Do You Know These Deadly Post-Birth Warning Signs?

postbirth.pngMothers are dying before, during, and after giving birth at significantly increasing rates in the United States. In fact, more than half of all mothers' deaths happen after giving birth, after baby goes home from the hospital. For many, this is surprising and shocking news. In fact, one of the main reasons mothers are dying at such high rates is due to their lack of knowledge about warning signs for common, deadly -- and completely preventable -- complications that can occur to any person after birth. So much of the focus after birth is on baby, but it's critical to remember that mothers need care and attention, too. 

In an effort to prevent maternal deaths, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) have created specific, easy-to-understand instructions for people to follow and pay attention to in the postpartum period. Their list of warning signs cover the most common, life-threatening complications, and can be identified using the acronym POST-BIRTH.  

SAVE YOUR LIFE: Get Care for these POST-BIRTH Warning Signs

Call 9-1-1 for:

  • ain in your chest
  • bstructed breathing or shortness of breath
  • eizures
  • houghts of hurting yourself or your baby

Call your doctor/midwife/health care provider for:

  • leeding that is soaking through one pad/hour, or blood clots the size of an egg or bigger
  • ncision that is not healing
  • ed or swollen leg that is painful or warm to touch
  • emperature of 100.4° F or higher
  • eadache that does not improve, even after taking medicine, or bad headache with vision changes

When you place a call, it's important to tell the person on the phone that you’ve just had a baby within the past year. For example, if you call 911, tell the operator: “I just had a baby a few days ago and I'm having trouble breathing.”  Or when calling your doctor, say, “I had a baby on [date] and I have a headache that won't go away no matter what I do.” 

Please share this information widely with those you know. You could help save the lives of many!

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