The incredible euphoria of a new baby is followed soon after by a myriad challenges which bring one back to earth, sometimes with a bang.
Most problems are minor, short-lived and easy to cope with. When my wife and I had our first son, I went to work complaining of our sleepless nights, to which a colleague airily remarked in reassurance, "Oh, not to worry; that will end in about eighteen years or so."
A wailing baby in the small hours is unfortunately not the only thing that can wreak havoc in the postnatal period. There could be problematic vaginal bleeding and infection, which could be in the genital tract, urinary tract, chest or the lactating breasts.
There are also mood problems commonly known as postnatal depression. Postnatal psychosis is another possible problem of a different kind. In extreme cases, this has been known to lead mothers to commit infanticide. Though uncommon, these are clearly very serious complications, which call for careful evaluation and very aggressive management. All these are discussed here.
Apart from infections and psychological problems, other potential disorders are neurological, blood-clotting disorders and injuries to the pelvic girdle sustained during delivery. Likewise, these are covered fully in this section.
However, whatever slant one puts on challenges that inevitably face any new parents, it has to be seen in the context that the experience of new parenthood is uniquely rewarding, it defies words. Witnessing a personality take shape and the profound day to day emotion of being at the centre of that is incomparable to anything one can experience in their lifetime.