Other than infection, urinary retention is the commonest complication following delivery especially if there has been any trauma to the urethra or oedema round the bladder neck. A painful episiotomy may make it very difficult for women to spontaneously micturate and retention of urine may occur. Following epidural anaesthesia, there may be temporary interruption of the normal sensory stimuli for bladder function and over-distension of the bladder may occur. It is extremely important that, in the immediate post-natal period, urinary retention is avoided as over-distension may lead to an atonic bladder, which is then unable to empty spontaneously. If the bladder is distended, it is usually palpable abdominally but if this is not the case or the clinician is uncertain of the abdominal findings, an ultrasound scan should be performed to determine the volume of urine retained in the bladder. The treatment of urinary retention is to leave an indwelling catheter on continuous drainage for 48 h. The patient can be ambulant during this time and after the bladder has been continuously emptied, the catheter can be removed and then the volumes of urine passed can be monitored. If there is any suspicion that further retention is occurring, then a suprapubic catheter should be inserted so that the bladder can undergo a further period of continuous drainage and then intermittent clamping of the catheter can be instituted until normal bladder function returns.
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Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.