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?
Stress incontinence
The other type of incontinence which you get from Caesarean sections, the name of which escapes me (anyone?)

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

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 01:38:56

I agree entirely. Wasn't a study done recently that showed that the mental health of women who'd had an abortion was better than that of women who'd carried on the pregnancy?

Some more for your list:
Urge incontinence
Back pain
Varicose veins
Dental problems
Urinary dysfunction
Sexual problems (libido, sensations)
Splitting of chest muscles (can't remember term, but colleague could fit a fist in the space between her muscles)

(Disclaimer: I don't have children, and some of these are half-remembered from friends and family)

ArtexMonkey Sat 05-Jan-13 02:05:33

When I was pg and being treated for SPD I met a woman who was still on crutches with it four months after giving birth. I think there was/is a poster on mn who is still disabled by it over a decade after having her dc.

Me and my sister both have been left on thyroxine for the rest of our lives after getting post partum hyperthyroidism, my thyroid was damaged and went from overactive to under active, and my sister had to have hers removed altogether.

FrancesFarmer Sat 05-Jan-13 02:25:14

Good thread. It really gets my goat when clueless men go on about how easy pregnancy is.

kickassangel Sat 05-Jan-13 02:31:25


I've been presenting at gps for a decade with all the symptoms without it being taken seriously. Nearly fecking died before I got put on the meds. 9 Months on I am now down to 6 prescriptions a day to deal with all the side effects and ongoing problems due to having been so ill.

I had a pregnancy book with a chapter about side effects. (Not serious illnesses, there was a separate chapter for those). I didn't have varicose veins, but every single other side effect I had.

I'm just starting an MA on womens & Gender studies, and seriously want to look at women & health.

I work with someone who can't sit down due to post-natal problems shock

She has also had serious diarrhea and vomiting for over a year and been told that it could be two years before her body returns to normal after endless morning sickness!

I work in the US and we have good health insurance - the lack of care for my colleague is NOT due to lack of NHS funding, but a basic attitude towards women's health which needs to be re-examined.

Jessepinkman Sat 05-Jan-13 02:33:23

But it really pisses me off when men go on about how difficult it is.

I had a back to back at home. No man will ever tell me that felt.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 02:37:59

One of my friends had a back to back. Her baby is 8 months old but her back is in a bad state.

Zwitterion Sat 05-Jan-13 03:54:43

Mental health too.

Any existing MH conditions are often exacerbated by pregnancy. OCD can be triggered/get worse post partum. Pre-natal anxiety and depression is generally not discussed but common.

Plus PND of course.

rcs19 Sat 05-Jan-13 04:22:24

Thrombosis- deep vein and superficial vein. My midwife said dvt is the biggest killer of pregnant women/new mums, don't know if this is right. I currently have svt in my leg (pregnancy related, dd is 3 weeks old) and have to do daily anticoagulant injections.

DoItToJulia Sat 05-Jan-13 05:07:43

My blood pressure increased and is now routinely higher than it was pre pregnancy. My GP said up may never go back to pre preggo levels. He also said that pregnancy is a window of later life.

Nandocushion Sat 05-Jan-13 05:24:05

"Clueless men", FrancesFarmer? Haven't we all been on MN long enough to know that there are plenty of clueless women who go on about how natural it all is, and how our bodies are created to deal with it, and how it will all be fine and stop thinking you need to be in a hospital blah blah blah?

I don't have anything like the conditions you all state above. But I am a poster child for not waiting until you're post-35 to give birth. It isn't pretty, and no, Nature won't just take care of you.

noblegiraffe Sat 05-Jan-13 06:53:10

I was thinking about this when I was given the consent form for my c-section and had to tick off that I'd gone through each risk with the consultant, like cutting my bladder (1 in every blah), haemorrhage (1 in blah), death (1 in blah). I was wondering what a similar form for vaginal birth would look like and whether anyone would ever get pregnant if they had to sign one at the start.

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Sat 05-Jan-13 07:11:22

Add carpal tunnel to your list.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 05-Jan-13 07:18:35

I wonder if all the "it's only 9 months" folks donate blood? It's only an hour, a few times a year, and it definitely saves lives.

Back on topic. You can get ante-natal depression as well as post.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Sat 05-Jan-13 07:21:14

Very good points. I would like to add that nipple thrush caused my nipple to permanently invert. Whilst it is not the same as the more severe conditions, it affected my confidence and self esteem. It still does.

Bearandcub Sat 05-Jan-13 07:23:21

What about;
Perinatal anxiety or depression
Sleep deprivation
Change of body shape - breasts and hips do not return to form prior to pregnancy. There are implications for psychology harm there alone.
Guilt and self-loathing from giving child up or not bonding if kept.
There is also the negative impact on finances that will affect mental health too.
Eye prescription change.
Dental health -I lost a tooth with DS2.
Hair colour change
Hormonal effects on pre-existing conditions ie psoriasis, acne, etc
Memory implications!!!!

saffronwblue Sat 05-Jan-13 07:25:07

I just read an article about a women who is permanently quadriplegic after the anaesthetist mistakenly injected her with antiseptic during an epidural. She has never been able to hold her baby and will need full time carers for life.

