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    Problems After Delivery of Your Baby

    Problems After Delivery of Your Baby

    Topic Overview

    During the days and weeks after the delivery of your baby (postpartum period), you can expect that your body will change as it returns to its nonpregnant condition. The postpartum period lasts for 3 months after delivery. As with pregnancy changes, postpartum changes are different for every woman. For example, if you had heartburn while you were pregnant, it may go away after delivery. But other symptoms, such as hemorrhoids , could continue to cause problems after your baby is born.

    Many minor postpartum problems can be managed at home. For example, home treatment measures are usually all that is needed to relieve mild discomfort from hemorrhoids or constipation. If you develop a problem and your doctor has given you specific instructions to follow, be sure to follow those instructions.

    Most women need some time after delivery to return to their normal activities. It is important to focus on your healing and taking care of your baby for the first 6 weeks. Start other activities slowly as you feel stronger. Your doctor will tell you when you can have sex again, but for most women, 6 to 8 weeks after delivery is the average time. If you had any problems during your pregnancy or during labor or delivery, your doctor may give you more specific instructions about activities.

    Although most women don't have serious health problems during the postpartum period, you should see your doctor if you develop heavy vaginal bleeding, calf pain , pain with breathing ( pulmonary embolism ), or postpartum depression.

    Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

    Health ToolsHealth Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

    Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.


    Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.
    Depression: Managing Postpartum Depression
    Stress Management: Doing Guided Imagery to Relax

