After going through a long, strenuous labour to have your little one in your arms, you might not immediately go back to being your pre-pregnancy self. With time and a little self-care, you will have a full recovery without any complications, but during those first few weeks after childbirth, it’s always best to look out for a few warning signs like these:
High fever (more than 100 degrees) can be an indication of many things including sepsis which is an infection that spreads from one part of the body to every other part. If this is the case then apart from high fever, you might also notice an increase in your heart rate, tummy or groin pain, smelly vaginal discharge, sore breasts, problem while urinating and if you’ve had C-section, the wound might start leaking fluid. Sepsis can develop very quickly so it’s essential that you get medical help as soon as possible.
Sudden or heavy blood loss
It’s normal to pass a little blood after childbirth but if this blood loss is sudden and excessive or if you’re bleeding large blood clots, it could mean that you have a postpartum haemorrhage. You may even start to feel faint or dizzy while your heartbeat begins to become irregular. Some moms with postpartum haemorrhage are known to lose about 500ml or more of blood which could result in serious repercussions. So, don’t hesitate to call your doctor when you’re experiencing such severe blood loss.
Preeclampsia is a common problem among pregnant women, but postpartum preeclampsia can affect a woman even after childbirth. It occurs when a woman has high blood pressure and excess protein in her urine. Its symptoms include severe headache, problems with vision like blurring, heartburn, vomiting and swollen ankles. These symptoms usually show up within the first 2 or 3 days after giving birth. This can be very dangerous so immediate medical care is highly recommended.
Another variant of preeclampsia is HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets counts) which can develop during pregnancy and can last till a week after childbirth. If you feel pain in the upper abdominal region, feel lethargic and sick, then chances are that something’s wrong. HELLP is a life-threatening disease so do not delay consulting your doctor.
A few new moms experience chest pain, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and difficulty in catching a breath. These symptoms could be an indication of pulmonary embolism where a blood vessel in the lungs is blocked by a blood clot. Because of this, the blood might not reach your lungs properly, resulting in all the above-mentioned symptoms.
If you notice anything unusual or out of the ordinary after childbirth, do not ignore it. Please do seek the advice of a medical professional as fast as possible.
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