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New mothers risking sepsis over social media posts, warn midwives

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New mothers are risking a serious infection - and even sepsis - by ripping off their dressings to post images of their caesarean section scars on social media, midwives have warned.

The team of midwives at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have urged women to keep their dressings over their wounds to prevent complications.

“They need to realise that they increase the risk of the wound becoming infected if they remove the dressing” 

Melanie Lee

Midwife Melanie Lee said the team in Hull, who form the Hey Baby group, were becoming “increasingly concerned” over the number of new mothers who were removing their dressings so they could take photographs and post them on Facebook.

“Women who have just given birth and those who have just had surgery are at increased risk of developing infection already, so it is essential their wounds remain covered until a health professional says dressings are safe to be removed,” said Ms Lee.

“We’re sharing more and more on social media and sometimes, people post these images on their pages because they want to know if their wound is ‘normal’.

“But they need to realise that they increase the risk of the wound becoming infected if they remove the dressing and these infections could lead to sepsis,” she warned.

According to the trust, women who have just given birth or who have had a caesarean section are at greater risk of developing sepsis.

There are around 250,000 cases of sepsis in the UK every year and it claims the lives of almost one in five of those who contract it.

Ms Lee, along with her team at the trust, is encouraging mothers who are concerned about their wound to speak with their midwife or another health professional.

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