    Check Your Symptoms

    Have you had a baby in the past 3 months?
    Yes
    Had baby in the past 3 months
    No
    Had baby in the past 3 months
    How old are you?
    Less than 12 years
    Less than 12 years
    12 years or older
    12 years or older
    Are you male or female?
    Male
    Male
    Female
    Female
    Do you have symptoms of shock?
    Yes
    Symptoms of shock
    No
    Symptoms of shock
    Have you had a seizure?
    Yes
    Seizure
    No
    Seizure
    Do you have epilepsy or a history of seizures?
    Yes
    Epilepsy or history of seizures
    No
    Epilepsy or history of seizures
    Was this a typical seizure for you?
    Yes
    Typical seizure
    No
    Typical seizure
    Are you having trouble breathing (more than a stuffy nose)?
    Yes
    Difficulty breathing more than a stuffy nose
    No
    Difficulty breathing more than a stuffy nose
    Would you describe the problem as severe, moderate, or mild?
    Severe
    Severe difficulty breathing
    Moderate
    Moderate difficulty breathing
    Mild
    Mild difficulty breathing
    Does it hurt when you breathe?
    This can be a warning sign of a blood clot in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.
    Yes
    Pain when breathing
    No
    Pain when breathing
    Yes
    Symptoms of pulmonary embolism
    No
    Symptoms of pulmonary embolism
    Yes
    At risk for pulmonary embolism
    No
    At risk for pulmonary embolism
    Do you have a new headache that is different than the types of headaches you are used to?
    Yes
    New or different headache
    No
    New or different headache
    Do you have a severe headache that started suddenly and is the worst headache of your life?
    This probably would not be like any headache you have had before.
    Yes
    Sudden, severe headache
    No
    Sudden, severe headache
    How bad is the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, if 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine?
    8 to 10: Severe pain
    Severe pain
    5 to 7: Moderate pain
    Moderate pain
    1 to 4: Mild pain
    Mild pain
    Are you having any vaginal bleeding?
    Yes
    Vaginal bleeding
    No
    Vaginal bleeding
    Severe
    Severe bleeding
    Moderate
    Moderate bleeding
    Mild
    Mild bleeding
    Minimal
    Minimal bleeding
    Are you passing clots?
    Yes
    Passing clots
    No
    Passing clots
    Are the clots large or small?
    Large means more than 1.5 in. (4 cm) across, or bigger than a golf ball.
    Large (bigger than a golf ball)
    Large clots
    Small
    Small clots
    Have you passed more than 3 clots?
    Yes
    Passed more than 3 clots
    No
    Passed more than 3 clots
    Do you have any bleeding after intercourse or douching?
    Yes
    Vaginal bleeding after intercourse or douching
    No
    Vaginal bleeding after intercourse or douching
    Do you have pain in your belly, pelvic area, or back?
    Yes
    Belly, pelvic, or back pain
    No
    Belly, pelvic, or back pain
    How bad is the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, if 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine?
    8 to 10: Severe pain
    Severe pain
    5 to 7: Moderate pain
    Moderate pain
    1 to 4: Mild pain
    Mild pain
    Do you have pain or swelling in one calf?
    Pain and swelling in the lower leg can be symptoms of a blood clot.
    Yes
    Pain or swelling in one calf
    No
    Pain or swelling in one calf
    Do you have problems with urination?
    Yes
    Problems with urination
    No
    Problems with urination
    Are you able to urinate at all?
    Yes
    Able to urinate
    No
    Unable to urinate
    Yes
    Symptoms of kidney infection
    No
    Symptoms of kidney infection
    Yes
    Symptoms of bladder infection
    No
    Symptoms of bladder infection
    Yes
    Symptoms of postpartum depression
    No
    Symptoms of postpartum depression
    Are you afraid that you might hurt your baby or yourself?
    Yes
    Concerned about hurting self or baby
    No
    Concerned about hurting self or baby
    Do you think you may have a fever?
    Yes
    Possible fever
    No
    Possible fever
    Did you take your temperature?
    Yes
    Temperature taken
    No
    Temperature taken
    How high is the fever? The answer may depend on how you took the temperature.
    High: 104F (40C) or higher, oral
    High fever: 104F (40C) or higher, oral
    Moderate: 100.4F (38C) to 103.9F (39.9C), oral
    Moderate fever: 100.4F (38C) to 103.9F (39.9C), oral
    Mild: 100.3F (37.9C) or lower, oral
    Mild fever: 100.3F (37.9C) or lower, oral
    How high do you think the fever is?
    High
    Feels fever is high
    Moderate
    Feels fever is moderate
    Mild or low
    Feels fever is mild
    How long have you had a fever?
    Less than 2 days (48 hours)
    Fever for less than 2 days
    At least 2 days but less than 1 week
    Fever for at least 2 days but less than 1 week
    1 week or more
    Fever for 1 week or more
    Do you have a health problem or take medicine that weakens your immune system?
    Yes
    Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems
    No
    Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems
    Do you have shaking chills or very heavy sweating?
    Shaking chills are a severe, intense form of shivering. Heavy sweating means that sweat is pouring off you or soaking through your clothes.
    Yes
    Shaking chills or heavy sweating
    No
    Shaking chills or heavy sweating
    Yes
    Symptoms of a vaginal infection
    No
    Symptoms of a vaginal infection
    Have you noticed a change in your bowel habits?
    Yes
    Change in bowel habits
    No
    Change in bowel habits
    Are your stools black or bloody?
    Yes
    Black or bloody stools
    No
    Black or bloody stools
    Have you had:
    At least 1 stool that is mostly black or bloody?
    At least 1 stool mostly black or bloody
    At least 1 stool that is partly black or bloody?
    At least 1 stool partly black or bloody
    Streaks of blood in your stool?
    Streaks of blood in stool
    Are you constipated?
    Constipation means your stools are hard and you have trouble passing them. If your stools are soft and pass easily, you are not constipated.
    Yes
    Constipation
    No
    Constipation
    Have you tried home treatment for constipation for more than 1 week?
    Home treatment includes things like drinking plenty of water; eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; and getting some exercise every day.
    Yes
    Tried home treatment for constipation for more than 1 week
    No
    Tried home treatment for constipation for more than 1 week
    Are your breasts red and painful, or are your nipples cracked and bleeding?
    Yes
    Red, painful breasts or cracked, bleeding nipples
    No
    Red, painful breasts or cracked, bleeding nipples
    Are you having problems breast-feeding?
    Yes
    Breast-feeding problems
    No
    Breast-feeding problems
    Are you having a problem with your C-section incision, such as it not healing like your doctor said it should?
    Yes
    Problem with C-section incision
    No
    Problem with C-section incision
    Are you having a problem with an episiotomy or tear repair (such as the wound not healing like your doctor said it should)?
    Yes
    Problem with episiotomy or tear repair
    No
    Problem with episiotomy or tear repair
    Are you having any new or unexpected symptoms?
    Yes
    New or unexpected symptoms
    No
    New or unexpected symptoms
    Would you describe these symptoms as serious or minor?
    Serious
    Serious new or unexpected symptoms
    Minor
    Minor new or unexpected symptoms
    Do you feel anything bulging into your vagina or feel pelvic pressure when you move?
    Yes
    Bulging into vagina or increased pelvic pressure with movement
    No
    Bulging into vagina or increased pelvic pressure with movement

