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Post-Cesarean Warning Signs

6 Reasons to Call Your Doctor After a C-Section Birth


C-Section Born Baby
Photo © H. Snow

After giving birth to your baby by cesarean section (c-section), there are a couple of warning signs that you need to be watching for that may indicate a problem. If you see any of the following, be sure to contact your doctor or midwife:

  1. You have a fever.
    While it can be normal to run a temperature slightly higher than average, most doctors and midwives want you to call if you have a fever of 101 F or if you have a low grade fever that lasts more than 24 hours.

  2. Your incision is draining.
    Sometimes your incision will drain blood or pus. You should always have this looked at, while some discharge may be normal, let your practitioners decide what that is for you.

  3. Pain that gets worse or never goes away.
    If you have pain in your incision or anywhere that never quite goes away or doesn't get better as time goes on, be sure to see your doctor. If the pain is increasing, despite pain medications, call immediately.

  4. Difficulty breathing.
    You may be a bit sore and find it hard, at first, to take deep breaths, but should this remain a problem or become worse, it's important to call. You are at a greater risk for some breathing difficulties after a surgical birth.

  5. Bleeding issues.
    If you soak a pad every hour for two hours, if you have no bleeding or if your bleeding never begins to diminish, you need to be seen. Sometimes this is from a piece of the placenta remaining inside your uterus.

  6. Something that concerns you.
    This list is not the end all, be all list - it's just a small set of reminders. If you have any other symptoms that concern you, call your practitioner.
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