With my first daughter I had retained products and was very ill for two years. I started seeing the doctor after 6 months who refused to refer me as apparently she was a gynaecologist..even though I had private insurance. She examined me and told me to keep a diary of symptoms for 6 months which I had already been doing but she refused to look at it, many exams and her showing me pictures of her boyfriend at appointments later and I changed gp. I managed to get refered and was in surgery a week later. I had two years of pain, bleeding, exhaustion, anaemia, loss of interest in life and my husband because of childbirth and the incompetence and lack of understanding of my gp.

More for the list -
Lowering of the immune system
Change in digestive system
Hip pain
Muscle tears

weegiemum Sat 05-Jan-13 07:35:01

I developed kidney stones in pregnancy - passed stones every day for months and months, I was in agony, on morphine, had an air ambulance transfer and early induction of dd2 (had also had this - more mildly - with ds). I've got permanent kidney and bladder scarring and still get a lot of UTIs because of it.

'cascade' renal colic in pregnancy is supposedly very rare but 2 of my friends have had something similar. I was in hospital 30 times in 30 months with this.

Strangely enough, I also had pnd!

Bearandcub Sat 05-Jan-13 07:37:35

Gallbladder issues most common post-pregnancy in women.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Sat 05-Jan-13 07:38:55

Erm, I tore my retina <outs self totally> when pushing out DD. obviously needed surgery when my whole retina started coming off, so you can add blindness to your list!

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Sat 05-Jan-13 07:41:01

Oh, and sciatica (during pregnancy definitely). I now have it on the other side, but only since giving birth so I don't know if its related.

PeppaPrig Sat 05-Jan-13 07:42:35

Post-birth complications. Poor stitching followed by repair op months later (google Fenton's Procedure). Natural, no pain relief, quick and easy birth here followed by hours in surgery and bits that look like Frankenstein!

Makinglists Sat 05-Jan-13 07:50:25

Carpal tunnel in both wrists needing surgery 6 mths after DS1
Chronic back/knee pain after DS2
MM issues

Makinglists Sat 05-Jan-13 07:53:17

Should have said MH issues - probably mis-typed as my eye sight has got worse since DS2 (though that may be age related as I'm early 40's - though decline was quite rapid around that time)

HoleyGhost Sat 05-Jan-13 07:55:33

I often wonder if these long term costs are taken into account when allocating resources to postnatal and maternity care.

Long term effects - especially PTSD, PND, incontinence and sexual dysfunction - are so very common. Some of it could be avoided with better care.

Bearandcub Sat 05-Jan-13 07:57:09

Snoring and sleep apnoea

Bearandcub Sat 05-Jan-13 07:58:49

Completely agree HoleyGhost.

wanderingalbatross Sat 05-Jan-13 08:03:30

Fatigue - not a medical thing but constant tiredness (in my case for the whole 9 months) has a huge effect on day to day life.

And if I remember correctly, the NICE guidelines on gestational diabetes have stats in.

Amongst many post birth issues I had nerve damage that left my foot and lower leg unable to move for about 6 weeks (really useful if you are trying to care for a newborn). It is called drop foot and I am not sure if it can be permanent. You can also add PTSD and anal fissures to you list.

Bearandcub Sat 05-Jan-13 08:09:21

Fatigue is not just for pregnancy sad

Bearandcub Sat 05-Jan-13 08:10:25

Much much more minor than breatheslowly's but
Restless Leg Syndrome

SmallIWantForXmasIsA6ft2Dwarf Sat 05-Jan-13 08:11:33

Side effects I suffered during pregnancy included carpel tunnel, sciatica, vomiting, SPD and separated stomach muscles. My hair also changed colour as someone mentioned above which I found bizarre.
During birth I had an episiotomy and assisted delivery with DS1 and a 3rd degree tear with DS 2 with postnatal infections and PND caused I believe by the trauma of that birth. I couldn't (mentally) have sex for 6 months and then only did because I felt I ought to. It probably took 2 years minimum for me to actually enjoy sex again.

I would also add to the list issues regarding prolapses.

wanderingalbatross Sat 05-Jan-13 08:15:06

bearcub I don't get your point? I know fatigue isn't just for pregnancy, but neither are many of the other complications listed on the thread.

Bearandcub Sat 05-Jan-13 08:22:31

It wasn't a dig wandering I'm just fucking knackered from being up half the night with DS2.

Call it typing without thinking wink. Also the reason why I'm back and forth as cannot remember anything.

Levantine Sat 05-Jan-13 08:23:07

Dental problems, sciatica, incontinence.

