Different Postpartum Complications that Arises

Uncomfortable and troublesome postpartum complications accompany the temporary joy. What kind of postpartum complications are the most common ones? How should you deal with them? Let’s find out.

1) Abdominal Pain (Postpartum Complications Aches & Pains)

postpartum complications

Your uterus will keep contracting and discharging the remaining wastes in order to shrink to its original size. Most mothers can barely feel the abdominal pain caused by a contracted uterus. However, some feel a strong abdominal pain 2-3 days post delivery. If the pain becomes unbearable, you must take anodyne. Usually, the pain will fade away after 3-4 days. Mothers who undergo C-section can’t differentiate between the pain from postpartum or from a surgical site. By and large, a multipara will experience more pain than a primipara.

Tip: Promote Uterus Contraction

After delivery, you will feel a hard abdomen or lower belly. Press the hardening part and massage in the clockwise direction to promote uterus contraction. When you face issues in contraction, consume medicated contraction agents or place an ice bag on your abdomen.

2) Discharge of Lochia

Lochia, which is normal bleeding and discharge from vagina after birth, passes 4-6 weeks post delivery. The amount of lochia increases to a maximum point on the day of delivery. However, as it gradually decreases in amount, its color fades.

Lochia from C-section will be present a few days later than that from natural labor. After 2 weeks, the color of lochia gradually fades (i.e., from brown to pink). Lochia stops completely at 4-6 weeks post delivery. If you still have a huge amount of stinky secretion mixed with blood at 6 weeks post delivery, you must check with the doctor. Don’t lie on your back; instead, lie on your side upon a warm bed board or on the floor. It will be of help in getting rid of lochia.

Tip: Lochia Disinfection

To prevent the surgical wound to be infected by viruses, remember to clean your lower part as detailed as possible along with sanitization. Clean 2 to 3 times daily by using vaginal cleaners and then dry your lower part thoroughly and then wear sanitary pads. Change your pads every 2 to 3 hours. When you finish your business in the toilet, remember to rub forward and backward of your lower part to ensure proper hygiene, including washing hands thoroughly with soap.

3) Vaginal Pain

One of the postpartum complications is vaginal pain. Here, you will feel painful 7-10 days post natural labor because of your vaginal wound and hemorrhoids. If your vaginal wound hasn’t been healed, you can neither sit nor walk. Your vagina will hurt for 2-3 days and will become itchy as it gradually recovers. If the pain becomes intense, you can take some anodyne. However, if it swells, you should consult a doctor. You can massage the area that hurts using a gauze towel with some ice cubes wrapped inside or sit while bath to alleviate the pain. Nowadays, most hospitals take advantage of dissolvable surgical sutures. As a result, no suture removal is required, as they will dissolve or melt in approximately 3 weeks.

Tip: Sit while you Bath At Home

To those who experienced natural labor or delivery, sitting while you bath is good.

Sanitize or disinfect a bowl with hot water, then add some hot water and let your perineum have contact with the hot steam. After that, use dry towel to pat the body part as a method of drying or use a hairdryer. Do this repeatedly for 2 to 3 times per day, you will feel better. For C-section delivery, this method is appropriate as well.

4) Breast Pain

Breasts enlarge and become harder post delivery along with aches and pain. It is a syndrome caused by blood clots in the lymph glands and veins. Use a warm towel to massage the breasts when they start to buckle up 1-2 days post delivery in order to remove blood clots. If you don’t do so, your breasts will become as hard as stones and you may develop a fever which can lead to mastitis. Lactating through breastfeeding or breast pumps can be of a great help. Your husband or medical practitioners can massage the breasts if you cannot manage it by yourself.

5) Constipation and Hemorrhoids

Most mothers have hemorrhoids post delivery. Vaginal pain causes the intestines to function slowly, which in turn increases the risk of developing hemorrhoids. The use of Epidural anesthesia during labor also increases the chance. It takes more time for the intestines to recover after a C-Section. As a result, you will be prone to constipation. Water, yogurt, and foods such as fruits and brown rice with fibers can prevent constipation. When you defecate, do not exert yourself too much or your hemorrhoids may become exasperated. If you still have difficulties in defecating 3-4 days post delivery, you can resort to an enema. If you don’t have hemorrhoids before delivery, you may still develop them post delivery. Cold compression therapy and sitting in a bath can help alleviate the pain caused by vaginal wounds. It can also help alleviate the pain from hemorrhoids to a certain level. It’s highly recommended to do this for 10-20 minutes a day.

