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Categories > Pregnancy and Childbirth > Pregnancy: What to expect

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Bye-bye pregnancy!
Hello…postpartum problems?

» Hair loss

» Incontinence

» Sweating

» de Quervain’s tenosynovitis

Postpartum depression

Feeling more than a little blue? Approximately one in every eight women experiences postpartum depression within three months of delivery. Symptoms include a loss of interest in activities, fatigue, sleeping too little or too much, appetite changes and thoughts of suicide or death. If you have any of these symptoms, talk with your healthcare provider immediately—for your sake and your baby’s.

You’re no longer constantly getting up at night to go to the bathroom, your heartburn is gone and you can finally see your toes. But no one ever told you that with the end of pregnancy comes a whole range of other problems:

Hair loss

When you were pregnant, your locks were more lustrous thanks to hormones that kept your hair from shedding as it normally would. Now that you’ve had your baby, you may find all that extra hair falling out.

What you can do: Let nature take its course. Most women’s manes are back to normal within six months. In the meantime, experiment with different hairstyles to cover any thinned spots and avoid curling irons, hair dryers and other tools that can cause damage.


Between pregnancy and birth, your bladder muscles are subjected to a fair amount of stretching, so a tinkle when you laugh or cough isn’t uncommon. Women who had a very long labor may experience problems controlling their bowels thanks to damaged sphincter muscles.

What you can do: Urinary incontinence usually improves within three months. Kegel exercises, which help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, can help. Ask your healthcare provider how to do them. If your symptoms don’t improve, medication may be the answer.


Sweating is your body’s way of getting rid of the excess fluid that accumulated in your body during pregnancy, although hormones also play a part in your ability to soak the sheets. The problem may persist for weeks or for as long as you breastfeed.

What you can do: Drink lots of water to keep from getting dehydrated. Wear light cotton clothing to bed and crank up the fan.

de Quervain’s tenosynovitis

Blame the unnatural hand and wrist positions you use to hold your child for that wrist pain. Such awkward motions can cause the tendons in the thumb side of your wrist to become inflamed and swollen, causing pain when you turn your wrist, grasp an object or make a fist.

What you can do: Keep your thumb and wrist straight with a splint or brace. Apply heat or ice to the affected area. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen and corticosteroid medications can also help. In more serious cases, physical therapy or surgery may be needed.

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