Having health problems and discomfort after delivering a baby is normal. But new moms are more vulnerable to life-threatening postpartum health complications. So, women should have knowledge of serious pregnancy complications and ways to get rid of them because learning the signs and symptoms of postpartum conditions which they have to face in the coming weeks, can be life-saving for them. Keep on reading these Postpartum Symptoms Not To Ignore after giving childbirth.
You should not shut your eyes to post-delivery complications and vaginal bleeding that can put your life at risk. The unawareness of postpartum issues and ignoring their signs is becoming a growing problem and you know what, according to the center for disease control and prevention (CDC), about 7000 women die from pregnancy-related issues in the United States with each passing year.
You should be aware of the postpartum risk factors and ways to prevent them. Pay attention to your own health because one of the most important things your baby needs is you. Here, we have come up with the knowledge of postpartum symptoms, the new moms and the moms-to-be need to know. Let’s go ahead and grab the awareness of the postpartum symptoms.
Warning Signs of Postpartum to Watch Out For
Postpartum complication warning signs if left unnoticed can seriously put your life in danger and cause death. The serious issues that can happen after vaginal delivery or C-section are depression, severe anxiety, postpartum hemorrhage, blood clots, and other postpartum symptoms.
So, if you are worried, what you can face after giving birth and how you would save your life by knowing about postpartum symptoms and doing postpartum care, just keep reading this content. Because education is one of the best tools to help you advocate for your health.
Postpartum symptoms are numerous but here is our little effort to make you aware of the following post-delivery complications that every woman can face.
Emergency Postnatal Symptoms
If you are feeling sick and having the following postnatal problems or complications, you need to get medical assistance on an urgent basis. It means to call an ambulance or to go to a nearby accident and emergency (A&E). This immediate help can reduce the risk and save maternal life from serious health conditions.
1- Unexpected And Heavy Blood Loss (Postpartum Hemorrhage)
Postpartum hemorrhage is the excessive blood loss from the vaginal site after giving birth. According to research published by American Family Physician, approximately 3 to 5% of obstetric patients suffer from heavy vaginal bleeding during the postpartum period. You are likely to be in the hospital if you experience heavy vaginal discharge of blood in the first 24 hours after delivery.
But if you are at home and bleeding starts suddenly and soaks more than one pad at an hour, or you pass lots of blood clots through the vagina, don’t take it easy. Call an ambulance without wasting time.
2- Severe postpartum headache
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that may include high blood pressure and severe headache during pregnancy or after giving birth. Preeclampsia symptoms start to appear after 72 hours of the baby is born. Many women experience vision problems such as blurred vision or flashing or bright lights others experience nausea or vomiting. Seek medical attention if you suffer any of the symptoms of preeclampsia.
3- HELLP Syndrome
A rare condition that can create severe pain in the stomach is HELLP syndrome. It’s a complication during pregnancy or even can happen after a few weeks of the baby’s birth. It badly affects your liver and blood. It’s an emergency situation and needs a quick diagnosis and prompt treatment, otherwise, it may cause worse stomach pain. To some extent, it is likely to be the same as preeclampsia.
The patient may feel sick, feel pain in the top of Tommy or on the upper right side of Tommy, have swollen feet and ankles, feel weary or worn out, etc. If you experience these potentially life-threatening symptoms, urgently call on the number you have been given for maternity care and get assistance.
4- Blood clot In Pulmonary Arteries
Pulmonary embolism is the blockage in any one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs usually by a blood clot. Having chest pain or difficulty breathing may be included in it. Some other symptoms are coughing up blood or feeling dizzy or faint.
Experiencing these symptoms after vaginal birth or cesarean delivery can be a red flag for your health. Do not compromise on it and call for an emergency because getting treatment quickly is vital.
5- Cardiomyopathy And Heart Disease
Heart problems or Peripartum cardiomyopathy can develop in those women after giving birth to a baby:
- Who is addicted to smoking or alcohol
- Whose age is above 40
- Who are suffering from obesity
- Who is exposed to cardiotoxic drugs
- Or they are having a family history of heart disease.
If you observe any of the warning signs of heart disease or feel chest pain after delivery, go to your doctor so he may prescribe you medicine or make you go through some laboratory tests to find the cause.
6- High Fever Than 100.4 F And Chills Especially After Cesarean Birth
Sepsis is a life-threatening medical emergency. After delivery, you may experience a very high fever usually exceeding 100.4 F. High fever with chills mostly happens with C-section deliveries. It may be a sign of sepsis that is an infection occurring in the body at one part and spreading the whole body by triggering chain reactions.
Fever with shivering, difficulty breathing, or increased heart rate are the symptoms of sepsis. You may have symptoms depending on where the bacteria start infection on your body and to what extreme your body responds. Having a fever after birth is not like a normal fever, it’s a bacterial attack on your wounds or any other site of the body and your body responds to its extreme against the infection. So, if you fall into sepsis, call an ambulance and get assistance from your Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-GYN).
7- Leg Pain
After delivering the baby if you are experiencing pain in your leg especially in the lower leg or only in one leg, get advice from your doctor urgently. It’s not a symptom to ignore. It may be e sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in which blood clot forms in one or more deep veins in your body. Your legs may show swelling or redness or maybe feel warm to the touch. Many women get sore or tired legs during pregnancy or after birth.
DVT may get worse if the clot moves to your lungs and it may cause a pulmonary embolism. You need to get a check-up by your doctor immediately if you are having the symptoms of Venous thromboembolism which is a disorder that includes pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.
