Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning

Complications

Call your health care provider immediately if you have:

OBSTETRIC HEMORRHAGE

Some bleeding during the postpartum period is normal. But if you notice extra bleeding, you could have a obstetric hemorrhage . A hemorrhage can happen anytime during the 12 weeks following birth. If bleeding seems excessive, this is a red flag. A hemorrhage may be obvious or can be a little hard to identify. Pay attention if you experience a constant steady flow of blood and not just a gush after activity or when you stand up. A small percentage of birthing parents may get a blood clot in their lower leg. This condition is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s uncommon but can be life threatening. These clots usually form in the deep veins of the legs, but rarely they can break apart and travel to the lungs. If not treated this can lead to a clot in an artery in the lung called a pulmonary embolism—this is a medical emergency. A clot can also break apart and travel to the brain and cause a stroke—another kind of medical emergency. To help prevent clots, get up and walk around whenever you get a chance. The risk for DVT is increased for about 6-8 weeks after birth. You should know the signs and tell your health care provider if you experience them. Signs of blood clots in the leg • Pain or tenderness that may feel like a pulled muscle • Unexplained fever • Slight or moderate swelling in one leg • Tender, red, hard, warm area on the calf or thigh BLOOD CLOT

• Bleeding—soaking through one pad in an hour or less • Blood clots that are the size of an egg or bigger • Signs of very low blood pressure, like feeling faint, dizzy, weak, or clammy • Blurred vision or a very fast heart rate If you can’t reach your health care provider, go to an emergency room or call 911 .

Call 911 if you have:

• Chest pain • Obstructed breathing or shortness of breath • Facial drooping • Arm weakness on one side • Difficulty speaking

Call your health care provider immediately if you have:

• Blood when you cough • Rapid heartbeat • Rapid breathing rate • Red or swollen leg that’s painful or warm to touch If you can’t reach your health care provider, go to an emergency room or call 911 .

POSTPARTUM PREECLAMPSIA

Call your health care provider immediately if you have:

Postpartum preeclampsia can happen to anyone who just had a baby. Often symptoms start in the first 48 hours after birth. But they can also happen up to 6 weeks after giving birth. Preeclampsia is a very dangerous condition, but it can be treated if caught early.

• Headache that does not get better, even after taking medicine • Vision changes, like flashing lights, auras, and light sensitivity • Swelling of your hands or face • Pain in your upper abdomen or shoulder • Nausea or vomiting • Shortness of breath, confusion, or anxiety If you can’t reach your health care provider, go to an emergency room or call 911 .

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Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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