Postpartum infections are generally rare - IF you received good medical care throughout your pregnancy and had a normal delivery. However, even in a perfect world an infection can occur, so it's smart to know how to spot one. What's a postpartum infection? A postpartum infection is an infection related to childbirth; or the aftermath of childbirth. Endometritis is a common postpartum infection. Endometritis is when the lining of the uterus becomes infected, and is more common after a c-section. How to spot a postpartum infection: Depending on the type of infection, symptoms and signs may vary, but overall you can watch for the following...
- A fever - even a slight fever is a good indication of infection. Because not all infections result in a bad fever, you should report any fever to your health care provider.
- Pain or soreness around a c-section incision.
- Discharge at a c-section incision site.
- Abdominal pain.
- Vaginal discharge that may smell icky (don't confuse normal after pregnancy bleeding with discharge)
- A general feeling that something is wrong - you can read your own body better than you think.
What next?: If you spot an infection it is very important that you don't ignore the signs. Talk to your health care provider immediately. What seems small to you, may actually be a problem that can lead to many down (sick) days, and ongoing pain and other issues. If you talk to your health care provider they can prescribe medication or other treatments that will help you get well fast so that you can spend quality time with your newborn.