Check your temperature every day for the first 10 days. If your temperature is above normal (98.6°F or higher) check it every 2 hours until your temperature is back to normal.
Call your doctor if you have any of the following signs of infection or a problem.
• Chills and/or a fever over 100.4˚F.
• Swelling, redness, warmth, tenderness or drainage from your cesarean incision, or the incision opens up.
• Heavy bleeding that soaks a pad in 15 minutes or less or soaks more than 1 pad per hour for 3 hours.
• Pain or discomfort (with or without swelling) in your lower abdomen after the first few days.
• Sharp chest pain or problems breathing.
• Pain in either of your lower legs with tenderness, swelling, redness, or warmth.
• A lump or hardened area in one of your breasts (you may have a blocked milk duct).
• Pain, swelling, tenderness, or redness of your breasts.
• Difficulty urinating, pain or burning with urination, blood in your urine, or you can’t urinate.
• Vaginal discharge that smells bad or bright-red blood after the first week.
* There is no lochia during the first 2 weeks.
* Headache, nausea, vomiting, chills, or changes in your eyesight.
* Depression that affects your ability to cope and does not go away after a few days.
* If you are depressed and think you may hurt yourself, your baby, or one of your other children.
Your healing should progress without problems. Don’t worry about what might go wrong. Spend some time every day resting and caring for yourself.
This booklet is not meant to replace the personal care and advice of your doctor or any member of your health care team.
More About Self Care After Cesarean Birth
Introduction to Self-care After Cesarean Birth
Preventive Self Care
Physical Changes and Healing
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
Activities and Healthy Exercise
Nutrition and Diet
Family Planning and Birth Control
Normal “Baby Blues” or Postpartum Depression
Your Postpartum Check-Up
Get as Much Rest as You Can
When to Call Your Doctor
Before you leave the hospital, you will be given phone numbers for your doctor and your baby’s doctor (pediatrician). Keep 24-hour phone numbers near the phone in case of an emergency. Before you call your doctor, have a pencil, paper, and the phone number of your pharmacy ready. Let your doctor know your temperature, if you are breastfeeding, and if you are allergic to any medicines.
For quick reference, keep a list of phone numbers for your doctor, nurse, pharmacy, and your baby’s doctor near every phone.: