Beware of these postnatal complications!

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While certain changes after birth are normal, some require immediate medical attention. Find out which post delivery symptoms may require you to call emergency

Post childbirth, your body may experience some symptoms as it recovers from delivery and prepares to breastfeed. While tiredness, vaginal soreness and bleeding may be normal, some postnatal symptoms may not be typical and should be addressed by a doctor immediately.

"New mums should never ignore symptoms like raised blood pressure, upper abdominal pain, shortness of breath or high fever post delivery," says Dr (Brig) R.K Sharma, IVF expert, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi.

Read about possible complications that occur post delivery and the underlying causes. Connect with your doctor at once if you experience the below symptoms after you deliver.

Post natal complications and what they indicate

Raised blood pressure

Blood pressure needs to be checked periodically post birth. Increased blood pressure is a cause for immediate concern as it may lead to eclampsia.

Shortness of breath

"Shortness of breath after delivery could indicate respiratory infection or heart failure," informs Dr Sharma. Waste no time in calling emergency in this situation.

High fever

High fever could mean a postpartum infection. The infection may be present in the urinary tract, the perineum, or the area of a C-section incision. "Fever can also be due to peripheral septic," says Dr Sharma. Call your doctor at once incase of high fever.

Upper abdominal pain

Pain in the upper abdomen after delivery may be due to something as simple as acidity. But sometimes, it may aslo indicate anemia, high BP or an impending liver failure which needs immediate treatment.

Calf pain

A heavy ache in your calf accompanied with warm skin and redness maybe deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This condition may be life threatening and needs immediate attention.

Heavy blood loss, or increasing blood loss with large clots

If you are bleeding extremely heavily and you soak one sanitary pad in an hour, or are passing large clots, call your doctor. It may be a symptom of postpartum haemorrhage or anemia due to blood loss. These symptoms may be accompanied by extreme weakness and dizziness.

Severe or persistent headache

A pounding headache succeeding delivery may lead to high blood pressure, or pre-eclampsia. Dizziness and nausea may accompany this symptom.

Chest pain

"Chest pain could be an indication of thrombosis," informs Dr Sharma. Thrombosis is commonly known as the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. Do not ignore this symptom as well.

Unable to pee within six hours of your baby’s birth

Sometimes, having a warm shower is recommended if you are unable to pass urine for sometime after birth. If that doesn't work, you may have urinary retention or an injury which needs medical attention.

Suicidal thoughts

Delusions and suicidal tendencies could indicate a dangerous condition called postpartum psychosis, which requires urgent treatment.

Unpleasant vaginal discharge

A foul smelling vaginal discharge could mean an infection. Though this symptom does not call for emergency action, do call the doctor the following day.

Depressing behaviour, agitation and severe mood swings

One seriously underestimated post natal complication is pregnancy depression or postpartum blues. Though in some cases, the feelings normalise after a few days, consult your doctor for ways to get over this condition.

Widespread rash

A widespread rash may be caused due to an allergy. It may also indicate an infection.

Have you experienced any of these postnatal complications? Please share your experience in the Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from


Written by

Preeti Athri