Post-partum – Delivery

Patient profile:

  • Sarah, 31 years old
  • First baby
  • Emergency caesarean section

I had a good pregnancy, no complications. I felt great and people would comment on my ‘pregnancy glow’. Although I felt tired at times, I was actually able to stay active right until the birth. The midwives checked my haemoglobin, and it did drop from the start of the pregnancy, but I was never anaemic. Everything was going so well I felt confident the delivery would too, but I guess you never can tell what is going to happen. I didn’t want to have a caesarean, but when it comes down to it you do whatever is best, and by that stage it was out of my control.

Having felt well throughout my pregnancy I assumed I would bounce back from the birth and feel good again. But I just kept on feeling exhausted and grumpy. My husband took care of the baby as much as possible so I could rest, but it seemed impossible to get enough sleep. In our antenatal classes they had talked about the ‘baby blues’, so I thought that was what I had and it would pass. There is so much to take in with a new baby and I felt like I was spinning. I couldn’t keep a thought in my head and the constant feeding and sleep deprivation were overwhelming. I worried how I was going to cope in the long-term; somehow I was a different person.

I mentioned how I felt to my midwife and she suggested I might be anaemic from the amount of blood I lost during my labour and caesarean. They did some tests on my haemoglobin and iron levels and I am now being treated for iron deficiency anaemia. I’m also taking care of what I eat to be sure I get lots of nutritious food, high in iron. I feel like the fog is beginning to lift now, and I can start to enjoy my time with my wonderful new baby.