    If you're not sure if a fever is high, moderate, or mild, think about these issues:

    With a high fever:

    • You feel very hot.
    • It is likely one of the highest fevers you've ever had. High fevers are not that common, especially in adults.

    With a moderate fever:

    • You feel warm or hot.
    • You know you have a fever.

    With a mild fever:

    • You may feel a little warm.
    • You think you might have a fever, but you're not sure.

    Symptoms of a bladder infection may include:

    • Pain or burning when you urinate.
    • A frequent urge to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
    • Blood in the urine.

    Symptoms of a kidney infection may include:

    • Pain in the flank, which is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back.
    • Fever or chills.
    • Pain or burning when you urinate.
    • A frequent urge to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
    • Belly pain.

    Temperature varies a little depending on how you measure it. For adults and children age 12 and older, these are the ranges for high, moderate, and mild, according to how you took the temperature.

    Oral (by mouth) temperature

    • High: 104 F (40 C) and higher
    • Moderate: 100.4 F (38 C) to 103.9 F (39.9 C)
    • Mild: 100.3 F (37.9 C) and lower

    Ear or rectal temperature

    • High: 105 F (40.6 C) and higher
    • Moderate: 101.4 F (38.6 C) to 104.9 F (40.5 C)
    • Mild: 101.3 F (38.5 C) and lower

    Armpit (axillary) temperature

    • High: 103F (39.5C) and higher
    • Moderate: 99.4 F (37.4 C) to 102.9 F (39.4 C)
    • Mild: 99.3F (37.3C) and lower

    Try Home Treatment

    You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.

    • Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms.
    • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect). You may need care sooner.

    Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and illness. Some examples in adults are:

    • Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS.
    • Long-term alcohol and drug problems.
    • Steroid medicines, which may be used to treat a variety of conditions.
    • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.
    • Other medicines used to treat autoimmune disease.
    • Medicines taken after organ transplant.
    • Not having a spleen.

    Blood in the stool can come from anywhere in the digestive tract, such as the stomach or intestines. Depending on where the blood is coming from and how fast it is moving, it may be bright red, reddish brown, or black like tar.

    A little bit of bright red blood on the stool or on the toilet paper is often caused by mild irritation of the rectum. For example, this can happen if you have to strain hard to pass a stool or if you have a hemorrhoid.

    Certain medicines and foods can affect the color of stool. Diarrhea medicines (such as Pepto-Bismol) and iron tablets can make the stool black. Eating lots of beets may turn the stool red. Eating foods with black or dark blue food coloring can turn the stool black.

    If you take a medicine that affects the blood's ability to clot, such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), or clopidogrel (Plavix), it can cause some blood in your stools. If you take a blood thinner and have ongoing blood in your stools, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms.

    Symptoms of difficulty breathing can range from mild to severe. For example:

    • You may feel a little out of breath but still be able to talk (mild difficulty breathing), or you may be so out of breath that you cannot talk at all (severe difficulty breathing).
    • It may be getting hard to breathe with activity (mild difficulty breathing), or you may have to work very hard to breathe even when you?re at rest (severe difficulty breathing).

