Post-delivery seizures, also known as postpartum convulsions or puerperal seizures, are a type of seizure that can occur in mothers after childbirth.
When you’re pregnant, you hear a lot about the different things that can go wrong during labor and delivery. But one thing that often isn’t talked about as much is post-delivery seizures. Seizures after childbirth can occur in both mothers and newborns, and it’s important to know what to look for if they do happen. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of post-delivery seizures, how to identify them, and what to do if they occur.
What are post-delivery seizures?
Post-delivery seizures, also known as postpartum convulsions or puerperal seizures, are a type of seizure that can occur in both mothers and newborns after childbirth. It is a relatively rare condition, affecting about one in every thousand women who give birth.
Types of Post-delivery seizures
There are two types of post-delivery seizures: early and late.
Early-onset seizures occur within the first 24 hours after delivery, while late-onset seizures occur more than 24 hours after delivery. Both types of seizures can be dangerous and require immediate medical attention.
What causes post-delivery seizures?
Post-delivery seizures can be caused by a variety of factors, including
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
- Head injury
- High blood pressure (preeclampsia)
- Hormonal changes
Post-delivery seizures are more common in newborns than they are in mothers, and they are more likely to occur in mothers who have had a previous history of seizures.
What are the symptoms of post-delivery seizures?
Symptoms of post-delivery seizures can vary depending on the type of seizure. Early-onset seizures may cause the mother to lose consciousness and have muscle spasms. Other symptoms include headache, nausea, visual disturbances, decreased level of consciousness, and nerve palsies.
Late-onset seizures may cause the mother to have a seizure within the first week after delivery. Symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual disturbances, muscle spasm, and weakness.
If you or your newborn experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
How are post-delivery seizures diagnosed?
Post-delivery seizures are typically diagnosed based on the mother’s or newborn’s symptoms. Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and order tests, such as an electroencephalogram (EEG) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to rule out other causes of the seizures.
How are post-delivery seizures treated?
Treatment for post-delivery seizures depends on the cause. If the seizures are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, treatment may involve giving the mother or newborn oxygen.
If the seizures are caused by an infection, treatment will likely involve antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any damage that has occurred to the brain.
Post-delivery seizures can be a frightening experience, but it is important to seek medical attention immediately if you or your newborn experience any symptoms. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most mothers and newborns make a full recovery.
What are the complications of post-delivery seizures?
Post-delivery seizures can cause a variety of complications, including
- Brain damage
- Memory problems
- Learning disabilities
If you or your newborn experience any symptoms of post-delivery seizures, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
There is no sure way to prevent post-delivery seizures, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.
- Make sure to get regular prenatal care: This will help your doctor identify any potential problems that could increase your risk of post-delivery seizures.
- Do not smoke: Smoking increases the risk of post-delivery seizures.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol: Using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of post-delivery seizures.
- If you have a history of seizures: If you have a history of seizures, your doctor may recommend taking medication during pregnancy to reduce the risk of post-delivery seizures.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
Post-delivery seizures are a rare but serious condition that can occur in both mothers and newborns after childbirth. You should visit a medical practitioner as soon as possible for immediate treatment.