Everything you need on Postpartum Fever

Postpartum fever is a condition that can affect women giving birth. In this article, we'll discuss the main symptoms of this fever, the reasons for its occurrence, and the best ways to treat it so you can enjoy good health during the postpartum period.

Published on:Jan 18th 2024 |Updated on:Jun 10th 2024
علاج حمى النفاس

What is Postpartum Fever?

It is an elevation in body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius in women after childbirth. It is a common condition, affecting between 5% to 7% of women during the postpartum weeks. The increase in temperature may occur immediately after childbirth or within the first ten days.


  • Temperature exceeding 38 degrees Celsius.
  • Chills.
  • Continuous feeling of cold.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion.

Severe Symptoms and Possible Complications

  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Temperature rising above 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • Pain and swelling in the legs.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Causes of Postpartum Fever


Inflammation in the uterine lining or Endometriosis can lead to severe abdominal pain and fever within the first three days after childbirth. Prolonged labor, manual placenta removal, forceps, or vacuum extraction during delivery can contribute to this inflammation. Or if the baby poops inside the uterus. Additionally, bacterial colonies in the vagina can contribute to this condition. Other factors include previous vaginal infections in the mother, gestational diabetes, and preterm or post-term delivery (after more than 40 weeks of pregnancy).

Urinary Tract Infection

Common after childbirth, it can result from bacterial infection, mainly if a urinary catheter is used during delivery. You can find details on this condition in this article.

Vaginal infection

Infections in the vagina and reproductive system can occur due to prolonged vaginal labor, extensive examinations, an episiotomy, or the use of instruments for fetal extraction.

Cesarean Section incision Infection

Women who undergo a c-section are more prone to postpartum fever. Infection in the cesarean wound can lead to a high fever, discharge from the incision site, and severe pain.


Infection in breast tissues due to blocked milk ducts or channels causes an accumulation of milk inside the breast and results in inflammation. You can find details about mastitis in this article.


While bacterial infections and fever cannot always be avoided, the following tips may reduce the risk of postpartum fever:

  • If you've undergone a cesarean section, make sure to take all prescribed medications and maintain cleanliness around the surgical site. A study in 2019 revealed that women who took antibiotics prescribed by the doctor after a cesarean section were less prone to postpartum fever. So, have a discussion with your doctor about this option.
  • Clean the incision with water based on your doctor's recommendations.
  • Change dressings regularly as advised by your doctor.
  • Use postpartum pads.
  • Wash nipples before and after breastfeeding.
  • Apply cold packs or washed cabbage leaves to breasts.
  • If you are not breastfeeding but producing milk, express a small amount to relieve pressure on the breasts and prevent blockages.


Treatment depends on the cause of the fever. In most cases, antibiotics, along with fever-reducing medications, are prescribed to the bacteria causing inflammation and fever. It's worth noting that doctors prescribe only medications safe for breastfeeding mothers to avoid impacting natural breastfeeding.


Postpartum fever is a common condition with various possible causes. Sometimes, it may indicate a health problem, such as bacterial infection, which can lead to complications if not treated. Therefore, do not ignore postpartum fever or any other troubling symptoms; consult your doctor promptly if these symptoms occur.

Read about Baby blues and how to treat them


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Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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