Some women think that after the baby is safely delivered, happy and healthy, that is the end of their worries and that nothing could simply go wrong anymore. For most women, that is so true, but for other less fortunate moms, they know the dreary truth behind the meaning of anything could happen. Having a baby is such a miraculous experience that almost all women should experience it at least once in their life. They have never known what unconditional love meant until they bring a baby into this world. The love between a mother and child go higher than anything believed possible. That is why it is so important for moms to know other dangerous symptoms that they should be on the lookout for, not just for themselves, but for their baby as well.
Some women have perfectly normal postpartum symptoms that are no cause for alarm. But do you, as a new mom, know what to look out for and when the red flags should be showing? Little things like a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or unusual pain in your legs can be an underlying symptom of something that needs immediate medical attention. We all experience pain in our legs every now and then, but when is it something to worry about? As for our newborn baby, if they start making repetitive facial movements or if they are not producing their normal number of tears, what should a new mom do then and is it something of concern? Keep reading to find out about a few undercover postpartum symptoms that are dangerous for mom and baby.
15 Mom: Leg Swelling
During pregnancy, mom's body retains extra fluid which can cause her blood volume to increase by up to 50 percent. After mom delivers the baby, her body gets rid of extra fluid by going to the bathroom and by sweating. After delivering the baby, the swelling is called postpartum edema and usually dissipates within a week or so; longer is the mom had been diagnosed with preeclampsia during her pregnancy.
If after a week, you have swelling in your legs that goes not go away, call your doctor immediately. Especially if the swelling is more in one leg than the other or if it is tender and painful because this is a sign of a blood clot. However, leg swelling with a headache or blurry vision could be a symptom of postpartum preeclampsia. So, it’s always best to call your doctor if you notice any symptoms that just do not seem right to you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.
14 Baby: Yellowing Of The Skin
Yellowing of the skin can occur in babies with a high level of bilirubin, which is a yellow pigment during normal breakdown of red blood cells. When a baby is at a certain age, their liver processes the bilirubin, which then gets passed through the intestinal tract. However, a newborn's tiny liver may not be ready enough to remove the bilirubin, which then caused the baby to be jaundice, a yellowing color to the skin.
Jaundice usually goes away within two to three weeks. If it goes longer than that, it could be a sign of underlying issues such as major problems with the baby’s liver. There are other things that could cause jaundice in a newborn such as the baby being born prematurely, not getting enough milk or formula, or if the baby’s blood type is not compatible with its mothers. There are other things that factor into a baby developing jaundice; this is only a brief list of examples.
13 Mom: Pressure And Pounding
Postpartum headaches can be normal after giving birth due to the exhaustion, the epidural, or even hormonal changes. Typically drinking water and taking an over-the-counter painkiller will do wonders. But if a pesky headache doesn’t disappear within 24 hours, and mom develops a blood pressure that is over 140/90, she may want to consider seeking medical treatment to make sure that everything is alright.
After delivery, 50 percent of women that experience a headache is caused by either a migraine or a tension headache. However, 24 percent of women found out that their headache was caused by either postpartum preeclampsia or postpartum eclampsia. 16 percent of women had what is called a spinal headache, and the last percentage of women actually had developed some kind of brain abnormality. The eclampsia and preeclampsia are what cause the spike in blood pressure. Don’t be tricked ladies, just because the baby is already born does not mean that you won’t still struggle with preeclampsia or eclampsia related issues!
12 Baby: Crying Without Tears
Babies usually don’t start crying actual tears until they are at least two weeks old. After this point, if you start to notice that your baby is not producing as many tears when they cry as usual, or if they are going to the bathroom less frequently, pay attention to the signs. These two symptoms alone could be indicators that the baby is actually dehydrated. It is less common in babies who are bottle fed since a parent can visually gauge how much their child is drinking.
With babies that are breastfeeding, they are no real way to gauge how much fluid they are taking in, which can lead to other things such as the baby starving. So, mom, take notice to the teardrops every now and then, it just may help save your baby.
11 Mom: The Infected V
If a mom gets home after delivering her little one and starts to notice that she is experiencing some abnormal discharge that also has a foul smell to it, then mom may need to be very careful because the can be a sign of an infection in the uterus, or also known as endometritis. Endometritis is just medical lingo for a uterine infection, which can also be accompanied by a fever and/or abdominal pain on either side or on both sides.
Uterine infections are not as common in natural births as they are in C-sections. A woman who has a uterine infection can take antibiotics to treat the infection, however. Once the mom is treated for the infection, it generally clears up within two to three days. So, if you start to develop any of these symptoms, please contact your doctor.
10 Baby: It's In The Face
If a baby starts having repetitive facial movements such as their eyes darting back and forth, or they are staring out into the nothingness, they stop breathing, which is known as apnea, or they have jerky movements, a mom should either monitor her baby or call the doctor immediately because those are typical symptoms of a seizure.
If a baby is younger than 28-days-old, it is called a neonatal seizure. It’s important for moms to know what to watch for especially since babies are unable to talk and communicate how they are feeling or what’s going on with them. Seizures in newborn babies usually are not that long; they are generally short and subtle. The baby could also be making a bicycle like movements with its legs during a seizure. So, moms, try to pay close attention to your baby since you will notice strange behaviors before anyone else.
9 Mom: Stomach In Knots
Some cramping and abdominal pain should be expected after having a baby. But If a mom starts to develop cramping that is worse than a typical period, or if she starts to develop lower abdominal pain of any kind that is usually accompanied by a fever, then mom should really consider calling her doctor to make sure that everything is okay. Abnormal lower abdominal pain and cramping can be a sign of a pelvic infection.
