When To Call For Help
Most women sail through pregnancy and the postpartum period but it is good to be prepared for any untoward incidents. Problems during and after pregnancy have warning signs. Know the signs so you know when to call your health care provider for help.
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Vaginal discharge that causes itching, soreness, or bad odour.
- Signs of preeclampsia:
- Severe headache that does not go away
- Visual disturbances, blurred vision, flashes of light, or spots before your eyes.
- Sudden, increased swelling of the face, hands, or feet.
- Sudden weight gain, 2 to 3 pounds in a week, in your third trimester.
- Very bad, continuous headaches.
- Pain or burning when urinating.
- Decreased urine output despite drinking large amounts of fluid.
- Continuous vomiting or loose stools.
- Fever with a temperature abouve 100.4 degrees, or feeling chills.
- Painful, hard veins in the legs or elsewhere.
- A gush or leak of water from the vagina.
- An accident, hard fall, or other injury.
- Sharp or continuous pain in your stomach.
- Have severe vaginal bleeding.
- Have severe pain in your belly or pelvis.
- Have had fluid gushing or leaking from your vagina (the amniotic sac has ruptured) AND you know or think the umbilical cord is bulging into your vagina (cord prolapse). This is quite rare, but if it happens, immediately get down on your knees and drop your head and upper body lower than your buttocks to decrease pressure on the cord until help arrives. Cord prolapse can off the baby’s blood supply.
- Abdominal pain that does not go away.
Your baby has stopped moving or is moving less than 10 times in 2 hours.
A common method of checking your baby’s movement is to count the number of kicks or moves you feel in an hour. Ten movements (such as kicks, flutters, or rolls) in an hour are normal. To count:
- Pick your baby’s most active time of day. Some doctors suggest that you count in the morning until you get to 10 movements. Then you can quit for that day and start again the next day.
- If you do not feel 10 movements in an hour, your baby may be sleeping. Wait for the next hour and count again.
- Uterine tenderness, unexplained fever, or general weakness (possible symptoms of infection).
- Between 20 and 37 weeks, more than four to six contractions in one hour could indicate preterm labor.
- After 37 weeks, contractions every five minutes for one to two hours could indicate labour.
- Between 20 and 37 weeks, preterm labour could be indicated by low back pain or pelvic pressure that does not go away, or intestinal cramping with or without diarrhea.
Get emergency help if you think you are in danger for example if you have a seizure or pass out.
If there are changes in your health, contact your health care provider if:
- You are not getting better after two to three days.
- You have vaginal discharge that smells bad.
- You have signs of postpartum depression, such as:
- Feelings of despair or hopelessness for more than a few days.
- Troubling or dangerous thoughts or hallucinations.
- Your breasts are painful or red and you have a fever, which are symptoms of breast engorgement and mastitis.
These are dangerous situations that require emergency help:
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- You have severe vaginal bleeding. You are passing blood clots and soaking through a new sanitary pad every hour for two or more hours.
- Your vaginal bleeding seems to be getting heavier or is still bright red four days after delivery, or you pass blood clots larger than the size of a golf ball.
- You feel dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel as you may faint.
- You are vomiting or you cannot keep fluids down.
- You have a fever.
- You have new or more belly pain.
- You pass tissue (not just blood).
- You have a severe headache, visual problems, or sudden swelling of your face, hands, or feet.