There will always be a time in a person's life that medical assistance or advice is a necessary requirement; this could be for a minor or major reason. Accidents, illnesses, and emergencies will occur at some point in a lifetime no matter how careful or clean someone is. When it comes to that point in a person's life (in this case a woman's life), women are most often on the phone with the doctor during conception, pregnancy, and motherhood. Always wanting to make sure baby is growing okay or to make sure children are happy and healthy, not to mention the physical and emotional difficulties that can crop up during these times. No wonder the doctor is on speed dial.
But what are the most common reasons that mother's phone the general practitioner? This list is here to share that very information. From the typical coughs and colds to the more serious low fetal movements or hand, foot, and mouth disease, these are the top reasons for Mom to want to chat to doctor (for both themselves and the children).
Let's start with the 10 most common reasons mom will call a doctor for herself...
Incontinence is not just a problem in pregnancy but also during the post-partum period as well. The term post-partum (post pregnancy) refers to the time after a woman has given birth and although no longer carrying a child there can still be health implications.
When referring to the information found on webmd.com incontinence after pregnancy occurs because, "childbirth weakens the pelvic floor muscles, which can cause an overactive bladder." This being why health professionals often encourage mothers to practice pelvic floor exercises to re-strengthen said muscles.
In contrast to incontinence, constipation is also a health problem that can carry through from pregnancy to the post-pregnancy period which is both uncomfortable and worrying for many women and so they tend to seek medical help quite quickly after birth.
It is definitely a situation that could worsen over time if ignored leading to more serious health implications so calling the doctor is the best course of action.
Moving away from the physical health problems now as mental health can take a knock during and after pregnancy. Although mental health is not something that can be seen it does not mean it is any less important.
This is also in Verywellfamily.com 's top 6 reasons for a woman to phone the doctor after childbirth and very rightly so. After giving birth hormones are all over the place not to mention the transitional change of looking after a little baby and the sleep deprivation. Mood swings and feeling down are often things women can experience.
Breastfeeding is something that many mothers want to do for their children. It is proven to be the healthiest option for baby but that does not make it easy. Women often run into many obstacles when choosing this feeding method and although some will choose to switch to formula others want to fight to keep breastfeeding and so seek medical help.
"As your milk comes in, most women experience a degree of pain or discomfort," says the experts. This is normal but on-going pain, redness or inflammation can be a sign something is wrong.
Mothers don't phone the doctors only for the kids of course they also need medical advice for themselves. A lot of the time, it is during pregnancy that expectant mothers seek medical help as there are many problems that may arise or symptoms they may not recognise.
According to the NHS website, the most common problems in pregnancy are constipation, cramps, back ache, feeling faint, feeling warm and incontinence. A mom-to-be who is experiencing one or more of these problems is encouraged to phone the doctor and so that is why problems in pregnancy has made this list.
Child birth, although a natural occurrence, can have many problems, and women do need to heal from it. Some births are more difficult than others and therefore some women need longer healing time. Ideally, all women would heal easily but this is not always the case which is where health professionals need to be contacted.
"Some pain and itching is to be expected as you heal, but if it is prolonged, there may be an infection", quoted from verywellfamily.com. So, do not be alarmed with some slight pain in the beginning of the healing period but do keep an eye on pain levels.
Low fetal movements may be the top reason that expectant mothers contact the doctor. When a woman is used to feeling baby kick and move around often it can set off alarm bells when baby is suddenly still. A sugary drink or a warm bath can sometimes get baby moving and therefore no need to worry but to be safe many woman choose to call medical services.
Looking at the information on Parents.com, the advice for low fetal movements is "After 26 weeks, fetal movement should be felt on a daily basis. ... any time you aren't feeling the baby move for 12 to 24 hours after week 26, you should contact your practitioner."
A woman's pelvic region is treated pretty harshly during child birth and as I previously mentioned it can take some time to heal. For most women, the pain subsides and healing goes well but for those unlucky few the healing process can take longer and other problems may arise.
"Pelvic bone problems" are a problem that some mothers have to deal with following the birth of a child. It can be painful and so they seek help from their doctor.
Something most couples start to think about after having a child is what contraceptive method to use to prevent further pregnancy- whether this be a permanent decision or just until they are ready to have more children. For this reason, it is another one of the top reasons mother's phone the doctor.
There are many methods of contraception such as sterilisation, hormone based contraception, barrier methods and more. The advice on nct,org.uk is that "Contraception should be discussed within one week of giving birth as it may need some time to start working".
"Pruritic Urticarial Papules, also known as PUPP or PUPPs, is a pregnancy skin condition where you get small, red, itchy bumps on your skin", this rash is something many mothers are unfortunately plagued with and seek immediate medical help for.
