6 Postpartum Symptoms You Shouldn't Neglect

Abdominal pain

Becoming a mother brings joy and excitement, but it's important to be aware of the potential health symptoms that may occur after giving birth. While the joy of motherhood can make you forget about any pains experienced during childbirth, it's important not to neglect any potential health issues that may arise. It's important to be informed about these symptoms.

Bleeding or postpartum hemorrhage

Postpartum vaginal bleeding is a common symptom after both vaginal and C-section deliveries, and it is a sign that something is not right. Usually, a woman is expected to have an average blood loss of around 500 ml. However, if the bleeding is excessive and continues for an extended period of time, it may be a sign of postpartum hemorrhage. This can occur if the uterus fails to properly contract after delivery or due to tears or lacerations in the uterus, vagina, or cervix. If bleeding continues after a week or two postpartum, it may be due to retained pieces of placenta in the uterus that were not delivered, which can also put a woman at risk for postpartum hemorrhage. If you experience heavy bleeding, it is important to seek medical attention immediately as it can lead to anemia, shock, or death. If you are in the hospital, make sure to call the attention of a midwife or doula if your doctor is not readily available.

Postpartum fever

It is not normal to have a fever after giving birth and it should not be ignored. Puerperal fever can be a sign of sepsis, which is a serious medical condition where an infection spreads throughout the body and causes a high fever. This can happen if proper hygiene and cleanliness measures were not followed during delivery, either vaginally or through a C-section incision. Symptoms of puerperal fever may include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, shivering, difficulty breathing, and a fast heart rate. It's important to inform your doctor if you have a fever that lasts for more than 48 hours after giving birth, even if you have taken recommended home remedies.

Constipation and hemorrhage

Pregnant and postpartum women may commonly experience constipation and hemorrhoids due to the pressure the baby puts on the lower abdominal veins. Many doctors recommend eating a diet rich in fiber, fluids, and foods that promote regular bowel movements to reduce swelling in these veins. Your doctor may also suggest using over-the-counter sprays and ointments, cold compresses, and sitz baths to alleviate discomfort. Be sure to inform your doctor if you plan to use any medication, particularly if you've had an episiotomy. Additionally, paying attention to your diet after delivery can help prevent these symptoms from occurring.

Abdominal pain

HELLP syndrome is a rare condition that may occur during pregnancy and can last until a week or two after delivery. It's different from normal abdominal cramps, and it can be life-threatening as it affects the liver and the blood's ability to clot. Symptoms of HELLP syndrome include headache, severe pain in the upper stomach, and nausea. The best course of action is to inform your doctor of your symptoms so that they can recommend the appropriate treatment.


Retained placenta can cause a uterine infection after giving birth. The placenta is usually expelled from the vagina 20 minutes after delivery. When some pieces of the placenta are left behind in the uterus, it can lead to an infection. Signs of a uterine infection may include a foul-smelling discharge, a swollen and tender uterus, and an abnormal increase in white blood cells. An infection of the amniotic sac during labor can also lead to an infection after delivery. A C-section incision can also lead to a uterine infection, with symptoms including red pus around the incision. If you notice these symptoms, it's important to inform your healthcare provider to prevent post-C-section complications such as endomyometritis.

Postpartum depression

It's normal to feel a bit anxious or have hormonal changes after giving birth, which is often referred to as "baby blues." However, if these feelings escalate to intense anger, mood swings, and depression that lasts for an extended period of time, it may be a sign of postpartum depression (PPD). PPD is a common condition that can occur in the weeks or months following childbirth, and it's important to get professional help. Symptoms of PPD may include feelings of despair, changes in hormonal levels, physical pain after childbirth, fear, guilt, loneliness, anger, lack of interest in the baby, abnormal behavior towards the baby, and even violent thoughts. If you suspect you have PPD, it's essential to see a doctor right away as it can be dangerous for both you and your baby.

Other postpartum symptoms

There are several other postpartum symptoms that should be taken as a red flag for potential issues. These include:

  • Abnormal heavy bleeding or vaginal discharge (Lochia)
  • Severe pain during intercourse after delivery
  • Severe headaches, which may indicate pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension)
  • Tender, reddened area on the breast that suggests mastitis
  • Incontinence (urinary or fecal)
  • Clogged milk ducts that cause breast swelling, redness, and pain
  • Painful urination
  • Stretch marks and other symptoms that cause discomfort after delivery
  • If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to inform your doctor right away, to ensure that the appropriate treatment is given and to prevent any further complications.

Postpartum checkup

Doctors advise women to schedule regular postnatal check-ups for the first 3-4 months after giving birth. This allows them to monitor the body's normal recovery process from delivery and identify any abnormalities early on. During this period, not only will the woman's health be monitored, but the baby's health will be monitored as well. As a new mother, it's important to not ignore the advice for continuous postpartum check-ups. It will help ensure optimal health for both you and your baby. Take care and enjoy your new role as a mother