Postpartum Warning Signs

Postpartum Warning Signs

Postpartum Warning Signs

After delivery, the woman should be aware of some symptoms that may indicate diseases that must be identified and properly treated by the physician to ensure their health and well-being. Some symptoms that should not be ignored are fever, loss of large amount of blood, runny nose, fever and shortness of breath.

With the onset of any of these symptoms, the woman should go to the hospital quickly, to be evaluated and treated appropriately, as these symptoms may indicate serious problems such as placental retention, thrombosis or embolism, for example.

5 common postpartum changes

Here we indicate the symptoms and treatments of some of the most common situations after childbirth. They are:

1. Postpartum haemorrhage

The loss of large amounts of blood through the vagina usually occurs within the first 24 hours after the birth of the baby, however, this change can also occur up to 12 weeks after normal delivery or cesarean due to abrupt detachment of placental remnants or uterine rupture.


  • Intense vaginal bleeding, requiring an hourly change of absorbent;
  • Loss of too much blood suddenly.


One should go to the doctor immediately because it is necessary to resort to taking medicines that promote uterine contraction. The doctor may also perform a vigorous massage in the uterus until the uterus contracts completely by resolving the bleeding.

2. Placental retention

After any kind of delivery, small remains of the placenta may remain stuck in the uterus causing infection. In this case there is proliferation of bacteria inside the uterus, being potentially serious because these bacteria can reach the bloodstream and cause septicemia, a very serious situation that puts the woman’s life at risk.


  • Bad smell;
  • Fever above 38ºC;
  • Loss of dark and viscous blood even after it is already lighter and more fluid.


The doctor may prescribe remedies for uterine contraction and use of antibiotics, but often the placental remains are removed only through uterine curettage, a simple surgical procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office, but in this case usually done in the hospital.

3. Venous thrombosis

The fact that many hours of lying down or in labor and due to the presence of small emboli of blood or gases can cause a venous thrombosis, which prevents the correct passage of blood through the blood vessels of the leg. If this one moves, it can reach the heart or the lung bringing greater complications.


  • Swelling of one leg with 2cm difference from the other leg;
  • Pain in the calf when trying to move the foot;
  • Fast heartbeat and shortness of breath.


The doctor may indicate the use of anticoagulant medicines to facilitate the passage of blood such as Warfarin and Heparin, for example.

4. Pulmonary embolism

It occurs when a plunger reaches the lung compromising its irrigation. With the decrease of blood circulation, this organ is compromised and symptoms of shortness of breath and respiratory difficulty appear.


  • Chest pain, shortness of breath and trouble breathing;
  • Accelerated heart, low blood pressure and fever.


The doctor may prescribe analgesics and anticoagulants to facilitate the passage of blood and use of oxygen mask and in some cases the pregnant may need to resort to surgery.

5. Hypovolemic shock

It can happen after a great loss of blood, being a common consequence of the postpartum hemorrhage, which puts the woman’s life at risk.


  • Palpitation in the chest;
  • Dizziness, sweating and weakness;
  • Very strong and persistent headache;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.


Require blood transfusion to replenish the amount of blood needed to maintain the function of all organs and systems. It may take more than 1 transfusion, in addition to taking iron supplements for a few weeks. After the hemogram indicates the presence of hemoglobin and ferritin at normal values, treatment may be discontinued.

What doctor to look for

The best doctor to treat postpartum changes is still the obstetrician, but the most important thing is to go to the hospital as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, telling them when they came up and how intense they are. The doctor may order tests such as a blood test and transvaginal ultrasound, for example to identify the cause and start treatment.

The woman should bring a companion and it may be more peaceful to leave the baby at home with the nanny or with another person who can care for him until she can return home to take care of him.