Postpartum is a term used to describe the first few weeks after childbirth. Your OB/GYN will continue to monitor your recovery during postpartum. The doctor will advise you to call or make an appointment with any unusual conditions, including leg pains.
Leg pains during postpartum can signal something is seriously wrong. According to Baby Center, one of the signs to look for during postpartum is severe or persistent pain or tenderness and warmth in one area of your leg, or one leg is more swollen than the other. If you are experiencing any of those conditions, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Causes of Leg Pain
Leg pains could mean a variety of things that only a doctor can properly diagnose. Possible causes of leg pains could be blood clots, medicines or birth control a woman is taking, or even extensive labor may cause pains that linger.
Distinguish Dangerous Postpartum Symptoms
According to EMedicine, the typical pain that women feel in the immediate postpartum period will make it difficult to discern postpartum infection from postpartum pain. A fever is a good indication there is an infection.
Luckily, most women do not develop dangerous or life-threatening problems after birth. According to E-Medicine, a study done in 2001 said postpartum infections are not very prevalent, citing that only around five percent of vaginal births and seven percent of c-sections result in postpartum infections
Other Postpartum Symptoms
According to Baby Center, watch for other serious symptoms of postpartum, including feelings of extreme sadness or despair, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, bleeding that continues to be bright red after the first four days or contains clots bigger than a quarter, foul odor or pain from the vagina, a fever, pain in your pelvis or abdomen (that get worse as they continue), redness or discharge at the site of your c-section incision, swelling or discharge near an episiotomy or a tear, pain or tenderness in one area of the breast that's not relieved by warm soaks and nursing, or swelling or redness in one area, possibly accompanied by flu-like symptoms or fever, pain or burning when urinating, persistent headaches, altered vision, vomiting, or site of IV becomes infected.
What to do if you Experience Postpartum Symptoms
Doctors and nurses will try to ensure there are no problems prior to discharge from the hospital. However, due to quick discharges, approximately 94 percent of postpartum infection cases were diagnosed after discharge from the hospital, according to EMedicine.
Any postpartum symptom should be taken seriously. Calling your doctor immediately is imperative and could be life-saving.