I'm glad you started this thread, I had no idea before having my dc about any of this

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 08:24:41

I still have coccyx issues 3 yrs after giving birth. Not sure if that counts as back issues (or just sitting on harder surfaces issues!). And my SPD isn't fully sorted.

Things like flexibility are also affected. Probably doesn't affect the average woman but if you enjoy sport it could have a detrimental effect.

There are also things that could affect further pregnancies/births such as that blood issue when the mother is -ve and baby is +ve or vice versa (sorry can't remember the name), repeat tearing, heart problems and I am sure there are others. There is a woman in Relationships at the moment who is being pressured by her husband to have further children despite having severe pregnancy related health risks.

And does fibromyalgia present itself more frequently during/post-pregnancy?

wanderingalbatross Sat 05-Jan-13 08:29:19

bearcub was just wondering if I'd missed the point smile (Also tired from non-sleeping child and pregnancy sad )

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 05-Jan-13 08:29:38

Yeah - I think there is increased chance of injury if you do sport whilst pregnant as you are more flexible and can overextend.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 05-Jan-13 08:30:18

AA - did you dislocate your coccyx during birth? sad

I'm not sure I agree with the principal of making a horrifying "what can go wrong" list as it may skew women's perceptions of normal pregnancy and delivery, however

I was on a thread recently which was about why should a man pay for a child he'd asked the woman to abort? (let's discount now the idea that he should actually be involved any more than financially)

Lots of wailing about how it wasn't faaaaair on the poor man - why should he have to pay for a child he'd asked the woman to abort? I made the point that life, pregnancy and childbirth itself isn't faaaair, and on the whole it's not faaaair towards the woman - only women suffer the physical effects of pregnancy and childbirth. While deaths in childbirth are rare, I imagine severe short term or long term problems as a direct result of pregnancy and childbirth are not.

I agree with NandoCushion. I'd never underestimate the physical and psychological effects of pregnancy and birth, but am not sure why this thread started with a men-bashing element. I have far more of an issue with unsympathetic women who've had a problem free time of it and think anyone with any pregnancy or post-natal condition is playing it up (and yes I've met a few).

My point being was that no one cares when women are disproportionately affected - that is their lot in life. But have the smallest amount of injustice towards a man and people will take notice.

addictedismoving Sat 05-Jan-13 08:47:27

my cfs was made worse by pregnancy, I led a fairly normal life until then.
I also have a problem with my PI joint in my pelvis being out of line, hugely painful and the physio's answer was 'well if yoyu were to have another baby it might sort its self out during that pregnancy' hmm
and so many others on this list. dd2 is 11 months and I still have piles, problems with my bowels, having sex, pains where my tear from dd1 was.

And I know this may sound really minor and stupid, but my feet grew! I cant wear some of my favirote shoes anymore because my feet grew 1.5 sizes and have never gone back, same with my hands swelling up and I'm unable to wear my wedding ring. Even tho I've gone back to pre preg size my hands and feet have never returned

I'm confused about the purpose of this thread now. Is it about abortion choices, apportionment of medical funding, awareness of ante and post natal conditions, something else?

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 08:51:17

I don't know Doctrine, actually! It was very painful sitting downfor about 8 weeks post partum and then gradually went down to the dull ache I now get when sitting (and standing up again) on hard surfaces. So probably not. However I off to see a chiropractor about other things so I'll ask them. Never thought of that tbh.

WhatALark Sat 05-Jan-13 08:51:32

I'm seriously going to show this thread to my partner the next time he mentions trying for another child. I'm broody, but can't face another pregnancy.

Here is my personal horror list:

During pregnancy:

Hyperemesis, with severe dehydration
Gum disease and wobbly teeth
Iritis (a horrid auto-immune inflammation of the iris, which leads to blindness if not treated quickly and efficiently. A sudden change in hormones can cause an attack).

I've also had one missed miscarriage, which lead to septicaemia, and one incomplete miscarriage which lead to haemorrhaging (which could both have been avoided - medical mismanagement both times).

I'm confused about the purpose of this thread now. Is it about abortion choices, apportionment of medical funding, awareness of ante and post natal conditions, something else? (sorry if this posts twice, phone issues)

I'm confused about the purpose of this thread now. Is it about abortion choices, apportionment of medical funding, awareness of ante and post natal conditions, something else? (sorry if this posts twice, phone issues)



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.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 05-Jan-13 16:19:14

So sorry LunaticFringe xx

More "minor" things are bleeding gums and changes to eyesight during pregnancy (I think eye tests aren't advised). Also having to take iron tablets during PG And after delivery (for DS1) as I lost a fair bit of blood.

Gestational diabetes is pretty common isn't it? Having to collect your pee for 24 hours after an abnormal glucose test is another "minor" inconvenience, though I was lucky not to have it (just timed my chocolate and my urine test wrong grin)

Pain of the milk coming in.

