The complications and long term health implications of pregnancy and childbirth

(146 Posts)
FestiviaBlueberry Sat 05-Jan-13 01:02:59

I've been thinking about this in relation to abortion.

One of the things which strikes me, is how casual the forced-birthers are about the idea of forcing women to carry and bear children they don't want. "It's only 9 months!" they cry, as if nine months of morning sickness and bone degeneration is nothing and 24 hours of physical torture followed by lifelong incontinence is irrelevant.

I'd like to compile a list of side effects caused or exacerbated by pregnancy and birth because I'd like to do a blog post about it. My basic fury about this, is how women's lives are so marginal, that most people have NO CLUE about the very real short, medium and long term risks and side effects of pregnancy and birth - even when they become pregnant. Only if you get one of the conditions, or know someone who has, do you ever find out about the things you can suffer from as a result of pregnancy.

And if men were told that they would have to endure one of these conditions, in order to keep their child alive when they hadn't planned it and didn't want it, they would ... well, WTF am I on about really, no-one would ever tell men that they have to endure these health impacts for the sake of someone else without positively choosing to endure them.

So off the top of my head, here are the ones I can think of:

Constant nausea for months
Increased risk of osteoporosis
Diabetes, sometimes permanent - anyone know any stats on this?
SPD
Fistula
Stress incontinence
The other type of incontinence which you get from Caesarean sections, the name of which escapes me (anyone?)
Eclampsia
Pre-eclampsia
PTSD
PND
Mastitis

I googled "long term side effects of pregnancy" and literally, found one entry - which listed stretch marks, sagging breasts and average 5lb weight retention.

Looks like there's a bit of a silence on this and I don't think there should be.

Any help much appreciated! smile

Sorry!

AlwaysOneMissing Sat 05-Jan-13 09:00:17

AbigailAdams I too suffer terribly with my coccyx since pregnancy/birth and came on here to state it. You are the first other person I've heard of with the same thing. My coccyx now points straight down instead of curling under, so I am constantly sitting on the end of the bone, with the pressure going directly up my spine. That loss of curvature at the bottom means that my lower spine seems to have no 'shock absorbency' any more. Is this how yours feels?
I have no idea if this is something that can be treated/fixed but I am already worried this going to cause me ongoing and worsening problems sad

NeedlesCuties Sat 05-Jan-13 09:01:38

I ended up with anal fissures after DC2 was born. She is +4 months now and even now it still hurts and bleeds to poo. Seriously in the early weeks it was like the pain of crowning again sad

You can add that delightful one to the list.

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 09:08:00

Not seeing the man-bashing myself Jammy, other than pointing out men probably wouldn't have to put up with the long-term effects many women do. (and a lot of pro-birthers are men and men are the ones who for centuries have been insisting on interfering with births/pregnancy/feeding babies i.e. anything controlled by women)

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 09:09:33

Yes it is Always. Although probably not quite as bad as yours sad

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 09:13:06

Maybe Doctrine is right and they are dislocated. I had a forceps delivery btw and it was put down to bruising at the hospital.

AlwaysOneMissing Sat 05-Jan-13 09:18:28

Yes maybe they had been dislocated. I wasn't even aware that was possible! This has spurred me on to make an appt with my GP to see if anything can be done about it. Good luck getting yours sorted with chiropractor.

(Sorry for thread hijack everyone)

AlwaysOneMissing Sat 05-Jan-13 09:19:45

Ps Mine was normal delivery, but pushing for over an hour so maybe continued pressure from the head pushed it out of line?

Lessthanaballpark Sat 05-Jan-13 09:29:39

I love this thread! The other day my friend was bemoaning the fact that she may never have children because she is getting to that age and hasn't met anyone "special" yet. In an effort to make her feel better I showed her a picture of a prolapse. I think it worked!!

Casmama Sat 05-Jan-13 09:35:22

Episiotomy and despite assurances the stitches do sometimes burst. Incredibly the don't restitch but leave it to heal on its own so you end up with a vaginal opening that looks like a speech bubble in a comic. I don't know if they would do anything to fix this further down the line as I have been too embarrassed to speak to my GP about it.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 05-Jan-13 10:03:01

this is rather more trivial than many, but those brown patches that appear on your face? I still have mine. They won't go away now.

The sore and painful joints I got after giving birth. I had to crawl downstairs each morning as my feet hurt so much. Lasted about a year. I thought I had arthritis, but MN confirmed it was a not that unusual complication of pregnancy. My GP didn't know this.