    Severe trouble breathing means:

    • You cannot talk at all.
    • You have to work very hard to breathe.
    • You feel like you can't get enough air.
    • You do not feel alert or cannot think clearly.

    Moderate trouble breathing means:

    • It's hard to talk in full sentences.
    • It's hard to breathe with activity.

    Mild trouble breathing means:

    • You feel a little out of breath but can still talk.
    • It's becoming hard to breathe with activity.

    Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:

    • Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker.
    • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner.
    • Medicines you take. Certain medicines, herbal remedies, and supplements can cause symptoms or make them worse.
    • Recent health events, such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious.
    • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel.

    Pain in adults and older children

    • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain is so bad that you can't stand it for more than a few hours, can't sleep, and can't do anything else except focus on the pain.
    • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The pain is bad enough to disrupt your normal activities and your sleep, but you can tolerate it for hours or days. Moderate can also mean pain that comes and goes even if it's severe when it's there.
    • Mild pain (1 to 4): You notice the pain, but it is not bad enough to disrupt your sleep or activities.

    Shock is a life-threatening condition that may quickly occur after a sudden illness or injury.

    Symptoms of shock (most of which will be present) include:

    • Passing out.
    • Feeling very dizzy or lightheaded, like you may pass out.
    • Feeling very weak or having trouble standing.
    • Not feeling alert or able to think clearly. You may be confused, restless, fearful, or unable to respond to questions.

    Symptoms of a vaginal infection may include:

    • Vaginal itching.
    • Vaginal discharge that is not normal for you.
    • Red, irritated skin in the vaginal area.
    • Pain when you urinate.
    • Pain or bleeding when you have sex.

    Call 911 Now

    Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

    Call 911 or other emergency services now.

    Make an Appointment

    Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.

    • Make an appointment to see your doctor in the next 1 to 2 weeks.
    • If appropriate, try home treatment while you are waiting for the appointment.
    • If symptoms get worse or you have any concerns, call your doctor. You may need care sooner.

    Seek Care Now

    Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

    • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
    • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't have one, seek care in the next hour.
    • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
      • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
      • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

    Seek Care Today

    Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.

    • Call your doctor today to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
    • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't have one, seek care today.
    • If it is evening, watch the symptoms and seek care in the morning.
    • If the symptoms get worse, seek care sooner.

    Symptoms of postpartum depression may include:

    • Trouble sleeping.
    • Feeling sad or hopeless.
    • Crying often, or feeling like you are going to cry.
    • Feeling anxious or edgy.
    • Not being able to concentrate.

    If you have pain when you are breathing, you may be at immediate risk for a pulmonary embolism if you also have:

    • Pain deep in one leg for no clear reason. This can be a sign of a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) that could travel to the lungs.
    • A history of problems with blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or a previous pulmonary embolism.

    Some of the problems with breast-feeding that you might have include:

    • Sore, red nipples.
    • Stabbing or burning breast pain.
    • A hard lump in your breast.
    • Your baby having trouble latching onto your breast.

    Severe vaginal bleeding means you are passing clots of blood and soaking through your usual pads or tampons each hour for 2 or more hours. For most women, passing clots of blood from the vagina and soaking through their usual pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours is not normal and is considered severe. If you are pregnant: You may have a gush of blood or pass a clot, but if the bleeding stops, it is not considered severe.

    Moderate bleeding means that you are soaking more than 1 pad or tampon in 3 hours.

    Mild bleeding means that you are soaking less than 1 pad or tampon in more than 3 hours.

    Minimal vaginal bleeding means "spotting" or a few drops of blood.

    Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism may include:

    • Sudden shortness of breath.
    • Sudden, sharp chest pain that may get worse when you breathe deeply or cough.
    • Coughing up blood or pink, foamy mucus.
    • Fast heart rate.
    • Severe anxiety.
    • Fainting.

    Home Treatment

    If you develop problems and your doctor has given you specific instructions to follow, be sure to follow those instructions.

