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Possible Long-Term Horrible Effects of Childbirth

Updated on June 10, 2014

Okay, we've heard about the dreaded saggy boobs, weight gain that never seems to go away and the awful scars that comes with the miraculous birthing of a child. But what about the long-term effects that no one seems to mention? It would be nice to say a mother will never go through some of them but inevitably some poor mother out there will. Here's a few unpleasant effects that can occur months, even years after the little one is born.

Gestational Diabetes

This is when a pregnant mom has an onset of diabetes with no prior history of originally having diabetes. This Is due to high glucose levels that come about during the pregnancy. Somehow insulin receptors within the body do not work properly. Normally once the baby is born, if a mother does experience an increase in their glucose levels, the gestational diabetes dissipates as well. Studies however have shown that within the first 5 years after pregnancy some moms are diagnosed with diabetes. This diagnosis can happen anytime after the birth of a child. Most women have no risk factors nor exhibit symptoms. Risk factors could include previously having diabetes, family history or ethnic backgrounds of having diabetes. Signs or symptoms of gestational diabetes can be frequent urination, vomiting, blurred vision and yeast infections. If a mom experiences these symptoms they should consult with their doctor.

Fecal Incontinence

Fecal Incontinence is a leakage of stool. Some vaginal births can damage the anal sphincter (the muscle surrounding the anus) or the nerves. If a mom gives birth to a large baby or if the baby is born face up, tearing of the sphincter can occur. There can also be a pelvic floor shifting. The pelvic floor provides support for the uterus, bladder and intestines. While housing these, it helps maintain urinary and anal sphincter muscles. Once weakened, incontinence can occur.

Diastasis Recti

This is a separation of the left and right sided abdominal (stomach) muscles. As the uterus grows it can cause the stretching of the rectus abdominus. It is something that is more common in women that are 35 or older or of a smaller frame. It can also be due to over exercising the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, multiple childbirths or carrying a large child.

Perineal Tears

A perineal tear is a tear that occurs between the area of your vagina and anus. This area is called the perineum. These tears can range from a minor tear called a first-degree laceration up to a third or fourth-degree laceration. A first-degree laceration affects the skin of the perineum and the surrounding tissue of the opening of the vagina. This may require no stitching at all to minor stitching. A second-degree laceration is a bit deeper. They can take a few weeks to heal and will require stitches. The third and fourth-degree lacerations are very severe. These lacerations can tear the vaginal tissue, perineal skin and perineal muscles on throughout to the anal sphincter and the tissue underneath; causing pain for many oncoming months and possibly fecal incontinence.

Milk-like Discharges

Galactorrhea is the medical term for this. This spontaneous flow of milk can occur years after the birth of a child. Causes of galactorrhea can be a hormonal imbalance, sexual stimulation of the breasts or thyroid issues.

Stress Incontinence

This is also known as leakage of urine or insufficient bladder control. If the pelvic floor muscles have weakened the fascia (the tissue surrounding muscle) of the urethra, incidental loss of urine can occur. The slightest of things can cause the leakage. Women have found themselves peeing during coughing, laughing or sneezing.


Many women have testified that after having their child, allergies they had never had before arose. Hormonal changes that occur in the body during a pregnancy can permanently affect your immune system; making you allergic to things that you weren’t before. Some allergies can last for only a short period after the pregnancy or long-term.

Thyroid Issues

Also known as Postpartum Thyroiditis. This issue affects about 5% of women within a year of giving birth. It first starts off with hyperthyroidism. This usually clears up and the thyroid returns back to normal. But in some situations when it does not return back to normal, a case of hyperthyroidism becomes hypothyroidism. When hypothyroidism is combined with postpartum thyroiditis, the effects of the thyroid can then become long-term; requiring long term treatment.

Broken Tailbone

Many women have complained that giving birth to their children has thrown their tailbone “out of wack”. They’re complaints are not wrong. Some times during childbirth the pressure of the baby coming out can bruise, dislocate or fracture the tailbone.

Hair Loss

This topic can depend on the point of view of the one losing hair. Hair loss is common after the birth of a child. Some woman may not see any negative affects to their hair until about 3 months after birth. Once they begin to experience the effects, they may notice hair loss continuing between 6-9 months after the baby is born but the hair loss is not permanent. Although, those that experienced hair gain during their pregnancy may experience a loss afterwards due to a decrease in estrogen levels after the birth causing them to feel as though they have loss quite a bit of hair.

Have I deterred you from having kids yet? This is not to scare any new mom's out there but to make them aware of the types of ill-effects that can happen as a result of bringing their child into this world. None of these effects are anything that are really problematic they just may be annoying to deal with. Some even can be handled with taking precautionary steps during the pregnancy. No matter what, most moms still feel blessed and lucky for having their bundle of joy.


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    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 2 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Thanks Lizelle, I'll check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lizelle Buchebner profile image

      Lizelle Buchebner 2 years ago from Heidelberg, Gauteng

      Hi there, very nice article. But I thought you would like to check out this article on how your life changes after pregnancy.

      This article is very throughout and informational for anyone wondering what the post postpartum changes might be.