Postnatal Symptoms Need To Be Cured The Same Day They Appear
The following signs if appear after giving birth, don’t blink your eyes off them. They can be put your life at risk.
1- Sudden Changes To Mental Health – Postpartum Depression And Anxiety
Several women suffer from various mental health issues such as depression, hallucinations, delusions, and other anxiety disorders after the delivery of a baby. It may be the start of a rare condition known as Postpartum psychosis. The delivery of a baby brings a jumble of emotions from extreme joy to fear and anxiety. But sometimes it can result in something people might not expect, that is Depression.
The dramatic change in mental health can make you show manic behavior. It’s not specific that postpartum health issues can happen only to those women who have previously gone through several mental disorders, in fact, it can occur in every woman after she gave birth. Postpartum psychosis can be a frightening experience for everyone, so you need to get treatment as early as possible. Prompt treatment can give a woman full recovery.
2- Suicidal Thoughts
Postpartum depression is not a flaw or weakness, it’s simply a complication after delivery. In some cases, depression exceeds such a limit that a woman decides to harm herself or develops thoughts to commit suicide. Developing these thoughts in your mind not only can harm you but your baby also.
It’s okay if you have such life-taking thoughts, it’s common. It may happen because of hormonal changes. It does not mean you are a bad mom and your baby will be taken away from you. Call your midwife, or doctor, or any other family member so they may help you get out of this serious situation.
3- Unable To Urinate
If you are not unable to urinate after 6 hours of delivery, you may have developed urinary retention. It can be an extremely uncomfortable situation and if left unnoticed can seriously damage your kidneys and can cause severe pain and infection.
A warm bath or shower may help but even if you are unable to urinate, call your midwife.
Urgent Postnatal Symptoms But Can Wait Until Morning
You should make a call to your GP, midwife, or health care visitor if having the following signs.
1- Baby Blues That Do Not Go Away
Many new moms experience postpartum baby blues after giving birth such as mood swings, anxiety, tiredness, crying spells, and difficulty sleeping. It is okay if are feeling panicky and moody for weeks after birth but even after weeks if you feel the same, it may be a sign of postnatal depression. Get medical assistance as early as possible to get away from these mental issues.
2- Severe, Swollen, or Prolapsed Piles
Many women develop piles while they are pregnant and this symptom gets worse after giving birth and causes extreme pain. Piles are the varicose vein inside your anus but they can pass out also called prolapsed piles.
If you are suffering from severe, swollen, or prolapsed piles, or heavy bleeding from your rectum, call your doctor and get help.
3- Infection Signs After Giving Birth
Giving birth can give your body several scars and wounds or C section incision that needs to be stitched. Your doctor or health care provider will explain to you that how to take care of these wounds. If left unnoticed or even if you are careful, these wounds may get infected. Here, below we are going to explain from which infections you are supposed to be attacked by after the arrival of a new baby into your life.
- Breast infection is medically called Mastitis. It’s an inflammation of breast tissues i.e, swollen and tender breasts. You can use the best nipple cream for breastfeeding to cure yourself. If you are feeling the lake of fats in your breastmilk then we highly recommend reading this information, How to make breastmilk fattier.
- A tender Tommy can be a symptom of infection in your womb.
- Postpartum UTIs are postpartum urinary tract infections that can happen in the days and weeks after giving birth. The signs of infection are pain or burning while peeing, pressure or sharp pain in the lower belly, swelling of the bladder (bladder infection), foul-smelling urine, or blood in the urine, etc. To overcome these infections and understand more, you can go through this blog, how long does postpartum bleeding last.
- Unpleasant, smelly, or vaginal discharge may be the symptom of vaginal infection.
- You may experience a smell liquid discharge, pain, or redness that does not go away or get worse around a C-section incision.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- What is the most common postpartum complication which should not be ignored?
Although all the postpartum symptoms should be watched out for, none of them should be ignored, but the most common postpartum complications are:
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Infection or Sepsis
Seek medical advice by calling your OB-GYN or midwife, if you have an excessive vaginal discharge of blood or shivering with a high fever. Don’t ever neglect them.
2- What are the danger signs of one of the postpartum sympotoms_ postpartum bleeding?
If you observe any of the following symptoms after giving birth, these may be the alarming signs of postpartum hemorrhage. Be concerned about them.
- Heavy Vaginal bleeding
- Swelling or pain in the vagina
- If bleeding occurs in the form of hematoma
- Increased heart rate
- Decrease in the count of RBCs.
3- What are the two common changes you experience in the first 6 weeks of the postpartum period?
The changes that your experience in the first 6 weeks of the postpartum period are various. Two of them are Sore muscles (especially in the neck, arms, or jaws) and bleeding which are common after you gave birth.
4- What does postpartum anemia feel like?
If you experience excessive bleeding after the delivery of the baby, it may make you anemic.
- You feel low on energy to such an extent that you can not do your routine work.
- Fatigue usually lasts for more than a couple of weeks.
- Severe headache.
- Extreme irritability or mood swings.
5- What are the things not to do after postpartum?
Here is the list of the things you strictly prohibit yourself from doing after postpartum:
- Putting anything in the vagina
- Ignoring social support
- Smoking or being alcoholic
- Ignoring pain
- Neglecting nutrition
- Going alone anywhere if you need help
- Forgetting birth control
Maintaining pregnancy and giving birth is not easy. The women have to suffer a lot to gain her life’s most precious moment i.e, her baby’s birth. But it does not mean you compromise on your health. For your baby, you are the most precious one so if you are facing any of the above postpartum symptoms, don’t just ignore them.
Prompt treatment can help you manage your symptoms and give you a full recovery.