During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes. And such alterations don’t necessarily end when you give birth. You may continue to experience certain symptoms for days or even weeks after giving birth because your body needs time to heal.
Postpartum bleeding is one such sign. However, some vaginal bleeding following delivery is typical.
The uterine lining thickens during pregnancy as a result of hormones supporting the placenta. The uterus starts to contract and shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size after birth, and the uterine lining starts to shed.
Because it contains the same kind of blood and tissue as menstruation, this shedding (lochia) is not entirely dissimilar. Nevertheless, due to how huge the uterus becomes during pregnancy, lochia occurs on a much greater scale. The discharge after giving birth also lasts somewhat longer than a typical period and undergoes a few modifications before ceasing.
Postpartum bleeding, also known as Lochia is normal. This bleeding after birth can be heavy for the first two days but then subsides.
In the first two days, you will probably require pad changes every 3-4 hours. After that, pad changes will be every 6-8 hours. If you have lochia, it is advised to use sanitary pads and napkins instead of tampons, as tampons increase the risk of infection in your healing vagina and uterus.
What Does Lochia Look Like?
Although every individual is unique, lochia typically progresses in colour and volume in a similar way. Before becoming a white-coloured mucus, it starts out as blood.
For at least three or four days, Lochia is dark or vivid red. The flow is strong, and you might pass little clots as well. One thick maxi pad should be soaked every two to three hours.
Lochia becomes more watery and changes to a pinkish-brown tint after roughly a week. Since there is less flow, you might not be able to fill pads as quickly.
After roughly 10 to 14 days, lochia finally takes on a creamy, yellowish-white hue. Some people can now comfortably wear thin panty liners underneath their clothes.
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Lochia After Vaginal Delivery
Your baby’s blood will likely be vivid or dark crimson for the first one to three days following vaginal birth. It can have a fragrance similar to the blood you regularly bleed during your period. The blood may also contain a few clots that range in size from a grape to a prune.
The blood should turn pinkish or reddish between days four and seven. Clots should diminish or vanish.
The discharge will probably be white or yellow towards the end of the first week. It ought to stop in three to six weeks.
Lochia After C-Section
After a C-section, bleeding is typical and will eventually stop. Because the doctors clean the uterus out with a swab to make sure they removed all of the placenta and membranes during the surgery, women who have had a caesarean section typically have less lochia. These ladies may probably have more bleeding for a longer period of time because that doesn’t happen during vaginal delivery.
After your C-section, you will experience more bleeding, which will gradually lessen. After four to six weeks, bleeding ought to stop completely.
Increased bleeding could be a symptom of postpartum problems or too much exercise.
If you develop more severe bleeding or clots after your C-section, bleeding from the incision site, or any other unsettling signs, call your doctor right once.
Why You Might Experience More Bleeding
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After delivery, bleeding ought to lessen for a few weeks before ceasing entirely. However, a few factors, such as the following, can momentarily improve blood flow:
- rising early in the morning
- breastfeed (your body produces the hormone oxytocin while you nurse, which stimulates uterine contractions and accelerates healing)
- stooping or straining when urinating or pooping
What to do if you’re bleeding
It’s likely that the initial bleeding will be so severe that you’ll need to wear a hospital pad. When you are discharged, the nurse might offer you some of these extra-absorbent pads.
You can switch to a regular menstruation pad once the bleeding decreases.
To avoid infection, make sure to replace your pads frequently. Tampons should not be used unless your doctor gives the all-clear. You can switch to a panty liner once the bleeding is minimal enough or you’re only seeing discharge.
Lochia Duration: How Long Do You Bleed After Birth?
Lochia will stop about one month after delivery. For some women, it can last for 6-8 weeks. According to an article published in the Singapore Family Physician,
“After the delivery, the lochia is initially red (lochia rubrum), slowly changing to pale brownish (lochia serosa) and finally to yellowish white (lochia alba).”
Lochia rubrum should begin to change colour about two days postpartum.
If you are not breastfeeding, you can expect your period to resume after 6 to 8 weeks. If you are breastfeeding, your period will probably resume only after you stop breastfeeding.
Bleeding After Giving Birth: What Else Causes It?
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There are a number of potential causes for irregular bleeding after birth. If the blood isn’t truly coming from your uterus, you may have a vaginal tear, a bladder haemorrhage, or even an unidentified bleeding problem.
Additionally, there can be a problem with how your uterus is generally contracting. Moms are said to have uterine atony when they have copious lochia and the uterine fundus is not solid. This can happen if the uterus isn’t contracting enough, if the placenta or membranes are still inside the uterus, or if there is another anatomical issue, such as a fibroid inside the uterine lining, that prevents the uterus from contracting.
In these circumstances, you should probably see your doctor, who will be able to massage your uterus, expel any clots, and—if necessary—prescribe medicine to assist your uterus contract.
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How To Stop Postpartum Bleeding Faster: Home Treatment For Lochia
After childbirth, recovery takes many weeks. During this period, relax and get as much sleep as you can. Following are some recommendations for managing postpartum bleeding:
- During the first six weeks after childbirth, exclusively use hygienic maxi pads. For at least a week, prepare to use several sizable, thick pads every day.
- Wait until you’ve seen your doctor before inserting anything into your vagina or using tampons. Your uterus may become infected as a result of this introducing bacteria.
- Don’t mind if your underwear and pants get dirty. Your clothing may get stained by lochia.
Allow your body to heal. Even while it might sound wonderful to get back to your regular routine, doing so can keep you from mending. Additionally, it can make your bleeding worse or recur.
Change your maxi pad every few hours, and refrain from inserting anything into your vagina for at least six weeks to prevent infection.
When To Call The Doctor
Normally, Lochia doesn’t lead to problems. The amount of bloody discharge should naturally decrease till it is finished. You should keep an eye out for indications of abnormal bleeding or discharge, though.
In the weeks following giving birth, if you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor right away:
- Vaginal discharge that is green.
- Your lochia is still bright red four days after your baby’s birth.
- An unpleasant odour (worse smelling than your usual period).
- Abnormally heavy bleeding or discharge (soaking a pad every hour).
- Excessive clotting or large, golf-ball-sized clots.
- Chills, a fever, or flu-like symptoms.
- Pain or swelling in the vicinity of your vagina.
- Unsteadiness or a fainting feeling.
- Prolonged cramping or pain in the pelvis.
Updates by Matt Doctor
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