Postpartum Care for Mothers

The postpartum period is critical recovery time for mothers and their newborns. New mothers go through many changes after delivering a baby. Some discomforts, like being sore and really tired, are normal in the weeks after giving birth. However, some women experience complications after birth than can cause serious, life-threatening health problems.

POST-BIRTH Warning Signs

POST-BIRTH is an acronym to help mothers identify problems in the hours, days, weeks and months after giving birth.

Call 911 if you have:

Pain in chest

Obstructed breathing or shortness of breath

Seizures

Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby

Call your health care provider if you have:

(If you can’t reach your provider, go to urgent care, an emergency room, or call 911.)

Bleeding, soaking through one pad/hour, or blood clots the size of an egg or larger

Incision that is not healing

Red or swollen leg that is painful or warm to touch

Temperature of 100.4° F or higher

Headache that does not get better even after taking medication or bad headache with vision changes

Tell 911 or your health care provider: “I had a baby on [date] and I am having [specific warning signs].”

Watch & Learn

OB-GYN Dr. Kirstin Sholes explains more about POST-BIRTH Warning Signs

If you’re worried about any particular pain, discomfort or how you feel after birth, contact your physician right away.

Postpartum Checkups

Keep all of your postpartum checkups, both at the hospital and with your physician, even if you feel fine. New moms are at risk of serious, life-threatening medical conditions in the days and weeks after giving birth. These medical checkups ensure you are recovering well from labor and delivery. The checkups help the medical team to identify and treat any health conditions you may have or be at risk for.