When to Call the Doctor

Post-Delivery Problems That Need a Doctor’s Care.

It’s normal to feel a certain amount of discomfort after giving birth. Here are signs that something more serious is going on.

Call Your Doctor Right Away if You Experience:

  • Heavy bleeding that soaks through a sanitary pad in an hour
  • Lochia that is still bright red four days after giving birth, starts up again after decreasing, or has blood clots larger than a quarter
  • Severe or persistent pain in your pelvis or abdomen
  • Worsening pain in your vagina or perineum, foul-smelling discharge, or swelling or discharge at the site of a perineal tear or episiotomy
  • C-section incision pain that increases or persists beyond the first few weeks, or signs of an infected incision, such as swelling, redness, or discharge
  • Trouble urinating, including a strong urge to go frequently without a lot coming out, dark or bloody urine, or pain or burning while urinating
  • A fever
  • Severe or persistent pain, tenderness or warmth in your leg, or one leg that’s more swollen than the other
  • A painful, swollen area in your breast that doesn’t go away after nursing or warm compresses — this may be accompanied by red streaks, a fever and flu-like symptoms
  • Severe or persistent headaches
  • Vision problems, such as blurring, dimming, double vision, or flashing spots or lights
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Hallucinations, strange voices, or troubling thoughts about hurting yourself or the baby

Call 911 if You:

  • Are bleeding profusely
  • Have fainted or feel like you’re about to
  • Feel chest pain, shortness of breath, or are coughing up blood