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Postpartum Period: Danger Signs That Need to be Watched Out

The postpartum occurs for 4-6 weeks after giving birth. During the postpartum, bleeding occurs like menstruation. In addition, the postpartum period may cause discomfort, even there are some conditions that need to be watched out for as a danger sign.

In addition to the discharge of postpartum blood (lochia), there are several things that commonly occur postpartum, ranging from discomfort during intercourse, changes in body shape, appearance of stretch marks, hair loss, to constipation.

Although these complaints generally will decrease towards the end of the postpartum period, you still need to be aware of the danger signs that may occur during the postpartum. Like very much bleeding, high fever, or protracted sadness.

Lochia, blood coming out during the postpartum

During the postpartum, there is a process of discharge of blood from the vagina called lochia. As soon as the birth process is complete, the liquid is dark red and the majority consists of blood coming out of the vagina. This liquid is called lochia rubra, and lasts for 1-3 days. After that, the liquid will become thinner and pink in color called lochia serosa which occurs for 3-10 days after the birth process. On day 10-14, the liquid that comes out becomes yellowish to brown, called lochia alba.

The volume of fluid that comes out is usually not too much and is natural, does not have a strong odor, and comes out almost every day for the first 2-3 weeks. The order is also usually from dark red, pink, and brownish liquid. As many as 15% of women can take lochia up to 6 weeks after giving birth, there can also be an increase in lochia volume on day 7 to day 14.

Recognizing the danger signs of postpartum

Some conditions in the postpartum period need to be considered because they have the possibility of being a danger sign, including:

Postpartum bleeding

Postpartum bleeding can be a sign of danger. This should be suspected if you have to change pads more than once per hour. This condition can also be accompanied by dizziness and irregular heartbeat.

If you experience it, you are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately. This condition might indicate that there is still a placenta left in the uterus, so curettage is needed as a treatment.

High fever (more than 38 ° C)

High fever and body shivering, can be a sign of infection. This complaint can also be accompanied by pain in the abdomen, groin, breast, or stitch marks (if giving birth with surgery). In addition to fever, postpartum blood that smells pungent can also be a symptom of infection.

Great headache

Headaches that occur during the first week of postpartum may be the residual effect of administering anesthesia during childbirth. However, if the headache is very disturbing, accompanied by blurred vision, vomiting, heartburn, or swollen ankles, you need to be vigilant. This condition can be a sign of complications such as postpartum preeclampsia.

Pain in the calf

Unbearable pain in the calves, which is accompanied by a feeling of heat, swelling, and redness can be a sign of blood clots. This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and can be fatal if the blood clots move to other parts of the body, such as the lungs.

Difficulty breathing and chest pain

Chest pain accompanied by shortness of breath can be a sign of pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is a condition of blocked blood flow in the lungs, usually because there is a blood clot. This condition can be life threatening, especially if vomiting blood or decreased consciousness also occurs.

Disorders of urination

Can not urinate, can not control the urge to urinate, want to urinate continuously, pain when urinating, until the dark color of urine can be a sign of certain medical conditions. Depending on the symptoms experienced, the problem can be a sign of dehydration, disturbances in the intestinal muscles or pelvis, to infections of the bladder or kidneys.

Feel sad constantly

Changes in hormone levels and the emergence of responsibility after giving birth can make mothers experience the baby blues. Symptoms that appear can be feelings of anxiety, anger, panic, tired or sad. Generally this condition disappears in a few days or weeks. If the feeling is not lost, even with hatred, suicide, hallucinations, chances are you have postpartum depression. This condition is classified as dangerous and needs immediate treatment.

Which must be considered during the postpartum

  • Mothers who have just given birth will usually be preoccupied with taking care of the baby, but don't forget to always take care of your own health. Irregular bedtime will cause the mother's sleep hours to become irregular. Try to sleep when your baby is sleeping so you are not weak because of lack of rest.
  • Ask for help to take care of the baby in the first few weeks after giving birth because at this time the health of the mother has not fully recovered.
  • Eat nutritious food to meet maternal nutritional needs and infant nutrition.
  • Meet the needs of fluids especially if the mother has to breastfeed the baby.
  • Ask your doctor for advice regarding medicines that you can or should not take. Not a few traditional medicines are believed to be able to help mothers during the postpartum. Always consult a doctor before taking certain drugs.

Knowing the danger signs during childbirth, can help new mothers and those around them to be more careful. If you experience or see an alarm in the postpartum, it is recommended to immediately consult a doctor, in order to get the right treatment.



1. Baby Center (2017). Pospartum Warning Signs.

2. Weiss, R. Very Well Family (2018). Important Postpartum Warning Signs.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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