    Feeling tired (fatigue)

    Most women feel tired after labor and delivery. Caring for a new baby, loss of sleep, and the normal physical changes you experience as your body returns to its nonpregnant condition can add to your fatigue. It is important to focus on your healing and taking care of your baby for the first 6 weeks. Start other activities slowly as you feel stronger.

    To help with fatigue in the first few weeks and months after delivery:

    • Eat regularly. Do not skip meals or go for long periods without eating. Choose healthy foods.
    • Exercise regularly. Get outside, take walks, or keep your blood moving with your favorite workout. If you do not have your usual energy, do not overdo it. If you had any problems during your pregnancy or during labor or delivery, your doctor may give you more specific instructions about activities.
    • Try to take rest breaks often during the day.
    • Do only as much as you need to, and do not take on extra activities or responsibilities.
    • Spend time with family and friends and let them help you care for your baby.

    Sleep problems

    Sleep problems are common when you are caring for a new baby. These tips may help you get a good night's sleep.

    • Sleep when your baby is sleeping or napping.
    • Keep your naps as short as possible.
    • Use your bed only for sleep.
    • Try to have a regular feeding pattern if you are breast-feeding. If you are bottle-feeding, have others feed the baby sometimes so you can rest.
    • Limit your caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.
    • Try relaxation methods such as meditation or Click here to view an Actionset. guided imagery. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.

    Nonprescription medicine to help relieve discomfort

    Most women have some mild discomfort after delivery. You may have some cramping as your uterus returns to its nonpregnant size. If you had an episiotomy , you may have pain in your genital area. Women who have had a cesarean section (C-section) will have some pain at the incision site.

    If you are breast-feeding, it is safe to use acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, to help with mild discomfort.

    • Acetaminophen dosage: The usual dose is 650 mg; recommended doses may range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg. You can take 650 mg every 4 hours or 1,000 mg every 6 hours in a 24-hour period. Do not take more than the maximum adult dose of 4,000 mg in a 24-hour period.
    • Be sure to follow these nonprescription medicine precautions.
      • Use, but do not take more than the maximum recommended doses.
      • Carefully read and follow all labels on the medicine bottle and box.

    Breast engorgement or mastitis

    If you are breast-feeding, your breasts may be sore as they fill with milk. Place ice packs on your breasts for the pain and swelling. Be sure to put a cloth between your skin and the ice pack. Some women find a hot shower or warm towels on the breasts help the pain. You can also use acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.

    Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that is most commonly related to breast-feeding. This inflammation can be related to tissue injury, infection, or both. Mastitis while breast-feeding usually affects only one breast and starts as a painful area that is red or warm. Fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms or body aches can also develop. You can develop mastitis at any time while breast-feeding, but it most commonly occurs during the first 2 months after delivery, before your baby's feeding patterns become regular.

    If you are not breast-feeding, do not stimulate your nipples or warm your breasts. Instead, apply cold packs, use medicine for pain and inflammation, and wear a supportive bra that fits well.

    Postpartum depression

    Many new mothers may feel "blue" after the birth of their baby. This may be caused by a change in hormones, not getting enough sleep, feeling too busy, or just worried about taking care of the baby.

    Postpartum depression is a medical condition, not a sign of weakness. Be honest with yourself and those who care about you. Tell them about your struggle. You, your doctor, and your friends and family can team up to treat your symptoms.

    • Plan activities and visit with friends and family, and ask them to call you regularly.
    • Eat a nutritious diet. Eat small snacks throughout the day to keep up your energy.
    • Get daily exercise, such as outdoor stroller walks. Exercise helps improve mood.
    • Get as much sunlight as possible?keep your shades and curtains open, and get outside as much as you can.
    • Ask for help with food preparation and other daily tasks. Family and friends are often happy to help a mother with newborn demands.
    • Don't overdo it. Get as much rest and sleep as possible. Fatigue can increase depression.
    • Do not use alcohol or caffeine.
    • Join a support group of new mothers. No one can better understand and support the challenges of caring for a new baby than other postpartum women.
    Click here to view an Actionset. Depression: Managing Postpartum Depression

    Constipation and hemorrhoids

    Constipation and hemorrhoids may bother you after delivery. To prevent or ease these symptoms:

    • Eat a high-fiber diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
    • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water and fruit juices.
    • Try a stool softener, such as Colace.
    • Do not strain (push hard) during a bowel movement.
    • Get more exercise every day.

