Most Common Health Problems of New Moms

Mar 26, 2009
For many women motherhood is associated with feelings of joy and happiness. Having a baby affects your emotional and physical health in many ways. Dealing with body changes, tiredness and sleep deprivation, depression and problems in sex life can be hard especially during the first months after childbirth. What are the most common health problems of new mothers and how can you improve your health to feel the excitement of motherhood in full?


Continuous feeling of tiredness is well-known to most new moms. Dramatic changes in your life that appeared with a new member of your family can bring not only joys of motherhood, but physical and emotional exhaustion. You may also feel helpless in this situation as taking care of your baby and supporting your physical reserves can be quite difficult.
  • Eat healthy food to make sure your body gets all the essential nutrients to maintain necessary energy level.
  • Do not be ashamed to ask for help your family members and friends. Take some time for yourself. It is enough to spend at least some time without your baby to feel refreshed.
  • Moderate exercising can help you fight with chronic fatigue and is a good way to get your body back to its pre-pregnancy state.

Sleep Deprivation

You baby lives according to its own schedule and unfortunately this schedule may not coincide with your daily routine. Sleepless nights and exhaustion can not only undermine your ability to care for your baby, but also affect your health. It is known that sleep deprivation influences your quality of life and overall health, leading to increased risk of such conditions as obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. That's why it is important to maintain good sleep habits.
  • Sleep when your baby is sleeping throughout the day. It is especially important during the first months after childbirth when your baby is adapting to its new life and you are recovering after giving birth.
  • Limit your time spent on TV watching or computer, which can make it difficult for you to relax properly and sleep.
  • Some women may choose to co-sleep with their babies, because it is easier for them to breastfeed, but it is recommended to share your opinion on sleep-sharing with your partner.

Postpartum depression

It is not uncommon for new moms to feel depressed after childbirth. The overwhelming responsibility for a baby, tiredness, sleep problems and hormonal changes can lead to postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a serious condition that affects your health and your ability to care for a baby. It is important to discuss this problem with people close to you to get help.
  • Keep to healthy habits, eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly.
  • Discuss your condition and stay in touch with your friends and family.
  • Limit your daily tasks and get more rest. Take some time for yourself and get a walk in the fresh air as often as possible.
  • Meet other women, who have babies, to share your interests and concerns.

Weight Gain

One of the most disturbing things for new moms is weight gain after childbirth. Women gain weight during pregnancy to support their health and their baby's development. It takes two to twelve months after childbirth for most women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. In some cases it may take a somewhat longer for a new mother to lose weight.
  • Eating for two is not necessary for a breastfeeding mom. You need only 500 extra calories a day to meet the breastfeeding demands.
  • It is important to get all the nutrients, keeping to a well-balanced diet, including proteins, fat and carbohydrates, during nursing.
  • Lose weight slowly as rapid weight loss is not good for your and your baby's health. Nursing moms may notice that breastfeeding helps them lose weight faster.

Sex problems

For many women getting back to their sex life can be difficult and distressing. The most common sex problems after childbirth are pain during intercourse, lack of vaginal lubrication due to decreased levels of hormones and low sex drive. Also many women just feel too exhausted to have sex, which adds to the existent sex problems.
  • Do not force things up, as it can take some time before sex becomes pleasurable for you.
  • Use personal lubricants especially if you have vaginal dryness to make sex more enjoyable.
  • Try some alternatives to sexual intercourse, like oral sex, erotic massage or manual stimulation.
  • Ask your partner for longer foreplay or talk about other ways to connect intimately for better arousal.

Hair Loss

Many women are worried to notice increased hair loss several months after childbirth. However, hair loss after childbirth is absolutely normal and doesn't mean any medical problem. During pregnancy, many women notice that their hair grows thicker and longer due to the increased level of estrogen. After childbirth, the level of estrogen drops and most of your hair is in resting stage, falling out for several months. There is no reason to be concerned since your hair will be back to its normal state between 6 and 12 months after childbirth.
  • Change your hairstyle, for example, cutting your hair short if you have longer hair.
  • Use hair products that can increase the hair volume during this period.

Poor memory

One more surprising thing after childbirth for many new mothers is forgetfulness. In fact, scientists say that difficulty to remember things is not a medical problem, but an absolutely normal thing for new moms. It is explained by the fact that women's level of estrogen is low after childbirth especially during breastfeeding, while estrogen is known to act as neurotransmitter. Secondly, new mothers adapt to a new life with a baby, being concerned about baby's care in the first place. Also poor memory is a kind of defense mechanism that switches on after tiresome and painful childbirth.
  • Make your to-do list to remember important tasks. Planning your day is also helpful in organizing your daily routine more efficiently.
  • Improve your memory, using simple techniques like visualizing things or making associations between things.