6) Lose Micturition Desire

The amount of urine will increase post delivery. However, your bladder, which was compressed by uterus, hasn’t fully recovered yet. Sometimes, you may not have a sense of micturition. Even if you don’t have a sense of micturition, you should still attempt to urinate on a regular basis. If you cannot urinate a few days post delivery, you should resort to Foley care.

7) Edema

Your body starts to suffer from edema and swelling post delivery. Women who undertook a C-Section will suffer more from edema than women who undergo natural labor. In general, edema usually disappear 2-3 days post delivery. Swelling around ankles are most noticeable compared to other body parts because of the accumulation of fluid in the tissues. If you still suffer from edema 1-2 weeks post delivery or if you discover varices, you should consult your doctor.

8) Anemia

Labor and delivery give rise to massive blood loss. The amount of blood lost from a C-Section is twice as much as that of from a natural labor. Some women who are not diagnosed with anemia experience it after delivery. Women who had anemia previously tend to suffer from a more challenging situation after delivery. Therefore, emergency blood transfusion may happen among people like them. If you have anemia during the postpartum period, you will easily get tired. Have a blood test post delivery to check whether or not you have hypochromia. If this is the case, then you must have ferrotherapy 1-3 months post delivery.

9) Lumbago

During the process of pregnancy, labor pain will cause the waist muscles tension, which then causes muscle strain after birth. In this case, you may experience pain all over your body or a severe pain around your waist. When you’re pregnant, your waist cannot support your abdominal weight. As a result, your joints will hurt post delivery. Rehabilitate with relaxed activities such as walking. You will get well gradually. Don’t carry heavy stuff and be sure to sit straight. Additionally, do not gain weight. If you gain weight, your waist will hurt even more. As a result, your postpartum diet is very important in controlling this.

10) Sudden Loss of Vision

You may also experience sudden loss of vision due to an increase in blood pressure and massive blood loss. Also, when you exert yourself too much during delivery, your blood pressure rises and your retinal artery becomes pressurized which contributes to the loss of your vision.

If you are diagnosed with gestosis, it is a serious matter. You should make sure to get sufficient sleep, be treated ferrotherapy, and keep calm. You should recover and have your vision back in about 1 week.


If the weak vision continues for one week and above, secretion is affected, headache for a consecutive 3 days and above, no sufficient sleep, and having dry eyes, please consult doctor for proper medical treatment. Normally, when the blood pressure becomes normal again, your eyesight or vision will resume as normal as well.

11) Hair Loss

Affected by hormones during pregnancy, your metabolism slows down and your rate of hair loss slows down as well. However, once you recover, your metabolism returns to the normal state. The hair that was supposed to fall off during pregnancy drops all at once in order to grow new ones. This is the reason behind the cause of hair loss after pregnancy. Your hair may not recover to its original volume but you shouldn’t worry as to whether or not you’ll become bold either.

12) Joints Pain

After birth, you may experience sudden pain around your joints continuously, even though it seems perfectly fine on the outside. If pain in your joints worsens, go to the rehabilitation hospital for physical therapy or Chinese traditional treatment.

13) Wrists and Ankle Pain

Excessive use of your wrists, such as holding your baby in your arms can be damaging, especially during the postpartum period. This may cause the inability to hold your fist, ankles pain when walking, shoulders pain. Be cautious in lifting or carrying heavy items. Keep switching sides while bottle-feeding the baby. Do not wash or drain your clothes by hand. You may have to go to the orthopedics or rehabilitation department at the hospital.

14) Pubic Pain

When the baby comes out through birth canal, it produces a massive amount of pressure that affects pubic region and caudal. Pain can be reduced by wearing tight pants or stretchable girdle. All of these pains will be alleviated through a period of time. If you don’t eventually feel better, you must go to the orthopedics or rehabilitation department at the hospital.

15) Teeth Exfoliation

The pressure exerted during labor causes the gums to tear and causes pain in turn. If you don’t take good care of your teeth during pregnancy, your gums may start to hurt. Even if you feel, it is advisable for you to still make an appointment with your dentist.

16) Active Sweat Gland

To discharge impurities in your body, your sweat glands will become very active in a few days. Change your underwear frequently and wipe your sweat off with towels. One of the warning signs is if you do not sweat at all, consult your doctor.

These postpartum complications can be dealt with accordingly.

Sandra Henderson

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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