Abigail, I know someone who did dislocate her coccyx in childbirth, hence mentioning it. She was from a medical background so may have helped it be diagnosed, I've no idea if it's easy to spot or not.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 05-Jan-13 16:22:09

During pregnancy and not taken the least bit seriously - lack of sleep. During my 2nd pregnancy I couldn't sleep as long as an hour at a time because of ds pressing on my bladder. My mind was affected to the extent where I literally couldn't remember dc1's name. When I told the doctor to ask to get signed off work (my job was the sort for which you really need your brain) she wrote 'pregnancy related illness' on my sicknote and I later discovered she had written 'abnormal reaction to stress' on my records. I was not fucking stressed! Just suffering from perfectly normal and predictable sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is perfectly well understood, it's hardly a mystery to science.

AbigailAdams Sat 05-Jan-13 20:14:18

Tunip that is so shit. I would have been fuming (as I am sure you were)!

Festivia, I don't know if you have seen this? Blog for Choice Day

readysteady Sat 05-Jan-13 20:27:33

Those with coccyx pain It's worth getting a chiropractor to look at you, unfortunately doctors not usually interested in coccyx problems. Mine was dislocated and popped back in a couple of visits! Amazing relief!

AlwaysOneMissing Sat 05-Jan-13 20:42:17

Oh readysteady that is the best thing I have heard in ages, I could kiss you grin

I have an excellent osteopath I have seen in the past, is that the same as a chiropractor?

I have also realised from this thread that my eyesight problems started immediately after pregnancy and birth, I had never made the connection before! How on earth is eyesight effected though? confused

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 06-Jan-13 08:28:48

Always, it's to do with the shape of the cornea:

jammic Sun 06-Jan-13 10:08:29

During pregnancy, I had all day sickness which made it really hard to brush my teeth without vomiting and led to a bit of gum disease and two fillings afterwards. DS was spine to spine and delivered via forceps, leaving me with a fourth degree tear. A year later and am still having problems with my bowels (some leakage, and occasional urgency). Am seeing specialists about but it's taking time to sort out.

AlwaysOneMissing Sun 06-Jan-13 16:21:01

Thanks for the link TheDoctrine

ChristmasFayrePhyllis Sun 06-Jan-13 18:44:57

Lochia can be retained, causing distention of the uterus.
Increased risk 12 months post partum for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (inflammation of the uterus, ovaries, FTs) - can leave permanent scarring, cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy etc.
Problems with C-sec wounds healing, infected wounds, haematomas associated with C-sec wounds, keloid scarring.
Episiotomy wounds can open up.
Tears into urethra and clitoris.

Are we including the increased risk of injury or death from DV during/after pregnancy?

(Look away now if you are very squeamish)

There was also a really grim story on here a while ago of a MNer whose Caesarian stitches failed very dramatically and who ended up clutching onto the contents of her insides while her DH phoned for an ambulance.

FestiviaBlueberry Sun 06-Jan-13 20:03:33


I expected a few, but I didn't realise that there were so many narsties you could get from pregnancy. Am slightly taken-aback and feel very lucky that I only got the morning sickness, sleeplessness, back problems, womb infections and mastitis.

curryeater Sun 06-Jan-13 22:19:26

God it's awful. I remember when I was pg just thinking "however many problems I get, it is very unlikely that I will get the whole list. There is always something I can be glad I haven't got." Bloody true, and I hadn't even written the whole list! It's awful to see it.

I have to pack to move house in the next 2 months. I have 2 dcs, 3.5 and 1.5. I cannot tell you what a thrill it is to be functional; to be able to get up, start doing things, remember what I am trying to do, find the things I need to do them, not cry, jolly the dcs along while they "help", go up and down stairs.... I could cry with relief and gratitude. I feel like I just lost completely 4 years of my life, starting with the moment I felt sick in the summer of 2008 and ending... well about now really, so 4 and a half years. [randomly unburdening self on tenuously related thread... sorry. I just had NO IDEA it was going to be like this, none]

AbigailAdams Sun 06-Jan-13 22:31:20

curryeater I think a lot of women feel as you do. I can certainly sympathise. When I was pregnant with my second I just wanted an abortion for the first four months because I felt so shit and everything was such hard work. A veery good friend of mine has a 3 and 5 yr old and she is a SAHM. She is just beginning to get her life back now and is grateful for any progress with her children that means she doesn't have to do it e.g. Going to the toilet alone, putting on coat/shoes etc. All those little things you can end up doing several hundred times a day.

It is enough of a shock to become a mother without all the injuries/illnesses pregnancies and birth bring with it.

GettingBig Mon 07-Jan-13 00:27:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

curryeater Mon 07-Jan-13 15:08:26

GettingBig - so sorry about all these things.
The mental side of things is absolutely huge. So sorry to hear about the eating disorder and I hope you are ok now.

