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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How to check for retained placenta?

My 36 year old friend gave birth 6 days ago to an infant who has had to stay in the nursery due to breathing difficulties. She has stayed with her, working daily to get breastfeeding going. She tells me by phone tonight that her lochia smells strong (though the midwife smelled it and said it was OK); she passed two clots the size of tangerines today, and her feet have swollen up, which they never did during her pregnancy. She says she still looks pregnant (thought she did not gain an excess amount of weight during pregnancy). She does not feel ill. I told her to go to the hospital's emerg dept if she feels unwell or develops a fever. I am concerned about retained placenta. What should I tell her to do?
Thu, 28 Jul 2016
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OBGYN 's  Response
Hallow Dear,

The very fact your friend has lochia which has an offending smell indicates that she is having infection of the uterus. If may be or may not be due to some retained products inside the uterine cavity which can be ascertained by ultrasonography.

Anyway, she is having puerperal sepsis and hence she needs an antibiotics treatment.

Moreover, her legs are swollen. This can happen after delivery due to formation of clots in the deep veins of the legs. This is a rather serious complication. These clots can get dislodged and block the vessels of vital organs like heart, lungs, brain, etc.

Having oversized belly immediately after delivery is normal and needs exercises to get it to normal size and shape.

Please insist on her reporting to her Obstetrician ASAP and get admitted to the hospital till she gets cured.

I hope this gives you the required message.

Dr. Nishikant Shrotri
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