In the days right after giving birth, your body will go through a lot of adjustments and have symptoms. It is important to know when your symptoms are normal and when they might be something more serious and you need help.

If you are unsure if your symptoms are severe, always call your health care provider or an emergency medical facility and get professional medical advice.

When to call 911

Don't Ignore
Chest Pains
High Fever
Soaking through a pad with blood in less than an hour
  • Pain in your chest
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else

When to call your healthcare provider

If you can’t contact your healthcare provider call 911 or go to the emergency room.
  • Bleeding, soaking through one pad per hour OR blood clots, the size of an egg or bigger
  • An incision that is not healing
  • A red or swollen leg that is painful or warm to the touch
  • A temperature of 100.4°F or higher
  • A headache that does not get better, even after taking medicine, or a bad headache with vision changes.

How to use the emergency guide

Keep a copy on your kitchen fridge or other easily accessible area in your home.

Tell your friends and family about this postpartum emergency guide and where to find it.

In case you are unable to call for help, they can know what to do based on your symptoms and the lists on this guide.

If you are unsure if your symptoms are severe, always call your health care provider or an emergency medical facility and get professional medical advice.


DSHS Hear Her Texas Campaign

Hear Her Campaign. You can help save her life.

More than 700 women die each year in the U.S. from pregnancy-related complications up to one year after giving birth. In Texas, approximately 4 out of 5 of these deaths are preventable.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is committed to helping prevent maternal mortality and morbidity in our state through education, resources, and awareness. The Hear Her Maternal Health Campaign aims to empower women and their support networks to know the urgent maternal warning signs and speak up when they have concerns. The campaign is also dedicated to encouraging everyone, including providers, caregivers, friends, and family to listen and act.

Visit Hear Her Texas to view realistic depictions of urgent maternal warning signs for pregnant and postpartum women.

All images are simulated.