Infection occurring after the birth of child is termed as postpartum infection. Normally, infections occurring in first six weeks of child birth are included in the category of postpartum infections. Though pregnant women undergoing cesarean operation for child birth are more susceptible to postpartum infection, vaginal infections are also reported, which occur after child birth takes place in a normal way.
Postpartum infection can occur at different regions of female body. For example, this type of infection is reported at uterine lining as well as at the incision or tearing site. Postpartum infection can occur at urinary bladder or at episiotomy site also. It has been commonly noticed that most of postpartum infections start at the time of labor.
If a woman receives multiple cervical checks, there are chances that she would develop postpartum infection. These infections are treatable and thus, a woman suffering from postpartum infection must contact health care provider immediately for curing these infections.
Also, infection may develop in the bladder due to the insertion of the catheter or due to the leftover placental pieces in the uterus. If the endometrial lining catches infection, it can lead to a fatal condition where the bleeding does not stop.
Symptoms of postpartum infection vary depending on where the infection is, but there’s almost always fever, pain, or tenderness in the infected area, or foul-smelling discharge (from the vagina in the case of a uterine infection, or from a wound
How To Detect Postpartum Infection
When the stitches develop infection, inflammation and pus can be spotted around the stitches and pain can be felt at the area of incision. Similarly, if the uterine stitches open up or get infected, pain can be felt in the abdominal area. The presence of pus leads to a high grade fever which is yet another sign of infection.
If small of this discharge is as same as the smell of menstrual discharge, it means no postpartum infection has occurred. However, if the smell of this discharge is intolerable, it means infection has occurred and healthcare provider should be contacted. Many women suffering from postpartum infection have reported that change in smell of discharge may be noticed in very first or second week of child birth.
After the child birth, women are required to use sanitary pads so that vaginal discharge does not stain clothes. For detecting postpartum infection, a woman should change her sanitary pad and take shower. She must wait for one hour for the vaginal discharge to get absorbed into the pad. If smell of this discharge disappears in few minutes, it means no infection has occurred. However, if smell persists in sanitary pad after fifteen or twenty minutes, it means infection has occurred inside the body.
By measuring temperature also, a woman can ensure if she is suffering form postpartum infection or not. If infection occurs, for fighting it, body raises its temperature. Though there can be other reasons also for high temperature, it is better if a woman gets herself checked for the infection. Temperature of body can be measured by using a thermometer.
In some cases, due to postpartum infection, a woman feels strong urge to urinate but considerable quantity of urine is not passed out of body. If there a constant urge for urination, it means infections has occurred in the urinary tract and needs to be diagnosed. While urinating, a woman should also check her urine. If it is cloudy or if it contains blood, there are chances that postpartum infection has occurred.