Postpartum recovery is no walk in the park for any woman. Your body needs ample time to recover after giving birth, while also getting used to life as a mom. And this process is even tougher for moms after a C-section. Not only will your body be recovering from pregnancy and the birth process, but you'll also be recovering from a major surgery. During this time, you'll want to look out for any signs of infection. But it's not enough to research common symptoms — you'll also want to know about the things you didn't realize are signs of a C-section infection.
Luckily, moms generally stay in the hospital after the first few days following birth. This allows for constant monitoring and the ability to catch any sort of infection or setback quickly. Catching an infection, however, becomes more difficult when you head home. You may find yourself wondering if symptoms you're experiencing are normal or not.
Being tired and taking care of a new life can be distracting, which makes it easy to ignore the warning signs your body gives you during its healing process. Staying healthy is one of the best gifts you can give both yourself and your newborn. So make sure to pay attention to these signs of C-section infection and reach out to your doctor if they persist.
According to a study published by SQU Medical Journal, fever is a common sign of internal infection after a c-section. Although a fever can appear for many reasons, from feeling under the weather to healing from the surgery you just had, a persistent and high fever is often a sign of infection. If your fever rises above 100.4º F and persists, don't ignore it.
2. Stinky Odor
According to C-Section Birth and Recovery, a foul odor coming from the incision area is a sign of infection. If you notice an unnatural or off-putting smell around the incision (especially if it persists or gets stronger) follow up with your doctor to make sure there are no setbacks.
3. Flu-Like Symptoms
It's normal to not feel 100 percent while you're healing from a C-section. However, if you're feelings of exhaustion and pain are shifting into more serious, flu-like symptoms, it could be an infection causing you to feel sick. According to Intermountain Healthcare, if you're experiencing symptoms like chills, fatigue, body aches or headache, you could have an incision infection.
4. The Incision Is Hot To The Touch
Soreness and some redness is completely normal for your incision, but it should lessen over time. So if you notice worsening of redness at the incision site or persistent hotness to the touch, Healthline noted that it may be time to reach out to your doctor for advice.
5. Drainage Or Change In Discharge Color
If you notice excessive drainage or increasing yellow discharge, take note because HealthLink BC noted that it's a sign of infection. Some discharge from the incision area may occur during the healing process, but if you feel it's getting worse, don't ignore it.
According to Being The Parent, swelling at the site of the incision or swelling of your legs may also be a sign of C-section infection.
Although incision infections from a C-section can be fairly common, it's important to pay attention to what symptoms your body is exhibiting. Make sure persistent and worsening signs don't go untreated. If you're unsure, the best option is to call your doctor and ask to be safe.
Keeping the incision area clean and taking care of your own health are two of the best ways to help prevent infection. Don't push yourself too hard; instead, let your body take the time it needs to heal.