Cardiac output had been significantly elevated during pregnancy and it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for the cardiovascular system after delivery to normalize.
Blood coagulation is in an activated state, likely from vaginal tears, during and until about 1 week following the delivery. By 2 weeks after the delivery the coagulation status is normalized.
This poses a significant risk for women who had an operative procedure such as a cesarean section, forceps delivery, extensive repairs of lacerations or of a large episiotomy (=cut into the perineum to enlarge the outlet birth channel).
In these women there is a risk for developing blood clots in the legs or blood clots in the large pelvic veins. These can break off and migrate into the lungs (called “pulmonary emboli“). The physician can order Doppler ultrasound studies to look for clots and if present, can order heparin therapy to dissolve the clots.
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