The postpartum or puerperium is the period that elapses between the delivery of the placenta and the return to normality of all the woman's organs. The physical postpartum begins with the delivery of the placenta and lasts approximately 6 weeks, the famous quarantine; On the other hand, the emotional or psychological postpartum can last much longer. On this occasion, we want to talk to you about those non-normal symptoms of the woman after childbirth and that can alert us to some other health problem.
The body for nine months has been transforming to create a new life, and after childbirth, it has to return to normal. In this period many natural physiological changes are experienced, but certain complications can also occur. How do I know if something is wrong with my recovery? These are some of the signs and symptoms that tell us that something is wrong, and are reason to consult a specialist:
1. Postpartum bleeding
It is due to the blood vessels that break when the placenta detaches from the uterus, to the remains of cells, vernix, etc. We call this lochios. The first days are abundant, like a rule or even more, and red in color, being normal to expel a clot.
The following days are brown or pinkish and scarcer in quantity, and later they lighten, ending with a yellowish-whitish color, until they disappear. It is not normal that after the first two or three days the bleeding does not decrease and remains red, very abundant as a rule or greater and with many clots, nor that the smell is fetid.
2. Abdominal pain
Miscarriages or uterine contractions are very frequent in the postpartum period, especially in multiparous women (they have already had another delivery or more children in the same delivery), who feel like small uterine contractions, similar to those of childbirth, but less intense. An intense abdominal pain, that does not subside with analgesia and prevents you from doing your normal life is a warning sign.
3. Breast discomfort
The first days postpartum you may have minor discomfort in the breasts due to the increase in the volume of milk, such as a feeling of full breast, which is relieved by putting the baby to the breast or expressing milk. But it is not normal to have continuous pain in one or both breasts, or red and hot areas, these are symptoms of possible mastitis.
After delivery, a slight rise in temperature is normal, usually due to the rise in milk. But a fever higher than 38 degrees for more than 24 hours indicates a possible infection in the breasts, uterus, perineal wound or cesarean section, which must be checked and treated.
5. High blood pressure
Tension figures greater than 140/90 at any time postpartum (and in life) is a reason for consultation. Hypertension can be accompanied by headache, stomach pain, or visual disturbances.
6. Pain from wounds
In the postpartum we can find wounds in the perineum (tears or episiotomies), or a cesarean section wound. It is normal that these wounds hurt during the first postpartum days, but it must be a bearable pain, that is calmed with analgesia, and that each day they bother a little less. If bleeding appears, or any discharge from the wound, if we find hematoma or edema, if the stitches are red and / or the pain does not subside, we should consult a specialist.
7. Depressive mood
It is normal for mood disorders to occur during quarantine. Many things have changed in your life with the arrival of the baby. During the first weeks it is common to find feelings of sadness or melancholy, irritability, anxiety, the urge to cry, discouragement, etc. These feelings have a limited duration and do not interfere with the mother's usual tasks, it is called postpartum blues or maternity blues.
Postpartum depression is a serious condition that requires treatment. The intensity and duration of symptoms is much greater than in postpartum blues. It can start at any time during the first year after delivery and prevents caring for the baby and doing normal activities. Postpartum depression requires specialized help and treatment.
Postpartum is a stage of many changes, physical, psychological and emotional, it is a period of millions of doubts and uncertainty. Therefore, if you have any questions, go to your midwife or reference doctor to consult it.
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