What’s happens to my body now that I’m no longer pregnant? When should I worry there’s a problem?

Your body is amazing. Every organ system geared up for your pregnancy, and now that you’ve delivered, things begin to revert back to the way they were- some slowly and others rapidly. Common immediate concerns postpartum focus on a few things: bleeding too heavily, signs of infection or worsening pain or conditions linked to high blood pressure. Saturating a maxi pad hourly for two or more hours is never normal and neither is the continual passage of clots larger than a baseball (or lemon, depending on your point of reference). As a rule, an oral temperature greater than 100.4F suggests concern and >101F mandates a phone call to your Provider. Common infections sites include the uterus, breast, bladder, incision site or veins in the pelvis. The reappearance of pain at any location (usually the uterus, pelvis, vagina or breast) may indicate a problem requiring an examination.

Remember, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, seems to provide benefit to the majority of women postpartum. If it’s working for a while and then stops providing you benefit, I encourage patients to call. Lastly, some women may develop problems associated with hypertension (elevated blood pressure) postpartum, even when they didn’t have this issue while they were pregnant, or in labor. Concerning signs such as “the worst headache” of your life, blurred vision, agitation, sudden onset of nausea and vomiting or right upper quadrant abdominal pain warrant immediate attention.

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