Puerperium It is a concept that has its etymological origin in puerperĭum, a Latin word. The notion allows naming the stage that goes through a woman after giving birth and before recovering the same state it had before remaining pregnant .
The puerperium is also known as quarantine , since the approximate time it takes for women to recover is Fourty days . That is the period that delays the readjustment of the reproductive system and the return of hormonal levels to the conditions that existed before pregnancy.
It is important to keep in mind that the puerperium is a critical period for the Health of the woman. It begins with the immediate postpartum, consisting of the two hours following the delivery. When recovery takes place in normal ways, there is talk of a physiological puerperium . However, if complications or alterations arise, the doctor will diagnose a pathological puerperium .
One of the problems that may appear during the puerperium are the haemorrhages . The health professional should also analyze possible injuries in the areas related to childbirth and check that infections do not occur.
Among the normal processes that are part of the puerperium, are the slowing down of the heartbeat, the inflammation of the hemorrhoids, the readjustment of the urinary system and various anatomical changes derived from pregnancy and the own Birth . Let's look at some of these changes in detail:
* water is removed : the woven they go through an increase in water during pregnancy, which is eliminated throughout the first stage of the puerperium through sweat and urine, which increase, and allow the body to discard about two liters. Together with the loss of blood, the expulsion of the uterine contents, the lactation and the involution of the reproductive system, the woman loses approximately one eighth of her weight;
* the circulatory system is modified : the own fatigue of childbirth generates an increase in heart rate, which returns to the normal during the puerperium. In some cases, it may happen that it slows down, which is known as puerperal bradycardia. Likewise, the veins recover their strength and, although they still hurt, the hemorrhoids deflate throughout the first week;
* hormonal normalization : the puerperium is the period in which the woman recovers the normal number of estrogen hormones. It also returns to normal on functioning of the endocrine glands, after the typical hyperactivity of pregnancy. Milk production is stimulated immediately after delivery thanks to the secretion of prolactin by the pituitary gland;
* abdomen recovery : the abdominal area recovers its original volume, which has a positive impact on the mobility of the diaphragm and, consequently, on the system respiratory. There may be a slight dilation in the intestine and stomach, and a slight slowdown in digestive function. During the first part of the puerperium, the woman does not usually feel much appetite, although she is very thirsty. Normalization of appetite occurs before that of intestinal activity;
* normalization of the urinary tract : the kidneys must withstand considerable effort throughout the first part of the puerperium. The bladder's capacity grows, to recover from the compression to which it has been subjected during pregnancy, and the emptying improves slowly, with some difficulty at first. Approximately 3% of women suffer from inflammation in the bladder because of the stagnation of urine.
During the puerperium, women may also suffer from the so-called postpartum depression , a series of psychological alterations linked to changes in hormone levels.