    If you had a tear in your genital area during delivery (episiotomy), talk to your doctor before using any nonprescription suppositories for constipation.

    To treat the itching or pain of hemorrhoids:

    • Keep the anus clean by wiping carefully after each bowel movement. Gently wipe from the front to the back. Baby wipes or hemorrhoid pads are usually more gentle than toilet paper. If you use toilet paper, use only soft, undyed, unscented toilet paper.
    • Take warm soaks in a tub or a sitz bath . Warm water can help soothe hemorrhoids. Add baking soda to the water to relieve itching.
    • Use cold packs.
    • Do not sit for long periods, especially on hard chairs.

    Let your doctor know if you are having problems with constipation or hemorrhoids. He or she may recommend a nonprescription or prescription medicine to treat your hemorrhoids.

    Swelling

    If you had mild swelling from normal fluid buildup when you were pregnant, it may last for days or weeks after you deliver. You are most likely to notice this swelling in your face, hands, or feet. As your body changes back to how it was before you were pregnant, the swelling will go away.

    Weight loss

    Just as you slowly gained weight during your pregnancy, it may take some time to lose weight after your baby is born. Eat a nutritious diet and try to exercise daily. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for you to get back to your normal activities. As the body returns to its nonpregnant condition, many women feel they can manage their weight with healthy eating and exercise. If it is hard for you to lose weight from your pregnancy, talk to your doctor about your goals. If you are breast-feeding, it is important to get the right amount of calories and nutrients for your baby.

    Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

    Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

    • Abnormal or increased vaginal bleeding
    • Pain in your lower belly
    • Urinary problems
    • Fever
    • Symptoms that become more severe or occur more often

    Prevention

    It is important to make healthy lifestyle choices to lower your chance for problems after your delivery.

    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Limit your use of caffeine if you are breast-feeding.
    • Eat a nutritious diet. Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It will help you feel your best and have plenty of energy. If you are breast-feeding, it is important to get good nutrition for you and your baby.
    • Try to get 30 minutes of exercise on most, if not all, days of the week.
    • Do pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises to prevent urine control problems (incontinence) after childbirth.

    Things to avoid if you are breast-feeding

    • Alcohol
    • Smoking or using tobacco products
    • Illegal drugs
    • Misusing medicines
    • Fish that contain high levels of mercury. This includes shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, more than 6 oz (170 g) of white albacore tuna a week, or fish caught in local waters that have not tested as safe.
    • Hazardous chemicals, certain cosmetic products, or radiation

    Call your doctor if you have any questions about breast-feeding. This may help prevent any problems.

    Preparing For Your Appointment

    To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

    • What are your main symptoms?
    • How long have you had your symptoms?
    • Have you had this problem before? If so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it treated?
    • What activities make your symptoms better or worse?
    • Do you think that activities related to your job or hobbies caused your symptoms?
    • Do you think that exercise or sports activities have caused your symptoms?
    • What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help?
    • What prescription or nonprescription medicines have you taken or used? Did they help?
    • Do you have any health risks?

    Other Places To Get Help

    Organization

    Postpartum Support International
    927 North Kellogg Avenue
    Santa Barbara, CA93111
    Phone: (805) 967-7636
    Fax: (805) 967-0608
    Email: PSIOffice@postpartum.net
    Web Address: www.postpartum.net

    Postpartum Support International offers information and support not only to women who are coping with postpartum depression and anxiety after childbirth but also to their families. The Web site also includes the Mills Depression and Anxiety Symptom-Feeling Checklist for evaluating your symptoms.


    Credits

    By Healthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
    Last Revised July 31, 2013

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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