Postpartum can be a difficult time for any woman. Not only are taking care of a newborn but your body is recovering from not only 9 months of pregnancy and also from labor.
Unfortunately, most of the information you’re given postpartum involves how to care for your newborn. Women are generally left to navigate the changes their body go through on their own with very little information.
Postpartum infections, particularly postpartum endometritis, although rare can have serious consequences. All too often the only information on postpartum endometritis is a vague set of symptoms.
But between the demands of caring for a newborn and not knowing what exactly is “normal” for our postpartum bodies. The signs and symptoms of postpartum endometritis can be easy to ignore until the infection becomes severe.
I found this out first hand after the birth of my third son. I developed the symptoms of postpartum
I ignored the symptoms because I didn’t realize I had several risk factors for developing endometritis. And I just didn’t know it was something I needed to be worried about.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as medical advice and should not be used to diagnosis, treat, or cure any disease. If you have concerns regarding symptoms you are experiencing please contact a medical professional.
What is Postpartum Endometriti
Postpartum Endometritis is an infection of the uterus lining that occurs in approximately 1-2.5% of vaginal deliveries and 1.5-5% of cesarean sections.
*Postpartum endometritis is often confused with endometriosis. Which is a common health problem experienced by women where the tissue that lines the uterus begins to grow outside of the uterus and on other areas inside the body.
6 Symptoms to NEVER Ignore
Your body goes through a lot of changes in the days and weeks after you have your baby. You’ll have a TON of different aches, pains. And the majority of what you’re feeling will be totally normal.
BUT if you’re experiencing one or a combination of the symptoms below
- Pain, swelling, and/or tenderness in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- An increase in postpartum bleeding
- Abnormal vagina discharge
- Foul smelling lochia
About four days after the birth of my third son I developed these symptoms. It started with tenderness in my uterus and lost of postpartum bleeding. Followed by night sweats that felt more flu-like than the postpartum night sweats I had experienced with my other two pregnancies. You can read about my story of postpartum endometritis here
Potential Causes and Risk Factors
Postpartum Endometritis is caused by bacteria entering the uterus before, during, or after delivery. Risk factors include:
- A delay of more than 18 hours between the time of membrane rupture and delivery
- Group A or B streptococcus
- A prolonged operating time during cesarean section
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Internal monitoring
- Multiple vaginal exams
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Newborn stool in amniotic fluid (meconium)
- Placental fragments remaining in the uterus after delivery
Postpartum Endometritis almost always requires hospitalization and the use of IV antibiotics. Once antibiotics are started symptoms usually begin to subside within 24-48 hours. Although that time range may vary depending on the severity of the infection.
It’s easy and natural to put your health on the back burner after the birth of your baby. But taking care of yourself postpartum needs to be a priority.
And the more informed you are the better you’ll be able to do that. Talk with your doctor or OB about what is and isn’t normal postpartum. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
And don’t be afraid to see your doctor or go to the ER if you think you’re experiencing ANY of the symptoms of postpartum endometritis. It’s also better to be on the safe side and be told everything your experiencing is normal than to be ignoring warning signs.
If you think you have any symptoms of postpartum endometritis please contact a medical professional right away.