More than a third of women experience lasting health problems after giving birth, according to new research.
A new study, published in The Lancet Global Health, highlights the different medium-term and long-term consequences of labor and childbirth that are being neglected, as well as how to improve how they are handled.
The study notes that although
“This paper addresses these overlooked conditions, arguing that their absence from the global health agenda and national actions plans has led to the misconception that they are uncommon or unimportant,” it reads.
Most medium-term and long-term complications, which are often chronic, emerge six weeks following childbirth, and are either less visible or completely ignored. The study noted that although 140 million women give birth globally every year and don’t have morbidity after six weeks, there are many women who will suffer postpartum complications even with a vaginal birth that had no need for interventions.
Inequality in Maternal Mortality
The most prevalent conditions that women experience are dyspareunia (35 percent), low back pain (32 percent), urinary incontinence (8–31 percent), anxiety (9–24 percent), anal incontinence (19 percent), depression (11–17 percent), tokophobia (6–15 percent), perineal pain (11 percent), and secondary infertility (11 percent).
However, there are other conditions that women experience due to labor and childbirth that are less common, but still have severe effects on women’s health and well-being. These include pelvic organ prolapse, post-traumatic stress disorder, thyroid dysfunction, mastitis, HIV seroconversion, nerve injury, psychosis, venous thromboembolism, and peripartum cardiomyopathy.
The study emphasized this research shows an urgent need for more and better measurement of these conditions.
“We call for greater recognition, improved measurements, and collective actions and funding to prevent and manage medium-term and long-term consequences of labor and childbirth, many of which affect millions of women worldwide,” the study concluded.
“These conditions are not mainstream in the global agenda or national health action plans of many countries, meaning they are not prioritized from a public health perspective. This neglect has led to an unfounded misperception that these conditions are uncommon or unimportant. However the trajectory of a woman’s long-term health, well-being, and quality of life is shaped by her experiences during labor and childbirth, and the quality of care she received at the time.”
- In Gaza, Being a Mother Is a Matter of Life and Death ›
- Maternal Mortality Rates Are 'Unacceptably High,' WHO Reports ›
- Putin Encourages Russian Women to Have ‘8 or More’ Children to Make Up For War Deaths ›
- Hayden Panettiere Wishes She Knew More About Postpartum Depression Before Giving Birth ›
- Women's Health Declining For the First Time in Generations ›
- Scientists May Have Found the Cause of Morning Sickness, Now There's Hope For Treatment ›
- Women and people of color bear the brunt of medical misdiagnosis ›