I looked at myself sideways in the mirror, naked, when dc2 was a few days old (I know! How stupid can a person be?) and decided to stop eating as much as possible and absolutely no carbs.
I can remember when dc2 was about a week old lying on the bed crying because I was so tired and dp sitting there with a biscuit on a plate (my favourite kind of biscuit which I had put on the shopping list when I was briefly sane) saying "Please eat something. Please just eat this biscuit. Please eat half the biscuit. If I eat half, will you eat half?"

Pineneedlesandsuch Mon 07-Jan-13 18:28:59

I am personally pro life and I find this post rather ridiculous.
To outline my thoughts, if a girl has been raped, then absoulutly she has to right to a termination, it would be horrifically cruel to force her to put up with that. Likewise if the baby is going to be very disabled or the mothers life is at risk from the pregnancy, then in those situations I would agree. But someone who just wants an abortion because they don't want a baby, in my opinion is very very selfish. They made the mistake of having unprotected sex, and it's up to them to put up with that and face up to their responsibility. Why should an innocent child be killed because they made a mistake. So listing all these horrible things that can happen to women, that they have to suffer through, well I think yes, it is horrible, but it is YOUR fault.

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 07-Jan-13 18:39:53

Yeah thanks for the misogyny Pineneedles.

I bet you wouldn't condemn men to that, but hey, that's not what this thread is about.

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 07-Jan-13 18:42:56

That post is exactly the sort of misogynistic brutality I'm talking about - really useful illustration.

MumToTheBoy Mon 07-Jan-13 18:56:31

My friend developed Bell's palsy when pregnant, she was reassured it would go away when she had the baby but it never did. She had years of appointments and her daughter is now almost 16, and she still has the Bell's palsy.

Another friend was diagnosed celiac after being ill throughout her pregnancy.

I developed carpal tunnel when pregnant and 7 years later I'm now waiting for surgery to sort it out. Plus I had pre-eclampsia, an elective c-section as my ds was footling breech and huge, I had to have 2 teeth removed as they deteriorated so much when pregnant, and like a previous poster said my feet are a whole size bigger now!

5madthings Mon 07-Jan-13 18:58:44

You do realize pine needles that no contraception is 100% effective, lots of women get pregnant when using contraception.

And a baby is a baby, disabled or not yet you seem to think its OK to abort one and not the other? Surely if you believe life is sacrosant then all life us? Yet you seem to have a hierarchy? Baby conceived via rape or disabled OK to abort but others arent.

Women have abortions for many many reasons, and the health implications of pregnancy are worthy of debate regardless of the abortion debate as we live in a society and have a medical system that brushes them under the carpet. "Women's issues' are often given short thrift by drs and its about time that changed.

Posterofapombear Mon 07-Jan-13 19:21:45

I had an amazing pregnancy but then it all went wrong. I went overdue and suffered the whole cascade of intervention performed by a doctor who was incompetent and made it clear she hated me. This lead to an episiotomy without local anaesthetic, failed ventouse which ripped a chunk out of DD's scalp, failed forceps without any pain relief, a push back while I was still conscious and without pain relief, an EMCS which was so shit my DD has two inch long scars on her arm and I lost at least a litre of blood and had my bladder nicked.

After surviving this just about I now have anaemia, SPD in both hips, a CS scar which bursts open and oozes pus (awaiting scan), PTSD and a huge knotty lump in my boob ( not cancer, they still haven't decided what to do about it)

DD had to have osteopathy for 6 months to bend her neck and will need plastic surgery on her arm and head.

If I had gone through that for a baby I didn't want I think I would have killed myself.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 19:25:16

Rubbish Pineneedles. Everyone knows it is Eve's fault, because she ate the apple and then tempted Adam with it.

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 07-Jan-13 19:30:13

<Faints> at posterofapombear's post.

Hope you're OK now. It sounds horrific.

noblegiraffe Mon 07-Jan-13 19:30:13

It's the woman's fault so she deserves horrible things to happen to her? What about the man who impregnated her? Does he end up with long term health issues too as a result of his inability to stop procreating?

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 07-Jan-13 19:31:30

I think every man who impregnated the woman he got pregnant who is being forced to carry and birth the baby, should have the same injuries inflicted on him, that the woman would go through.

To ensure that the punishment is equal.

That would be fair, wouldn't it?

AllDirections Mon 07-Jan-13 19:37:16

I'm sure that hyperemesis in my pregnancies contributed to (or even caused) the fibromyalgia that I have now.

Pineneedlesandsuch Mon 07-Jan-13 19:47:08

What with all this stuff about it being the "womans body" and such, well she allowed her body to get that way, so she should have to face up to the consequences. Its like getting fat because you ate chocolate, you cant expect to stay skinny.

Posterofapombear Mon 07-Jan-13 19:48:33

I am surprisingly sane Blueberry grin

But it has made me even more of an advocate for women's rights. No one should have to suffer that in this day an age. I'm pretty sure that most people who think forced birth is a good idea would very swiftly have changed their minds if they had to watch my birth.

