5 Postpartum Complications to Watch For

Pregnancy and delivery change a woman’s body in amazing and confusing ways. And while most people think about and plan for the upcoming changes during pregnancy, postpartum changes are often forgotten about with one exception: postpartum depression. While the associated depression and post-pregnancy mental issues are real, they’re not unexpected or unusual complications. However, there are other postpartum complications to watch for, some of which may warrant discussing your options with a birth injury attorney.

Infections during pregnancy are common due to the body’s low immune function. So after pregnancy, more infections may occur as the mother is no longer under constant or continuous medical observation. Reproductive infections are common, specifically endometritis and salpingitis. The resulting inflammation of the uterus and fallopian tubes can be accompanied by a high fever, pelvic or abdominal pain, and unusual vaginal discharge or odor. A few days of antibiotics can begin to clear the issues, but don’t ignore the infections can increase and potentially lead to future reproductive issues.

Postpartum Bleeding or Hemorrhaging
Some type of bleeding is normal after delivery and during the healing process. But approximately one in 50 births also experience postpartum hemorrhaging. This type of heavy bleeding is often associated with clots and pain. It’s considered abnormal when it continues and is most common after long or multiple births as well as due to infections or a birth injury complication. Postpartum hemorrhage should not be ignored as it’s the third cause of post-delivery maternal death. 

Post Delivery Pre-Eclampsia
Preeclampsia is a serious and sometimes fatal condition that usually starts after 20 weeks of gestation. It involves high blood pressure, swollen limbs, and often various symptoms of organ failure from the liver or kidneys. While preeclampsia can be diagnosed quickly and treated easily during pregnancy, most mothers are unaware that the condition can also occur up to a month after delivery.

Pain, Tenderness, or Warmth in Chest or Legs
Although a woman’s body is able to handle to stress and strain of childbirth, there will often still be plenty of aches pain after delivery. But pain or tenderness in the chest or limbs is cause for attention. And when associated with external feeling or sensation of warmth, it may be cause for alarm. Sharp pain, tenderness, and warmth in those specific areas may indicate the formation of a blood clot. Pain and warmth in the legs can be alleviated by keeping them elevated. But any chest pain warrants emergency medical attention.

Urine Retention
Sometimes after pregnancy, the mother feels the need to urinate and simply can’t physically do so. This is known as urine retention and there’s always a reason for it. The cause may be due to the bodily shock after multiple pregnancies, a side effect of the anesthesia, inability because of a recent episiotomy, or issues resulting from delivery instrument usage and medical neglect. A catheter may need to be used in such cases or other treatment may be needed. But if it goes untreated, kidney damage may occur. If you feel your postpartum issues may be due to a birth injury complication, it may be time to call and discuss your concerns with the right birth injury attorney.

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