Having a baby can be rough on your body, any woman who has been through labor and delivery (either vaginal or c-section) will agree with that. Between the hormones, the tearing and inevitable stitches, hemorrhoids, and lack of sleep you will find it takes you a while to get back on your feet. Taking the time to rest and recover is important. However, being the mother to a helpless little newborn means spending a lot of time taking care of their needs and a lot of time forgetting about your own needs. Even though there is something so much more important to think about remember to take the time to think about yourself, especially in those first few weeks postpartum.
Although, (thankfully) postpartum complications are rare they do occur. Being on top of things and aware of what is going on with your body is important. Knowing when things seem amiss and when you should be giving your doctor are a call will help make sure you don’t ignore a troublesome and potentially dangerous complication. I experienced my own postpartum complication. About a week after my daughter was born I hemorraged and at first I didn’t really think anything of the extra bleeding because I was too busy enjoying my daughter and taking care of her. I eventually had to call my doctor in the wee hours of the morning when things got progressively worse. I wish I had been paying closer attention and called earlier in the day, but luckily things worked out well anyway.
Here are some of the signs to look for. You should give your doctor a call if:
- Your bleeding does not slow down and stays bright red after the first few days.
- Heavy bleeding begins again after slowing down.
- You begin passing blood clots bigger than a quarter.
- You develop a fever as it could be a sign that you have developed an infection.
- Your afterpains get worse instead of better.
- You have persistent pain anywhere in your abdomen or pelvis.
- You have worsen pain, swelling, redness or discharge at your c-section incision site.
- You have worsen pain, a foul-smelling odor, discharge, or swelling around your episiotomy.
- You have severe or persistent headaches.
- You have severe or persistent vomitting.
- You are feeling extreme sadness or depression or have thoughts of harming your baby.
Postpartum complications are rare but they do occur. If you are at all worried about something you are experiencing call your doctor. Before you leave the hospital your doctor will talk to you about your specific situation and what to watch out for (if they don’t, ask).