Postpartum Care: When to Call – My Radiant Beginnings

Postpartum Care: When to Call

Symptoms: Baby

If any of the following are noted, please call your midwife immediately for further instruction/information!


  • Fewer than 30 or greater than 70 breaths per minute while resting.
  • Labored breathing with grunting, retracting of the ribs or abdomen or flaring of the nostrils.
  • Apnea: not breathing for 20 seconds or longer, especially with color changes.

Heart Rate

  • Heart rate less than 110 or greater than 160 at rest
  • Color changes associated with changes in heart rate


  • Any blue or dusky color located on the face or trunk
  • Jaundice or yellow color is abnormal if it occurs in the first 24 hours and your baby should be seen immediately
  • If your baby is lethargic, feeds poorly, has excessive weight loss, temperature instability, dark urine, light colored stools or persistent jaundice


  • Axillary temperature of less than 96.8 or greater than 99 after clothing and room temperature have been adjusted.
  • Or if baby’s temperature fluctuates a lot even when room temperature and clothing remain the same.


  • No passage of stool or urine in the first 24 hours after birth.
  • Bloody or excessively watery stools that are a change
  • Blood or rusty color in urine esp after the third day

Other signs

  • Excessive sleepiness- sleep periods longer than 6 hrs after the first day.
  • Hyperirritability or extreme reaction to ordinary activities like diaper changes or picking him up.
  • Poor feeding, not at all interested in feeding or exhausted by it.
  • Regular projectile vomiting
  • Bile-stained vomit
  • Poor muscle tone – “Spread Eagle Positioning”
  • Taut, swollen abdomen
  • Cord Issues
    • Yellow, green or blood is noted at the base of the cord
    • There is a foul odor coming from the cord
    • There is redness or warmth around the base of the umbilical cord

Symptoms: Mom

If any of the following are noted, please call your midwife immediately for further instruction/information!


  • Fever above 100.4 after drinking lots of fluids.


  • Greater than 100 beats per minute while resting, occurring twice in 1-2 hours. Call your midwife immediately if accompanied by heavy bleeding.


  • If it remains soft, does not respond to massage and heavy bleeding is occurring.


  • Heavy bleeding, soaking a large pad completely in less than 2 hours after the first 24 hours.
  • Passage of tissue or fowl-smelling discharge.
  • Persistent passage of clots larger than a lemon.

Signs of mastitis

  • Pain lasts longer than 48 hours
  • Fever of 101 degress or higher
  • You have a hot, red, tender area on your breast
  • Difficulty nursing
  • Chills or flu-like symptoms


  • You are not able to urinate
  • You experience pain or burning with urination
  • You experience urgency
  • Your urine has a foul odor
  • Temperature of 101 degrees or greater

Other signs

  • Fainting
  • Severe headache, blurred vision, just feeling bad, hazy feeling, aura
  • Severe pain in abdomen, chest or legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of despair, great anxiety or inability to cope

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