Blood after having a baby? Postpartum bleeding is absolutely normal
What is postpartum bleeding?
If you already gave birth, you know about it. If you are going to, that’s what awaits you -- I’m talking about postpartum bleeding or lochia. Lochia is the heavy flow of blood and mucus that comes after delivery. Most women go through it, both those who gave birth vaginally or through a C-section. Your body just needs to get rid of all this extra blood and tissue that helped your baby grow inside you.
How does bleeding after birth look like?
Postpartum bleeding is similar to period, but is heavier and longer. The lochia can last for up to 6 weeks after delivery, but after the first 10 days the flow will become much lighter. During the first several days you will have to wear a hospital pad and you might change your pad every 1-2 hours, as the flow will be very heavy. The blood will be bright red with a few clots in it. With time, the clots will become smaller and the colour of the discharge will go from bright red to light red to yellow or clear. Don’t be scared if you feel like a waterfall when you stand up, that’s okay due to the anatomy of your vagina. In general, the more you move the heavier the flow will be. Also, your flow will be stronger when you breastfeed and it’s absolutely normal.
Postpartum bleeding: should you be worried?
Although postpartum bleeding is normal after delivery, you need to pay attention to it and to your body, not to miss any signs that can signal problems. You should contact a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Your hospital pad is soaking wet in less than an hour.
- You feel very weak as though you are going to faint.
- You have blurred vision.
- You have chills.
These symptoms might signal postpartum haemorrhage, a rare but serious condition when a woman loses too much blood.
You also need to call a doctor when you have signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or foul-smelling discharge. Also, let your doctor know if you have a big amount of clots, or if the clots are large. The delivery is a demanding process for your body, so a rule of thumb is to let your doctor know whenever something doesn’t seem right to you -- better safe than sorry!
How to make it easier?
We don’t have a magic recipe to make the bleeding lighter, as it’s just something you have to go through, but we have several things you can try to make this whole process easier.
- Rest a lot and try to avoid physical work. Don’t try to be a hero and let your body recover after the amazing work it’s done.
- Wash your hands before and after you change the pad to avoid infection. Also, try not to touch your stitches, you don’t want to add your body work by fighting unnecessary bacteria.
- Wear comfortable clothes, which you won’t regret to throw away if you have blood stains on them. Blood stains are not easy to get rid of, so leave your favourite pieces for later.
- Pee often, even if you don’t feel like you really have to. That will help your uterus contract and expel the extra tissue faster.
- Wear only a pad, don’t go for tampons or a cup until your doctor lets you to do so. In the hospital you will most probably get special hospital pads. After you need to stick to extra absorbent pads, that can survive super heavy flow. Our Cherriful reusable night pads are perfectly suitable for this mission, so check them out!