Postpartum support in Austin and Central Texas
Although many women recover without problems after childbirth, others may have complications. In those instances, women need extra postnatal care—which they can get right here, at St. David's HealthCare. Our postpartum care teams will make sure you feel safe throughout every step of your birth experience, including after your baby is born. We are committed to helping you and your family adjust to your new addition in a healthy and happy way.
For more information about our postpartum care services, please call St. David's Help Center at (888) 868-2104.
Care for postpartum mood disorders
The postpartum period, lasting six to eight weeks, involves many physical and emotional changes that can be difficult to navigate alone. For example, before, during and up to even a year after childbirth, some women may experience changes in their mood. These changes may include depression or anxiety, and symptoms may be mild or significant.
Our care team is able to care for women who experience these types of mood disorders, including:
- Baby blues (also known as postpartum blues)
- Postpartum depression
- Postpartum anxiety
- Postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postpartum psychosis (such as shifting between moods, hallucinations and disorganized thinking)
Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition related to high blood pressure. Some women develop pre-eclampsia when they are pregnant, during labor or even after the baby is born (up to six weeks after birth). It can happen even if a woman did not have pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy and childbirth.
Physical effects can include high blood pressure (140/90 or greater), changes to the kidneys and liver or rapid weight gain in the hands and face. Related mental health symptoms can include emotional distress, upsetting dreams or thoughts, unwanted memories and sadness or negative thoughts.
Women who have pre-eclampsia have a lifetime higher risk for health conditions that impact the heart and kidneys. Talk to your primary care doctor each year about your pre-eclampsia risks.
Secondary postpartum hemorrhage
Secondary postpartum hemorrhage, or heavy bleeding, may occur soon after birth. Sometimes, heavy bleeding may occur days after delivery, often one to two weeks after. This is known as secondary or late postpartum hemorrhage.
Postpartum warning signs
Many times, warning signs of issues after childbirth can go ignored or mistaken for other conditions. It is important to watch for these signs and call your doctor if you have:
- High blood pressure
- Heart and lung concerns (such as pain or heaviness in the chest, discomfort in the neck or jaw and difficulty breathing)
- Mental health and mood troubles
- Heavy bleeding and dizziness
- Blood clots (symptoms may include a painful or swollen calf, thigh or foot)
If you can't reach your provider, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room (ER).
Postpartum resources for women and families
The postpartum period can be difficult, but there are ways to move through it successfully. There are a variety of resources available for women who need assistance, such as: