2nd July 2021

New mum health check

Five health issues you might encounter in the first few months…

There are a few bodily shenanigans that aren’t all that surprising when you’ve recently had a baby. Funnily enough, it can chafe a bit – but over the first few months, other health issues can flare up that can take you by surprise when you’re distracted by the small matter of looking after a tiny human.

It’s easy to put off dealing with any of your own niggles. Especially when faced with the idea of grappling with a potentially unimpressed newborn in a doctor’s waiting room – which is why having an app in your pocket when you need urgent medical advice is a godsend for new mums.

Livi makes seeing a doctor incredibly easy. You can get advice the same day, as well as prescriptions and referrals, all without leaving the house. What’s more, they’re available 7 days a week even outside usual practice hours, and it’s all accessible through your phone.

Of course, you’ll have your 6-8 week postnatal check and new baby check with your usual GP, but if you have other queries outside of this, Livi is here for you. 

Here are a few of the things that could crop up in those early months of motherhood…

The issue: your pelvic floor letting you down

Should you get medical advice? Many mums who suffer tears during labour are referred to specialist physios to help with recovery in the weeks after the birth, but this isn’t always the case. You can start pelvic floor exercises as soon as you feel comfortable, but if you’re worried things aren’t as they should be (you could even be slightly incontinent) it’s important to speak to a doctor as soon as you can so you can get the right advice. Embarrassing? Yes, but it shouldn’t be – it’s SO normal!

The issue: excessive hair loss

Should you get medical advice? Your hair plays some sneaky games with you during the whole new mum process. In pregnancy, many women develop the glossy, lustrous hair of their dreams, only to have it cruelly snatched away from them in the months after the birth. Yep, that’s right, due to hormonal fluctuations, many women shed their hair in the newborn months (just when you were planning to grow a fringe to cover your eyebags…) – as many as 400 a day (whereas in normal life, it’s around 80). If you feel it’s gone beyond this, or it’s still happening a year after the birth, it’s one to raise with a doctor, who can refer you to relevant care if you need it.   

The issue: depression, anxiety and mental health in general

Should you get medical advice? Absolutely. This should come up at your postnatal check, but if it doesn’t, or if you start to experience mental health issues after this point, please do get some help. And we’re not just talking postnatal depression – there are a huge amount of mental health issues that can flare up for new mums, and it can be even more difficult than usual to pluck up the courage to talk about them. (Particularly as there can be guilt attached when you think you’re supposed to be feeling ecstatically happy with your wonderful baby.) Don’t cast them aside, thinking it’s just because you’re not getting enough sleep – your doctor will want to help, asap.

The issue: constipation and/or haemorrhoids

Should you get medical advice? What’s that, yet another part of your body that’s potentially been compromised by having a baby? Oh yes, afraid so. Issues in this region are super common after giving birth (and indeed during pregnancy itself) but that’s the only thing that’s super about them. As a first stop, your pharmacist should be able to help with over-the-counter remedies, but if the problem isn’t going away, it’s definitely worth hitting up Livi

The issue: sore boobs

Should you get medical advice? Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding, your boobs have been through one hell of a ride, and this can lead to problems. In the early days of feeding, your midwife, health visitor or a lactation consultant should be able to help you, but if you’re experiencing pain, chat to a doctor. Many mums get mastitis, for instance, which if left untreated can be really nasty, but antibiotics should, ahem, nip it in the bud. 

For easy access to same-day appointments, download the Livi app from the App Store or Google Play. All Livi GPs are registered with the General Medical Council. The Livi pay-as-you-go service is available to anyone living in the UK. Appointments cost £29 and that includes medical advice, prescriptions and referrals – find out more here.

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