Posterofapombear Mon 07-Jan-13 19:50:39

Pineneedles, how did 'she' inflict pregnancy on herself? I'm fairly sure if you want to be accurate that a man inflicted it upon her.

noblegiraffe Mon 07-Jan-13 19:52:30

I'm assuming that pineneedles has only ever had sex for the purposes of procreation.

Pineneedlesandsuch Mon 07-Jan-13 20:26:11

Well everyone has contradicted me but I haven't actually had any reasons why my point isnt valid...

AnaisB Mon 07-Jan-13 20:26:56

Being forced to carry and birth an unwanted baby is not like getting fat because you ate too much chocolate.

AnaisB Mon 07-Jan-13 20:28:56

The lack of choice and is the key difference. Also the massive emotional and physical upheaval.

AnaisB Mon 07-Jan-13 20:29:41

Extra "and" - sorry!

noblegiraffe Mon 07-Jan-13 20:31:32

Pine, but it is also the man's 'fault', no?

grimbletart Mon 07-Jan-13 21:14:33

Pine says it's acceptable to have an abortion if your child is disabled.
It is not acceptable if it simply an unplanned pregnancy.

So, if you become pregnant unplanned and the scans show the baby is disabled, what does Pine suggest is the appropriate course of action.

Abort because it's OK if a baby is disabled?
Or have the baby because it was unplanned and therefore the woman's fault and she needs to put up with her mistake?

Logic is clearly not Pine's strongest suit.

FestiviaBlueberry Mon 07-Jan-13 21:31:00

I'm not answering your stupid misogynist point pine, because this isn't a thread to discuss abortion per se.

It's to discuss the long term health implications of pregancy and birth.

By all means start a thread about abortion if you want to discuss the principles

TunipTheVegedude Tue 08-Jan-13 09:34:37

It's a pregnant woman's fault she gets a serious health condition as a result of pregnancy in the same way as it's an allergic person's fault they get an allergic reaction from eating an everyday food that they had not previously eaten or had not previously reacted to. (ie it's not their fault, in case that needs clarifying.)
Most people don't get severe HG when pregnant. You don't know you're going to. Just like most people can eat nuts.

If you didn't eat any food that could cause an allergic reaction, ever, you would risk starving or suffering malnutrition. So it wouldn't be a sensible thing to do. If no woman ever got pregnant because of the risk of serious health conditions the human race would die out (or they would probably force woman to be pregnant through banning contraception or forcing marriage, just like they have done through much of history and still do in some places).

The logic of Pine's position is that any woman who has ever had a baby, and therefore had sex, deserves to suffer. Sooooo medieval!

5madthings Tue 08-Jan-13 09:39:44

Well given that pine needles thinks the Indian lady who died after being gang raped is partly responsible for her own death as she got on the bus in the first place, I think its fair to say she has odd views and its perhaps not worth engaging in debate!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slug Tue 08-Jan-13 11:09:03

I had an almost identical birth to posterofapombear, though the forceps worked in the end. I have a mental image, just before I passed out of the doctor, leg braced against the bed, with the nurse behind pulling her waist trying to drag my child out.

Can I add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list?

kickassangel Tue 08-Jan-13 19:31:50

The problem of saying that some terminations are OK (rape, health) but not others, is that it implies that certain pregnancies are 'good' or 'bad' ones. I think the person who is best in the position to decide that is the person who is pregnant. There are other people whose views could/should be considered e.g. the father & medical staff, but it really is nothing to do with anyone else, which is why legislating for it is such a minefield.

Those who say 'but what about the innocent child?' Don't seem to see the possible life of the child that would result from an unwanted pregnancy being continued. The reasons for a termination are many and complex, but there is one thing that is pretty much a given. If a woman doesn't want to carry on a pregnancy then to make her carry to full term, whether she then keeps the child or they are adopted, will impact upon the child. Adopted children, although they grow up in loving families, often feel the 'what if' and 'why' behind their adoption. Children born to a mother who initially didn't want them may be loved, but they could well be growing up in overcrowding, poverty (relative), single parent families. They could grow up in a wonderful glow of rosy contentment, but if a mother decides that a termination is the best decision, then that outcome seems quite remote.

Interestingly, when terminations became legalised in the US, about 16 years later there was a sharp decrease in juvenile crime. Why? Because children were not being born into difficult situations, and growing up in less than ideal circumstances and eventually turning to crime. Obviously not all terminations are to young/single/poor women, but forcing women to continue a pregnancy when they believe that a termination is a better choice, has a huge impact on the mother, the child, and society.

Even if pregnancy and childbirth were magical experiences beyond anything that Disney could create, termination would still be the better option for many pregnancies, and as such it is up to the pregnant woman to make that decision, not anyone else. To then say that any illness/side effects suffered by the mother is some kind of natural justice is not only deeply misogynistic (as we don't see the same judgement being delivered or even suggested for the father) but is actually a cruel and unusual form of punishment.

