After Delivery: When to Call the Healthcare Provider

Health problems sometimes arise with you or your baby following delivery. Call your baby's healthcare provider or your healthcare provider if you see any of the signs below.  

Woman holding baby close, looking concerned. Man beside her on telephone.

Watch your baby for these signs

Call your baby’s healthcare provider if your baby:

  • Has a fever (see Fever and children, below)

  • Has fewer than 6 wet diapers a day (Hint: Disposable diapers may feel heavy or hard after being soaked.)

  • Skin or whites of the eyes appear yellow

  • Cries for a long time, or if it sounds as if the cries are caused by pain

  • Has diarrhea

  • Refuses 2 feedings in a row

  • Is inactive or listless

  • Is vomiting

  • Has blood in the stool or vomit

  • Has a rash

  • Has ear drainage

  • Has trouble breathing

  • Has a seizure

  • Will not wake up

Trust your instincts. If you are concerned about your baby, call your baby's healthcare provider.

Fever and children

Always use a digital thermometer to check your child’s temperature. Never use a mercury thermometer.

For infants and toddlers, be sure to use a rectal thermometer correctly. A rectal thermometer may accidentally poke a hole in (perforate) the rectum. It may also pass on germs from the stool. Always follow the product maker’s directions for proper use. If you don’t feel comfortable taking a rectal temperature, use another method. When you talk to your child’s healthcare provider, tell him or her which method you used to take your child’s temperature.

Here are guidelines for fever temperature. Ear temperatures aren’t accurate before 6 months of age. Don’t take an oral temperature until your child is at least 4 years old.

Infant under 3 months old:

Ask your child’s healthcare provider how you should take the temperature.

  • Rectal or forehead (temporal artery) temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by the provider

Watch your own health for these signs

Call your own healthcare provider if you have:

  • Burning or pain in your breasts

  • Red streaks or hard lumpy areas in your breasts

  • Problems with breastfeeding

  • A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Extreme tiredness or body aches, as if you have the flu

  • Feelings of extreme sadness or anxiety, or a feeling that you don’t want to be with your baby

  • Abdominal pain that isn’t relieved with medicine

  • Vaginal discharge that has a bad odor

  • Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one pad per hour

  • If you had a cesarean section, call for concerns about your incision site such as pain, drainage, or bleeding from your incision