Postpartum fatigue months after birth
A recent study published by Pat McGovern, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Minnesota, found that many more women than previously thought retain symptoms of fatigue, both physical and mental, nearly three months postpartum. Specifically, women 11 weeks after giving birth had approximately 4.1 postpartum related symptoms of fatigue. The study, published in the November/ December issue of Annals of Family Medicine, focused on a sample of 661 women ages 18 and up who, at one of three hospitals, gave birth to a single infant.
A practical point that can be gathered from this study is that women need restful environments postpartum. Employers can help facilitate this by ensuring that women have low-stress environments in the months immediately following child birth. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that reviews the study:
At 11 weeks postpartum, working women reported an average of 4.1 childbirth-related symptoms, most frequently fatigue, reported Pat McGovern, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota here, and colleagues in the November/December issue of Annals of Family Medicine.
Given the increased numbers of new mothers in the workplace, it is important to understand their need for rest and recovery and the factors that promote women’s postpartum health and successful return to work, the investigators said.
Their findings came from a prospective cohort study that included 661 English-speaking employed women, 18 or older, who gave birth to a single infant at one of three community hospitals in 2001.