JustAHolyFool Tue 08-Jan-13 23:02:48

I was talking about this with a friend today. I don't want children, she does. One of the reasons I don't want them is because of the health implications. She said "but those are only short-term things". I told her some of these stories so I hope she'll be a bit more informed (not that I don't think she should have children!)

It's shocking really that we don't know this stuff - I had no idea til I started posting here.

LadyWidmerpool Tue 08-Jan-13 23:16:37

Have we had De Quervain's Syndrome or Mother's Thumb?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 09-Jan-13 07:52:42

Can I chuck in one that isn't really a problem but was a surprise - my hair turned wavy with DS2. Seems to have happened to other women too, though it's sometimes temporary.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 09-Jan-13 13:36:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FestiviaBlueberry Wed 09-Jan-13 14:10:23

I've just remembered DoctrineofSnatch - my hair which used to be curly, turned straight.

AbigailAdams Wed 09-Jan-13 15:02:35

Yes mine went curly too!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 10-Jan-13 08:20:56


It's weird how easy it is to forget some of these things - it wasn't until I was most of the way through the thread that I remembered I was hospitalised for nearly a week with an infection shortly after DS2 was born and was on about five different IV antibiotics. Any other time in my life that would have been a major deal (and frankly I would have complained later about the crap treatment as I was in much longer than necessary) but, for me, I was so focused on DS2 and just getting through the days that it's very hazy when I look back.

georgettemagritte Fri 11-Jan-13 20:13:43

I'm 40+5 currently and living in fear of some of the things on this thread happening to me when I go into labour....(don't worry, I knew about a lot if these long before reading this thread!) I've had severe AND and extreme fatigue during pg and am worried about how well I'll recover from even a good birth. I have found that there's little support for MH issues in pregnancy as it is: I agree that many of the health complications women suffer in/after pregnancy and childbirth would never be tolerated if men experienced them routinely - and there would be much more research into "normal" pregnancy and its complications. There is so much about pg/birth that medical science is still clueless about, like it's some voodoo process where real research doesn't venture. I ask GP/midwife about whether even very minor things are normal and they genuinely have no idea. Can you imagine any other routine part of medicine where so little was known about normal and abnormal complications?

A long time ago I read Kate Figes' Life After Birth (now there's a scary book - but OP you may find it useful for this project as she lists all the things that can go wrong/possible damage). She mentions that pregnancy can trigger previously unknown multiple sclerosis in some women which terrified me. Does anyone know if this is true - I hadn't heard it before? I read the book at 26 to cure a particularly broody phase and OMG was it effective. Ordered it to reread after getting pg and had to stop a chapter in as it panicked me so much. They could use it in schools to cut teen pregnancy, it's that terrifying....

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Jan-13 20:21:09

Good luck for a safe labour, georgette x

georgettemagritte Fri 11-Jan-13 20:40:30

Thank you! smile

SinisterSal Fri 11-Jan-13 20:41:27

That's rang a bell with me, my friend was diagnosed with m just after her first was born. Pg and bfing does affect the progression of it in unpredictable ways - some positive I believe.

PetiteRaleuse Fri 11-Jan-13 20:47:26

Anyone said hernia? At the beginning of my last pregnancy I asked both my GP and my OB GYN about the risk of an abdominal scar developing a hernia. Oh no, don't worry about that, they said. Until at 7 months I pointed out the huge bulge sticking out of my bump. Tey then switched to, oh yes, hernias during pregnancy are very common, don't worry about it, you can get it operated on later if it is still there several months after birth.

GoldenGreen Fri 11-Jan-13 21:06:12

Whilst I appreciate the reasons for starting this thread, I don't think that anyone who has the mentality that says it's ok to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term will change their minds just because you have given them a list of possible complications. In their view, the life of the unborn baby is more important than any discomfort (or in some cases, as we can see here, extreme distress or disability). Though it is true that they like to dwell on how much the mother will suffer mentally if she does have a termination.

SinisterSal Fri 11-Jan-13 21:22:23

And other's wont golden gen. That's what information s for, so everyone can make their own risk assessment and their own decision.
This stuff is never discussed.its worth acknowledging that's there's more to pregnancy and birth than a glow and a bloom.

GoldenGreen Fri 11-Jan-13 21:36:59

Yes I agree SinisterSal. Giving a balanced view to the pregnant woman is what it's all about.

I just think it is unlikely that anyone pressuring a pregnant woman into having a termination would stop and consider any of this, sadly. And in some ways I'm not sure it's even relevant to the argument; if pregnancy and birth were fabulously easy and entirely risk free for every single woman, would it then be ok to force someone to go ahead with an unwanted pregnancy? Probably not explaining it well, I know.

