Listing down the top 5 postpartum symptoms not to ignore!

Postpartum symptoms not to ignore

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Yes! You have delivered a bundle of joy, and congratulations on doing that. However – that’s a whole human that you have delivered, and your body has undergone some mammoth changes for the same. Therefore – along with nursing the little one, you must look out for yourself. In the words of a renowned OB-GYN – “Childbirth is a natural process, but there are some postpartum symptoms not to ignore. It could be fatal if not treated on time.”

Keeping her words in mind as you scroll down this listicle – with the help of medical experts, some of the key postpartum symptoms (though some are scary) have been elaborated.

Postpartum symptoms not to ignore – check well

When you become a mother – you are flooded with congratulatory messages for sure, but your hormones are wreaking havoc in your body! Also – since your OB-GYN has already instructed you about the changes in your body due to the delivery – it so happens that you are not concerned about the postpartum symptoms not to ignore – since you consider many of them to be normal.

Postpartum symptoms not to ignore

However – here are some of the ‘common’ but ‘be careful’ indicators that you need to be concerned about – 

Symptom 1 – Postpartum Hemorrhage 

What? Excessive bleeding post-delivery (soaking up to 4 pads per hour).

Details – This occurs mostly from the immediate period post-delivery to up to one month after delivery.

  • Whether you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section, you can have chances of hemorrhage. Also – women who have had forceps-assisted delivery, or prolonged labors, suffer from either diabetic or obesity-related issues – this is quite a common occurrence.

Seek immediate medical help – since it can be fatal.

Symptom 2 – Some Placenta has been retained 

What? When there is excessive bleeding (soaking 3-4 pads per hour), vaginal cramps, and fever.

Details – This could occur within 24 – hours of delivery and could also extend up to 10-15 days post-delivery.

  • At times it so happens that the placenta does not completely detach from the uterus and comes out in shreds (making it difficult to determine the condition of the tissue). This occurs because – the uterus does not push out the placenta, or perhaps the cervix closed prior to the expulsion of the placenta.

One of the crucial postpartum symptoms not to ignore – you would have to undergo either manual or surgical removal.

Symptom 3 – Epidural Headache 

What? Piercing headache – especially while standing – does become better while lying down.

Details – This generally occurs within a month post-delivery – especially after discharge, when the woman is trying to return to regular life.

Postpartum symptoms not to ignore

  • It happens because of a small nick that occurs in the layer which circles the cerebrospinal fluid. Due to this rupture – the fluid leaks out of the cask, resulting in a headache.

The only way to treat it – apart from the prescribed medication- is to inject the woman’s fluid (the cerebrospinal one) with her own blood to revert the pressure.

Symptom 4 – Gall Stones are too frequent 

What? Intense pain in the upper side of the rib cage followed by nausea and vomiting.

Details – This has a long time span and can appear up to 6 months post-delivery.

  • Due to increased estrogen production in the female body- the gall bladder cannot function properly and, therefore, rather than breaking down fats – it tends to accumulate sludge which further causes stones.

As one of the postpartum symptoms not to ignore, your medical practitioner will often remove the stones surgically (at an adequate time) or via prescribed drugs.

Symptom 5 – Pulmonary Embolism 

What? Chest issues – pain while breathing or incessant chest pains followed by an increased heart rate and a swollen calf area.

Details – You may develop blood clots from 24 hours after delivery to up to 6 weeks.

  • Alternatively referred to as Deep Vein Thrombosis – women who have diabetes-related issues or are incessant smokers are more prone to having these blood clots in the circulatory system. This affects any vein that brings blood back to the heart.

Normally doctors monitor the patient, and in most cases, they are administered blood thinners. However – if there exists a clot in the path between the circulatory system and the lungs – it can be quite severe.

Apart from the ones mentioned above – the other postpartum symptoms not to ignore – include Postpartum sepsis, HELLP syndrome, and Invasive Group A Streptococcus, all of which have common indicators such as fever, sudden chills, exhaustion, and body pain. In case of any of the above-mentioned issues – consult your doctor at the earliest since they can be life-threatening if not paid immediate attention.

Some other symptoms you may note

The listicle mentioned above shows the postpartum symptoms not to ignore. However, there are other symptoms post your delivery that you may need to check out. If you have any of these – it is best to consult your OB-GYN at the earliest.

  • A sudden vaginal discharge of blood. Medically termed Lochia – multiple factors cause this issue, and if not treated on time could result in – uterine infection (endometriosis) and other urinary tract infections.


  • There are mothers who cannot breastfeed their children properly after delivery since their milk ducts get clogged and cause undue reddening. This is another of the common postpartum symptoms.


  • Added to that is another one – wherein a certain portion of the breast gets reddened (like mastitis), which could cause some other troubles for the new mother.


  • Another common issue most women face after delivery is – immense pain during sexual intercourse. It is not normal and requires medical attention sooner than expected.


  • Extreme pain in your legs (causing unnecessary swelling and redness), painful urination process, and discomforting symptoms post-delivery – are some of the other indicators that one needs to keep track of apart from the above-noted postpartum symptoms not to ignore.

Rather than sitting back at home and waiting it out – it is better that you consult the medical provider who has been tending to your needs and get the required care.

Postpartum depression – A special mention

Having baby blues? Just not feeling like seeing your baby’s face? Do you regret your ‘mommy’ role? That is all normal!! In fact – it is one of the postpartum symptoms not to ignore. An independent US survey states that almost 13% of women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD), and the risks of undiagnosed cases and underdiagnosis are not yet available.

If you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones who have been diagnosed with PPD (multiple cases go undiagnosed and, when left untreated, cause long-term depression issues) – follow the medication prescribed by your doctor religiously. Also, multiple therapies are available to deal with this mental issue – such as cognitive therapy and interpersonal therapy, which, if continued for a consistent period, helps to deal with PPD.

Postpartum symptoms not to ignore
Image Credit: Madison Women’s Health

#Just for the record – if you are not treated on time or do not follow the correct course – you could have to deal with some of the severe versions of PPD, such as – postpartum psychosis (occurring upto 3 women out of every 1000), postpartum anxiety (almost 20-25% of females are affected by this), and postpartum OCD (prevalence rate of 2-9%). 

#By the way – even men (almost 8-10% of new fathers) suffer from paternal postpartum depression. 

Take care of your health

Globally, medical professionals advise new mothers to continue with their postnatal care for up to 4 months (at times six months). However, it is only a mere 23-25%  of the global population, which also belongs to the upper echelons of society who follow the routine. For most – these indicators later are notified as postpartum symptoms not to ignore – but which have already been done and dusted with.

Since you are reading this post – do understand the immediate requirements of the body and consultant a professional at the earliest. If you know anyone who requires this message – please forward this list to the concerned woman who has just been extended the duty of being a mother. Take care.


  • Monalisa Mukherjee

    Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer, copywriter and editor with 4 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, The Rich Net Worth, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing press release, guest posts, articles on travel, entertainment, food recipes, celebs, lifestyle, tech, health, and fashion.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *