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When to get medical help after the birth

It is normal to feel sore or tender after giving birth. There are some things you should look out for after giving birth, as you may need medical help.

Contact your GP, public health nurse or midwife immediately if you have:

  • heavy bleeding or large clots coming from your vagina, feeling dizzy or weak - these can be signs of post partum haemorrhage
  • smelly discharge from your vagina - this can be a sign of infection
  • pain in your tummy, especially if it is severe - this can be a sign of infection
  • a fever, especially if your temperature is over 38 degrees
  • any problems with a wound or stitches, like redness, pus or if the wound seems to be opening
  • headache, blurred vision or vomiting - these can be signs of pre-eclampsia
  • pain when you wee, passing urine more often or smelly urine - these can be signs of a urinary tract infection
  • problems controlling your urine or poo for more than 6 weeks after the birth

You should also contact your GP, midwife or public health nurse if:

  • you feel worried or that something is not right
  • you have any symptoms of postnatal depression

If you have any thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, contact your GP immediately. Thoughts of harming the baby are very distressing. They can happen if you have postnatal depression and this can be treated.

page last reviewed: 18/09/2018
next review due: 18/09/2021