Post Partum Care

Danger Signs

Post Partum Danger Signs

The post partum danger signals or the red flag symptoms which should prompt a visit to the hospital in the post delivery period after discharge from the hospital are the following.

Needs Urgent Medical Attention

  • Sudden profuse blood loss or persistently increased blood loss. This is called secondary post partum hemorrhage. This is most commonly due to infection and commonly happens around the 10th-14th day of post delivery.
  • When you have to change pads more frequently than normal or less than every 2 hours, when you pass big clots, when you feel tired, giddy or faint it says you are bleeding more than it should and should immediately seek medical care.
  • Fever >100⁰F, shivering, severe abdominal pain, foul smelling vaginal discharge. These are suggestive of pelvic infection.  It requires prompt treatment to prevent from being extensive and before it spreads to multiple organs like liver, kidney through blood.
  • Headaches with visual disturbances or nausea or vomiting especially if you were having hypertension in pregnancy. This could be forerunning symptom of eclampsia wherein the patient has a chance to through fits mostly associated with hypertension in pregnancy. Severe headache could also be due to a clot in the brain.
  • Redness and swelling of feet associated with severe pain. This could be due to blood clot formation in the feet which can travel to your lungs and can cause clot in the lungs too which can be extremely dangerous.

Other post partum problems which require a consultation

  • Redness or swelling around the wound, abnormal discharge from the wound. This could be a sign of wound infection which may require wound care and antibiotics to treat the infection. To prevent this try to keep the wound clean and restrict visitors so that you do not get any infection from others.
  • Burning sensation or difficulty in passing urine. Urinary infection is very common in the post delivery period. This can be prevented by drinking plenty of fluids to compensate for the losses during breast feeding.  Frequent voiding also decreases the chance of getting urinary infections.
  • Increased congestion and pain in the breast, redness and swelling in the breast. If the breast feeding is not proper or if milk is excessive sometimes breast do not empty properly. The milk which collects can get infected easily which can cause mastitis – an infection of the breast and it can get worse leading to abscess. An abscess requires surgical drainage. If even after feeding the breast doesn’t feel soft or empty expressing the breast milk prevents it from getting collected.
  • Feeling anxious or panicky or depressed with which you are not able to cope. Mild anxiety and feeling down are quite commonly seen after delivery. But if you aren’t able to cope up with this you may sometimes require professional help.

Post partum care and postnatal visits of the mother

You need to good care of yourself because you are going through a very demanding period of your life.

  • Try to get as much as sleep as you can get.
  • Rope in as much help you can get from your family members to help you in household chores and baby care.
  • Start doing around 15-30 minutes of walking or yoga or stretching exercises for a positive energy and for strengthening your body.
  • Have a healthy balanced diet rich in iron and calcium. Continue your iron and calcium supplements.
  • You can slowly resume your household activities once you reach home. You need to restrict lifting heavy weights for one month after normal delivery and six weeks after cesarean section.
  • Keep your wound clean. Try to restrict visitors and going to crowded places to decrease the chance of getting infections.

In our hospital the first postnatal visit is scheduled after 2 weeks to assess maternal recovery, wound healing and to discuss any problems or queries. A physiotherapy session is also arranged on the same day to encourage our mothers to be active.

The second visit is at six weeks clubbed with baby’s vaccination to assess the complete recovery and to discuss contraception.

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Post Partum Care

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