Your body worked hard during pregnancy, to help keep your baby healthy and safe. But your body also changes after having a baby. While some changes are normal and help you recover from pregnancy, others may be a sign that something isn’t right. Here’s how to know when you should see your health care provider.
Why postpartum care is important
I’s important to see your health care provider for postpartum care after you give birth. A postpartum checkup is a medical checkup you get after having a baby to make sure you’re recovering well from labor and birth. Go to your postpartum checkups, even if you’re feeling fine. They’re an important part of your overall pregnancy care.
Postpartum care is important because new moms are at risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening health complications in the days and weeks after giving birth. Too many new moms have health problems that may be prevented by getting postpartum care. Sadly, in some cases some new moms die because of these health problems.
Seek medical care if you have any of the following warning signs or symptoms:
- Heavy bleeding (more than your normal period or gets worse)
- Discharge, pain or redness that doesn’t go away or gets worse. These could be a signs of infection in your c-section incision or episiotomy incision.
- Intense feelings of sadness and worry that last a long time after birth. These could be a sign of postpartum depression (also called PPD). PPD is a kind of depression that some people get after having a baby.
- Fever higher than 100.4F
- Pain or burning when you go the bathroom
- Pain, swelling and tenderness in your legs, especially around your calves. These could be a sign of deep vein thrombophlebitis (also called DVT), a kind of blood clot.
- Red streaks on your breasts or painful lumps in your breasts. These could be a sign of mastitis, a breast infection.
- Severe pain in your lower belly, feeling sick to your stomach or vomiting
- Vaginal discharge that smells bad
- Severe headaches that won’t go away
- Vision changes
Call your health care provider or dial 911 right away if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
- Bleeding that can’t be controlled
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Signs of shock, such as chills, clammy skin, dizziness, fainting or a racing heart
- Seeing spots
If you feel like something is wrong, call your provider. It is important to get help so that you can enjoy being with your new baby.
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