired and vulnerable, and are thus in need of special treatment. The thesis statement is that: Sufficient postpartum care is vital to a successful post-birth experience for both mother and child. Postpartum Period and its Challenges The postpartum period, also called the fourth trimester, is the period just after birth and subsequent six weeks that follow. Postpartum is regarded as a very important time, and must be acknowledged as distinct from normal life. While this is an enjoyable time as a mother and child are bonding, it is also very exhausting. There are numerous physical and emotional struggles faced by all new mothers after delivery that are intricately tied to five major physiological changes that occur postpartum (5). The physical side effects felt by most women that require healing include the uterus and the uterine wall regaining pre-pregnant size. Complete healing of the uterus requires six weeks or more of rest and relaxation for the area. Additionally, pelvic floor and vaginal muscles must be restored as they may tear or stretch during birth and the abdominal wall must rebuild as the elastic fibers get ruptured. On a more emotional basis, mother’s experience many bring changes in their hormone levels. After giving birth, a mother’s estrogen and progesterone levels are significantly lower than during pregnancy. These lower hormone levels may impact the mother’s mood, body functions, digestion and ability to sleep (5). It has been reported that a large reason for postpartum maternal morbidities are due to this fatigue or tiredness experienced by new mothers. Moreover, fatigue is found to correlate to postpartum depressive symptoms, breastfeeding problems, a mother’s ability to respond to the cry of her newborn, and her overall response time to her child’s needs (2). Poor maternal health, physically and emotionally, can also affect the child’s overall physical health and behavior. For example, it has been shown that a mother in poor physical health may have a child that throws more frequent tantrums or may have difficulty playing with other children (2). Post delivery, a mother is both emotionally and physically drained; and thus, needs adequate time and support to recuperate, recover and relax (1). The Role of Oxytocin Oxytocin, also known as the “love” hormone, released during labor and the postpartum period plays a very important role in the forming of the mother-child relationship. A study done by Shelley Taylor shows that oxytocin is linked to a female’s desire to tend to vulnerable offspring and to befriend with those around her. However, the environment that the mother is in greatly affects the production and function of this hormone. If a woman is unable to tend to her baby because she is not rested and taken care of, or if she does not have people around her to befriend, she will exhibit feelings and behaviors of distress. It has been proven that when in concurrence with positive contacts ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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