It can be a very uncomfortable skin condition and make it very hard for an expectant mother to sleep. The condition usually spreads from the abdomen. Thebump.com states that to treat can treat PUPPs with "oatmeal baths or anti-itch creams. Your doctor may prescribe an oral medication that’s pregnancy-safe."
And here are the 10 most common reasons mom will call the doctor for her kids...
According to Reverehealth.com, one of the most common reasons for a mother to seek advice from a doctor for their child is a cough. This is not surprising considering a cough can mean so many things and although it may be minor there are more serious reasons a child can have a cough. Not to mention there are several different types of coughs so it is obvious that a mother would be concerned.
Reverehealth.com states that, "the most frequent illness-related reason for all of those annual physician visits is a cough, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children usually cough when a common cold causes mucus to trickle down the back of the throat."
Referring again to Reverehealth.com, they state that another common reason a child will be taken to the doctor is for a suspected ear infection. Stating that "Parents of young children know how common ear infections are. Five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday, and one out of five visits to the doctor in the United States are due to an ear infection or ear pain, according to the CDC."
Ear infections can be very sore so again, it is no surprise that this is a common reason for mothers to be dialing the doctor's number once again.
"Pinkeye in younger kids is most often caused by a bacterial infection", states Parents.com. Pink eye (or conjunctivitis) is a very common condition that children get according to an article on Parents.com. Making any symptom of this a reason for mom to call up the doctor.
Not only is this illness uncomfortable and not nice to look at but it is also contagious meaning it can spread through out the household and schoolyard- although a child should be off school if they have pink eye- so no wonder mothers want to get this rid of this from the get go.
The runs are not fun for anyone, whether being the child with the runs or the parent dealing with them/cleaning it up, it is a messy situation for all. Having tummy troubles can also make baby or child dehydrated which can be quite dangerous; this being one of the reasons many moms get concerned when they realise their child is experiencing this.
Research shows that 'vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours' is one of the top reasons for a child to visit the doctor as a baby or child's health can seriously deteriorate after this time; research found on under5s.co,nz.
A sore throat (or more severe, strep throat) is another common condition for little ones to go through and therefore being another reason why mothers phone the doctor.
Once again referring to Reverehealth.com, parents often struggle to tell the difference between a simple sore throat and strep throat as they have similar symptoms. However, if a sore throat lasts more than a week and a child starts showing unusual symptoms such as rash, loss of appetite or excessive drooling then it may be time to worry about strep throat.
Flu season is a dreaded time for parents, it is the time where so many babies and children are getting sick. It is during this time as well that the doctor's phone is ringing off the hook, with many worried mothers thinking their child may have caught the flu or a similar illness.
To protect their children from influenza many mothers choose to get the flu vaccine when they are pregnant and give it to their children once they reach a certain age. The flu vaccine "can greatly reduce your child's risk... it can be given as a shot or, for kids over 2, as a nasal spray", according to the information on Parents.com.
"Painful sores in the mouth and throat", is the tell-tale sign of hand, foot and mouth disease according to the experts, once again at Parents.com.
Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (also known as Coxsackievirus) is quite common in young children, specifically school children as it tends to have an outbreak and spread amongst the students - via touch, coughs, sneezes and more. This type of contagious illness worries many mothers and so any type of spot, lump or bump seen on a child's skin means it is time to phone the doctor, just in case. Hand, foot and mouth disease is usually spread during the summer and fall months.
Looking at the information on under5s.co.nz, rash or inflammation of the skin is in the top 5 reasons a child will be taken to see the doctor.
Once a rash is identified and a doctor is contacted, a parent should look out for symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration and sickness, experiencing one or more of these symptoms along with a rash could point towards a more serious illness or disease. Children have very sensitive skin however, some more sensitive than others, and can contract a rash for many reasons so mothers please don't automatically panic.
Another one of the top 5 reasons for a child to be taken to see the doctor (in this case it is usually an infant) is constant crying or as stated on under5s.co.nz, "has an unusual cry for longer than an hour".
First-time mothers get especially worried when their little one is crying and they cannot figure out why, it may not be an emergency in the end but to be on the safe side many new mothers decide it is the appropriate course of action to phone up the doctor. It could be something as simple as trapped wind but when it comes to small babies you can never be too careful.
Although bumps and bruises are not technically one of the most common reasons mothers phone the doctor. However, what comes after the bumps and bruises is. Pain, unconsciousness, confusion, pain, vomiting, fits and more, these are all in the top most common reasons a child will be taken to the doctor and more often than not these symptoms have resulted from an accident a child has gotten into.
The information sourced once again from under5s.co.nz, shows that symptoms like these take up more than half the list of reasons why children are taken to the doctor. Not surprising really, after all children do tend to be quite accident prone.
Sources: thebump.com, verywellfamily.com, parents.com, under5s.co.nz, reverehealth.com, nhs.co.uk, webmd.com, nct.org.uk