Complications after Childbirth

by | September 30, 2020

If you suffer from a high fever and illness after you have come home from BB, always contact your maternity ward or emergency department.
Below you will find a number of complications that can occur after childbirth.

In the past, “cot fever” harvested many women’s lives in Sweden. With today’s modern maternity and childbirth care, such severe complications are very rare.

Residual urine

A relatively common complication during the first 24 hours after delivery is residual urine in the bladder after being kissed. Alternatively you can’t pee at all. It is called urinary retention. The most important step to avoid the complication is to check that it is possible to urinate after delivery.

Spinal anesthesia (epidural) sometimes makes it difficult to urinate. To avoid residual damage to your bladder, it is often good to insert a catheter that may remain for a few days after delivery.

Complications after childbirth

Flushing the abdomen with lukewarm water while sitting in the toilet can also help. If any rashes or cuts are painful, you can apply some local anesthetic ointment for a while before visiting the toilet, or alternatively take a pain-relieving tablet.

Temperature rise

Lighter temperature increases after childbirth are common as a normal response to labor. It is also common when milk production starts. But it can also be a sign of some of the infections below. The temperature is therefore monitored during BB.

Urinary infection

The symptoms of urinary tract infection are, in addition to any temperature rise, that it stings when you urinate and that sometimes it feels like you need to urinate often. Urinary tract infections during cot are treated with antibiotics.

Uterine mucosal infection (endometritis)

The infection usually gives symptoms one day after birth:

  • temperature rise
  • pain in the abdomen
  • tenderness of the uterus
  • the rejection may be smelly

If the symptoms are not dramatic, treat with uterine contraceptives, Methergin. If symptoms persist after a day or if there are signs of more serious infection, antibiotics are given.

An untreated infection, with B-streptococcus group A can lead to classic “cot fever” which is a serious infection for the mother.

NOTE If you feel sick and have a temp increase after returning from BB, your maternity ward / emergency room should always be contacted.

Infections and blood clots in ruptures and cuts

It is uncommon for serious infections in ruptures and cuts that have occurred spontaneously or made during the last stage of childbirth. However, should an infection occur, it often gives rise to elevated temperature, and the tissues of the abdomen are severely tender, red and swollen.

If the symptoms remain after a few days, the wound may need to be cleaned, possibly opened slightly and rinsed clean with saline solution repeatedly. This is sometimes done under anesthesia.

Hematoma or accumulation of blood under the tissue can sometimes occur in a rupture or clip. Even then, the temperature may be elevated. The hematoma is not serious but can be painful and is therefore usually treated by various forms of pain relief.

The hematoma usually does not need to be operated on – the body itself dissolves the bloodshed.


For 4-6 weeks after delivery, it is normal with bloody rejection. If the bleeding becomes plentiful, does not subside normally or contains large amounts of old coagulated blood, an investigation is often done to find out the cause.

Atonic bleeding

The most common cause of so-called atonic bleeding is that the uterus does not contract properly. It is most common after a prolonged delivery. Sometimes the cause can be a stuffy bladder.

It may also be because a piece of the placenta or parts of the fetal membranes are left inside the uterus. The bleeding is usually treated by massage of the uterus and by uterine contraceptives.

Breastfeeding also helps the uterus contract. If this does not help, the doctor / midwife sometimes needs to feel the uterus by hand to ascertain that the placenta and membranes are properly removed.

It is done under anesthesia or under anesthesia. If the uterus is empty, various uterine contraceptives can be given.

Blood clot in the pelvis or bone (thrombosis)

This complication was more common in the past, because the women then lay to bed several days after giving birth. Now, most people go up quickly after childbirth, which means that more serious blood clots are now very unusual.

There is an increased risk of blood clots in the legs and pelvis for women with heredity for clots, older women, women who have been lying in bed a long time before giving birth and women who give birth by caesarean section. Blood clots are treated with blood thinners. In the case of thrombosis in the leg, this is sometimes wound.


Severe after-effects due to contractions in the uterus are common, especially in midwives during the first 3-4 days after delivery. Sometimes the after effects can be so severe that painkillers are required.

It is usually given before breastfeeding, as breastfeeding usually makes contractions extra intense.

Other causes of pain may be bursts and cuts. The trouble can be alleviated with ice-cream or painkillers. Hemorrhoids can also become large and painful at times. They usually go back after a few weeks or so. Medicines are available, in some cases surgery may be required.

Mental and emotional reactions

In the first week after childbirth, up to 50-70% of all women experience psychological symptoms such as mild depression, increased anxiety, concentration difficulties, sudden mood swings, intense fatigue, headaches, insomnia or increased concern for the child or their own health.

These symptoms usually come on the third or fourth day after birth and are completely normal. They may come and go and be different pronounced, but usually disappear after 7-10 days. Birth depression , on the other hand, is something completely different.