TheElfOnThePanopticon Sat 05-Jan-13 10:24:43

Medium to long-term health problems are plantar fasciitis and lower back pain. In my case, though, that's mire than compensated for by massively improved mental health. I realise that it isn't relevant to the original premise of the thread, as being forced to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is not going to improve ant woman's mental health, but I know a lot if women who had pretty bad depression before having kids (in severity tango.g from months off work to hospitalization) who were very worried about having children because we heard all the horror stories of pnd and sleep-deprivation etc, only to find out that pregnancy and breastfeeding seemed to kick our hormones back into shape.

FestiviaBlueberry Sat 05-Jan-13 11:28:13

"am not sure why this thread started with a men-bashing element. "

It didn't.

It pointed out that no man would be expected to undergo some of the horrific complications and risks that women are expected to, in order to punish him for being unlucky with contraception. Because men's lives matter and it would be considered really cruel to punish them like this. (And IMO it would be really cruel to inflict this sort of punishment on a man. Somehow though, the same people who can see how awful this would be for a man, have a total empathy bypass when it comes to women. They shrug and say "should have kept her legs shut then, shouldn't she". Because they simply don't think women are quite as human as men and seeing it down in black and white, brings that brutal attitude to women into relief, IMO.)

While many people have genuinely held moral reasons to oppose abortion, most of the ones I come across, oppose abortion out of simple misogyny. They really do think that it's no biggie to go through pregnancy and birth and I do think it's useful to point out just what a biggie it can be. I think because women tend not to mention the medium and long term impacts of their child-bearing, it's a bit of our life experience that is simply not visible and I think it bleedin' well ought to be.

I'd be interested in getting percentages if anyone has any info or can point me to any good sites.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 12:46:33

Festivia, CherryBlossomLife might be able to help stats wise. She is really good on this type of stuff. I expect you can ask her through her blog site.

BartletForTeamGB Sat 05-Jan-13 12:52:10

"While many people have genuinely held moral reasons to oppose abortion, most of the ones I come across, oppose abortion out of simple misogyny. They really do think that it's no biggie to go through pregnancy and birth and I do think it's useful to point out just what a biggie it can be."

I have complicated difficult pregnancies, but I still wouldn't end the life of an unborn baby because of that (or any other reason other than that my life was in danger).

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 12:55:37

And that's your perogative Bartlet. If you don't want an abortion don't have one. For many women they don't even get the choice you have, of abortion to save their own lives.

FestiviaBlueberry Sat 05-Jan-13 13:00:55

Lunaticfringe I'm so sorry that happened to you.

Bartlet, that's not what this thread is about. I'm not really interested in people's views on abortion per se, just in what the short, medium and long term effects of pregnancy and birth are. smile

FestiviaBlueberry Sat 05-Jan-13 13:01:22

Thanks for the heads up re cherryblossomlife, Abigail, will contact her.

perplexedpirate Sat 05-Jan-13 13:06:48

My personal physical after effects include very painful hips (thankfully recently reduced from both hips to just the left) that is still bad enough to wake me in the night.
Massively reduced libido.
OCD, anxiety disorder and PND, for which I am still taking ADs and about to embark on CBT therapy.
DS is 5 and will be an only one!

snowshapes Sat 05-Jan-13 13:08:20

I read in The Herald yesterday that maternal mortality has risen in Scotland. I only read the headline in passing though, would be curious to know the reasons.

perplexedpirate Sat 05-Jan-13 13:09:13

Should add the DS was planned, very much wanted after MC and would go through it all three times over for him!

AlwaysOneMissing Sat 05-Jan-13 14:58:52

LunaticFringe I am so sorry that you lost your DD. So very sad xxx

EmilyMurphyLegallyAPerson Sat 05-Jan-13 15:49:27

Cherryblossomlove's blog is utterly brilliant.

Asthma's another one that never gets mentioned. Asthma appears to be influenced by hormones and during pregnancy 1/3 of women's asthma remains the same, 1/3 improves and roughly a 1/3 gets a lot worse. With my first pregnancy, my asthma got slightly worse and I had several bad attacks. It improved two years after giving birth and I came off all asthma meds. With my second pregnancy, I was hospitalised numerous times with serious attacks. Most were only day admissions requiring nebulisers but I did end up in for several days once. It has been 6 years now and I'm only slowly getting my breathe back properly.

Also, developed fibromyalgia.

5madthings Sat 05-Jan-13 15:53:44

Yep my asthma got worse in preg as did my eczema. My eczema was awful actuallu, drs couldnt believe how bad it was and it has never settled down again. Agsin 1/3 find it gets better, 1/3 stays same and 1/3 gets worse. Domething to di with hormones.

Post natal psychosis, i had it after ds4. Truly awful experience i wouldnt wish on my worst enemy.

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