Possible Postpartum Pregnancy Problems: 6 Critical Postpartum Warning Signs for New Moms by Linda Hanna, RNC, MSN/Ed., IBCLC
For new parents, there are often a lot of surprises that come with parenthood. Thankfully for women, there’s quite a bit of information on common worrisome pregnancy signs that moms should talk to their doctors about, like pelvic pain, bleeding and a fever.
However, when it comes to postpartum problems, warning signs aren’t quite as widely known. Additionally, with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, postpartum treatment for new moms has completely changed, as appointments have shifted to virtual appointments, adding to the anxiety and loneliness that a new mom might be feeling.
It’s more important than ever for women to feel supported and confident in their recovery – and knowing what signs to watch out for is essential. Here are six critical warning signs that will help new moms know what to look out for after birth – and when to bring it up during a telehealth visit.
- Very High Blood Pressure: Very high blood pressure is always an urgent emergency situation. Left untreated, things like postpartum preeclampsia can cause seizures and other serious complications. It shows up as high blood pressure, excess protein in urine, headaches, vision issues and pain under the ribs on the right side. These can show up right after birth all the way to six weeks after childbirth.
- Abnormally Tired: Being tired during those first few weeks is normal, as moms are busy feeding and bathing the baby, it’s easy for you to overlook your own needs.However, when you can’t function or can’t get up in the morning, alert your doctor. This could be signs of postpartum depression, among other things.
- Changes in Pelvic Floor: If you feel any differences in the way your pelvic floor feels after birth, alert your OB/GYN. Common disorders that can come about include urinary incontinence and genital prolapse. What’s more, the hormonal changes a mom goes through can be a major risk factor.
- Odd Vaginal Discharge: Smelly or brown discharge can be an indicator of infection, particularly weeks after birth. Leaking or flow should resolve itself after several weeks – but if this lasts longer, it can be a sign of our uterus not contracting normally.
- New Allergies: Moms with no previous sensitivities who are suddenly experiencing unusual allergies after birth – for example reactions to soap or becoming lactose intolerant – should flag these symptoms to their doctor.
- Changes in the Abdominal Wall: Diastasis recti is a sideways stretching of the abdominal muscles and is common before and after childbirth. The risks involve back pain, organ support, issues with hip stability, pelvic dysfunction, urinary stress incontinence and more. Particularly right now, moms who can’t see their doctors and thus can’t have a physical checkup, will have a hard time finding out if they have this separation. Luckily there are some ways to check at home to see if you have this and hopefully heal. At Mahmee, we have partnered with Every Mother and their EMbody program to help moms do a self-check and heal using specific exercises.
Coming home from the hospital with a tiny new human can be overwhelming, and particularly now more than ever given how COVID-19 continues to change health care and the community at large. However, knowing these six warning signs will hopefully help parents know what to look out for and know when to seek help. It’s always essential to remember that you’re never alone, even during these unprecedented times.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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