Jan 01, 2011 Comments Off on When To Call Your Practitioner Postpartum
Few women feel their physical (or emotional) best after delivering a baby-that’s just par for postpartum. Especially in the first six weeks after delivery, experiencing a variety of aches, pains, and other uncomfortable (or unpleasant) symptoms is common. Fortunately, what isn’t common is having a serious complication. Still, it’s smart to be in the know. That’s why all recent deliverees should be aware of symptoms that might point to a postpartum problem, just in case. Call your practitioner without delay if you experience any of the following:
- Bleeding that saturates more than one pad an hour for more than a few hours. If you can’t reach your practitioner immediately, call your local emergency room and have the triage nurse assess you over the phone. He or she will be able to tell you whether or not you should come into the ER. While waiting or en route to the ER, if necessary, lie down and keep an ice pack (or a ziplock plastic bag filled with ice cubes and a couple of paper towels to absorb the melting ice) on your lower abdomen (directly over your uterus, if you can locate it).
- Bleeding that has a foul odor. It should smell like a normal menstrual flow.
- Numerous or large (lemon-size or larger) clots in the vaginal bleeding. Occasional small clots in the first few days, however, are normal.
- A complete absence of bleeding during the first few postpartum days.
- Pain or discomfort, with or without swelling, in the lower abdominal area beyond the first few days after delivery.
- Persistent pain in the perineal area, beyond the first few days.
- After the first 24 hours, a temperature of over 100 degree F for more than a day.
- Severe dizziness.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Localized swelling and/or redness, heat, and oozing at the site of a C-section incision.
- After the first 24 hours, difficult urination; excessive pain or burning when urinating; a frequent urge to urinate that yields little result; scanty and/or dark urine. Drink plenty of water while trying to reach your practitioner.
- Sharp chest pain (not chest achiness, which is the usual result of strenuous pushing); rapid breath or heartbeat; blueness of fingertips or lips.
- Localized pain, tenderness, and warmth in your calf or thigh, with or without redness, swelling, and pain when you flex your foot. Rest, with your leg elevated, while you try to reach your practitioner.
- Depression that affects your ability to cope or that doesn’t subside after a few days; Feelings of anger toward your baby, particularly if those feelings are accompanied by violent urges.