Chapter 5 Infographic: Postpartum Health in Canada

Maternal Health

  • Mastitis occurs in 10% of breastfeeding women
  • 3.4% of all women who gave birth reported urinary incontinence as “a great deal of a problem” in the first 3 months postpartum
  • 10% women who have given birth reported experiencing one or more acts of violence in the past 2 years
  • 53% to 79% of women experience some form of laceration during vaginal birth. Third- and fourth-degree lacerations occur in up to 11% of women
  • Endometritis occurs after 1% to 3% of vaginal births and up to 27% of caesarean births
  • Postpartum hemorrhage occurs in 465.4 per 100 000 hospital births
  • 16% to 30% of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes by 5 to 10 years postpartum

Maternal Mental Health

  • Panic disorder affects about 1% to 3% of new mothers
  • Obsessive–compulsive symptoms occur in 4% to 9% of new mothers
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders, including PTSD, affect about 3% of new mothers
  • The most common type of postpartum mood change is the postpartum blues, or baby blues. Estimates of prevalence range dramatically, from 15% to 84%

Newborn Health

  • Breastfeeding initiation rates in Canada have increased; less than 25% in 1965 vs. 90% in 2015/16
  • 8% of infants are born prematurely
  • 48% of the cases of early onset neonatal sepsis were due to group B streptococcal
  • 9.1 per 100 singleton live births are small for gestational age births

For references, consult Chapter 4: Care During Labour and Birth, Chapter 5: Postpartum Care, Chapter 6: Breastfeeding in Public Health Agency of Canada. Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines. Ottawa (ON): PHAC; 2020.

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