SinisterSal Fri 11-Jan-13 21:56:22

I get you GG. But I don't think.his thread is giving the ' pro abortion ' side really, its not relevant really? Its more about acknowledging the battle scars really. Rather like a debrief after active service really rather than pretending it's all a bit of glamorous derring do. Probably not explaining we'll.either. [smile ] and sorry for this ridiculous phone its bloody painful.

letsgetreadytoramble Fri 11-Jan-13 22:23:21

I expected to have a rough time when giving birth, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened. I developed pre-eclampsia 10 days before DS was due, was induced, DS heart rate fell, had EMC, something went wrong though and in recovery all my lady bits suddenly swelled to 5 times normal size (was agony.) Over next few days blood clots formed in CS wound, preventing it from closing. Had another op to try to sort it out, and a drain put in (attached to a big plastic box that I had to carry around with me.) Then transpired I'd lost too much blood and had to have a blood transfusion. Then developed a spinal migraine (due to having previous op with a spinal anaesthetic so I could carry on BF tiny DS.) Was unbelievably painful and lasted days. Had CT scan (with stuff injected into me) then had another op to remove drain and stitch up wound. Meanwhile lady bits took weeks to get back to original size so enjoyed many a catheter insertion and removal during that time too. Was in and out of hosp for a month. Am besotted with DS but won't be having any more babies.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Jan-13 22:35:09

Crikey, let'sgetready sad

GG, I do think it's helpful as a response to 'well, it's only 9 months' - and I think it's also been a really informative thread. I agree it wouldn't sway an extremist, but I think it is good info for those who perhaps haven't thought about it that much but have a vague feeling that preganancy then adoption is somehow a 'pain-free' solution to an unwanted PG.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 11-Jan-13 23:45:23

GG I agree that the list wouldn't give pause for thought for the active, convinces, pro-birthers, but as DoS says, I think it might make some of the blase "it's only 9 months and then 48 hours of agony" crowd think a bit.

Also I must admit part of it is that I want this stuff to be acknowledged. Women go through loads of shit to bear children and yeah, I do think it should not be hidden and brushed under the carpet the way it is now.

It's fairly outrageous that all these things are mostly stuff people don't know about unless they actually get them, or people they know get them. Considering how many of us know people who are or have been pregnant or have been so ourselves, that pretty crap info.

Thanks for the Kate Figes tip, Georgette, I think I've got a copy somewhere, will read. Good luck with the birth, hope all goes well for you. smile

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 11-Jan-13 23:46:00

Sorry that should say pro-forced-birthers.

georgettemagritte Sat 12-Jan-13 00:22:31

Thanks Fastidia smile I hope so too!

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 12-Jan-13 09:46:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WantsToBeFree Sun 13-Jan-13 12:18:47

OMG, I couldn't agree more. I have tokophobia and my aunt has permanent incontinence as a result of childbirth. I've always been sickened by how trivially people treat the health impact of pregnancy and childbirth, and how casual they are about forcing women to take on alk these very serious risks.

WantsToBeFree Sun 13-Jan-13 12:24:19

Somewhere I think the NCB movement may have done some harm in this area. To be clear, I've got nothing at all against natural childbirth, but nowadays it's become "cool" to say things like "Oh, pregnancy and childbirth are normal and natural" or "Women have done this for ages" or "Pregnancy is not a disease".
Now I agree that it's natural and women have done this for years. But that doesn't make it easy or risk-free. However, repeated statements on those lines are misinterpreted and encourage people to trivialise the process.

grimbletart Sun 13-Jan-13 13:35:13

Oh, pregnancy and childbirth are normal and natural"

Being told that every year nearly half a million women die through normal and natural childbirth seems to shut them up, I find.

The whole point about being "natural" is that nature doesn't give a flying wotsit about the death or morbidity of individual women - as long as enough survive to carry on the population nature has done its work.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 13-Jan-13 15:18:19

What's Tokophobia, wantstobefree?

WantsToBeFree Sun 13-Jan-13 15:54:22

Tokophobia is a pathological fear of pregnancy and vaginal childbirth.

debtherat Sun 13-Jan-13 16:03:51

I would add - terrible stomach tone - more than just stretch marks, post traumatic stress symdrome and that indefinable little bit of life energy lost with each baby. Described in a book somewhere - Life After Birth? - as a "few stars going out".

Bur really worldwide neglect of maternal health issues are just unbelieveable... so glad I had my children here.

If my sister got pregnant and had a baby she would have to stop taking her arthritis drugs and would likely end up in a wheel chair or at very least, in constant pain for years, probably her whole life. She lives in fear of contraceptive failure.

As do lots of other people with long term
health issues so please can we put that on the list?

Sunnywithshowers Mon 14-Jan-13 22:55:53

debtherat I don't know if I posted this upthread, but an acquaintance had a huge gap (size of a fist) between her chest muscles after going through two pregnancies.

YY Trucks

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