Infections can become major issues for new moms who just gave birth. It’s the same with any medical procedure of sorts, and giving birth is basically a medical procedure. A pelvic infection is more common in women who gave birth via cesarean section compared to natural childbirth. Abnormal discharge is also a sign of a pelvic infection for some new moms. Luckily, a pelvic infection can usually be treated with just antibiotics.
8 Baby: Redness Around The Stump
After newborns have been born, they have an umbilical cord stump that usually falls off on its own within two weeks of their birth. Parents are urged to care for it properly and to avoid touching it with your bare hands. This is all precautions to keep the umbilical stump from getting infected. So if you notice that the area surrounding the stump looked red and inflamed be very careful because it could be infected, which is not good for the baby’s tiny body.
If the stump becomes infected, you should contact your child’s pediatrician immediately to get your baby looked it before the infection progresses. The stump could also be oozing or have a crust like material around it. You should still never poke at it with your bare hands because that could only make matters worse.
7 Mom: The Painful Lumps
Painful lumps on the girls, or if they become swollen, red, hard, and painful could be a sign of an infection in the girls that is also known by the name of mastitis. It is usually passed from baby to mother via the baby’s nose or throat. The infection can seep in through itty bitty cracks or sores that are already on the girls and lead to an infection. This infection can become extremely painful if left untreated.
A mom does not have to worry about spreading this infection to the baby since generally, the baby is the cause of the infection in the first place. A woman can take antibiotics to help get the infection under control, and during this process, she is usually able to, if not encouraged to, keep breastfeeding her baby.
6 Baby: A Blue Hue
If a baby is turning a bluish color, it is best to contact the baby’s doctor immediately, or even take the baby to the emergency room, because a blue color signifies that for some reason, the baby is not getting enough oxygen. Turing blue could also be an underlying symptom of heart or lung disease in a baby.
That is why it is always best to just call a doctor anyway. That is what they are there for. It is always best to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your child's health and well-being. When blood is oxygenated, it turns the red color that we are all familiar with. It points even more to a heart and lung condition if the baby’s tongue, lips, or private area’s turn blue as well.
5 Mom: Aunt Flo Is Out For Revenge
After having a baby, bleeding is imminent, and there is no way to avoid it. However, if you are bleeding more than what you think you should be, and you are filling up a pad within the hour, it is time to contact your doctor and seek out treatment immediately because it could be postpartum hemorrhaging. This could even occur a week or two after having the baby; it does not necessarily have to happen right after birth like many women think it does.
One thing that could cause postpartum hemorrhaging is the uterus not shrinking back to its original pre-pregnancy size. It could also happen if part of the placenta still remains inside of the uterus. On a rare occurrence, a procedure called a curettage may need to be performed in order to remove unwanted tissue from the uterus, such as if part of the placenta is left inside the womb.
4 Baby: Not Keeping Food Down
Babies spit up and it can tend to happen often. Usually, it is not something to worry about unless the baby is not keeping anything in his or her tummy. If the baby is continuously upchucking all of their milk or formula, that could lead to the baby become dehydrated and malnourished which are never good. Babies spit up because their digestive system has yet to fully mature, allowing the stomach contents to come back up through the baby’s esophagus.
If you notice that your baby is not really keeping anything down any longer, it is always best to call the child’s pediatrician to have your baby evaluated to make sure that it’s reflux and not an allergic reaction to anything. Some babies are allergic to certain ingredients that are found in the certain formulas, so sometimes just changing the baby's formula will do the trick. So, make sure to get your little one checked out.
3 Mom: The Fever
A fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit can be indicative of an infection brewing in mom’s system. If the fever is accompanied by abdominal pain, abnormal foul-smelling discharge or pain and burning when using the ladies room, a mom should contact her doctor immediately, because she most likely needs to be started on antibiotic treatments to get rid of her pesky infection.
One of these infections is something called postpartum sepsis, and it is an infection that can spread from a localized spot on mom’s body, or in a certain area of mom’s body, all throughout the rest of her body causing some major complications. Some common postpartum infections that can cause sepsis are an infection after natural delivery, mastitis, ruptured membranes and the baby is not delivered shortly after, or even any viral or bacterial infection.
2 Mom: The Dark Cloud
As a new mom, even if you have never struggled with issues of depression in the past this does not mean that you are immune to developing postpartum depression (PPD), which is a mental disorder that affects new moms. It is something that can either happen right away or months down the road after delivering a baby. Over 3 million new cases are diagnosed every year in the United States, which makes this disorder more common than we realize. How PPD affects one mom, may differ from how it affects another.
The main symptoms of PPD are feelings of sadness and hopelessness, a mom suffering from PPD may resent her child, or even have feelings of wanting to harm their child or feel like they can’t bond with their new baby. PPD is completely treatable, a mom with these symptoms just needs to ask for help by contacting their doctor. They should never feel judged or like a horrible parent. According to the APA 50 to 70 percent of women will experience PPD at some point after they have given birth.
1 Baby: Fever Above 100.4
For a baby, a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and below is usually a good sign. However, a temperature above that could indicate that the baby has some kind of infection. With babies, a temperature this high does actually need medical attention right away to make sure that the baby is okay. And unfortunately, the most accurate way to check a baby’s temperature also happens to be the way that most moms hate, which is rectal.
Babies who are three months old and younger, fevers are actually considered urgent. Babies can also develop blood infections without showing any other signs or symptoms, which is why it is so important for a mom to take their child to the hospital for a temperature of 100.4 degrees and above. Like with everything else, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Sources: Postpartumprogress.com, romper.com, verywell.com, babycenter.com, aboutkidshealth.org, babycentre.co.uk, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, sepsis.org, healthline.com, healthychildren.org, webmd.com, kellymom.com