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Postnatal: When to Call the Doctor

Babies are often sturdier than you might think, but health problems sometimes do arise. Call your baby’s health care provider if you see any of the signs below. Be sure to take care of your own health, too.

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

Watch Your Baby for These Signs

Call your baby’s health care provider if your baby:

  • Has a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

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

  • Has a yellow cast to the skin or the whites of the eyes

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

  • Has diarrhea

  • Refuses two feedings in a row

  • Is inactive or listless

Watch Your Own Health

Call your own health care provider if you have:

  • Burning or pain in your breast

  • Red streaks or hard lumpy areas in your breast

  • Cracks or blisters, or see blood on your nipples

  • A fever or chills

  • Extreme tiredness or body aches, as if you had 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

  • A temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher


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