Bleeding After Birth: Postpartum Lochia Impact on New Moms

What to Expect About Postpartum Lochia

You knew your baby would leave the hospital in diapers, but did you know that you would too? After the process of childbirth, you will experience lochia which is bleeding after birth. For all women, it is important to know what kind and amount of bleeding is normal, what products you need to be stocked up on, and how long this bleeding after birth will last after having your baby. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a c-section, you will experience bleeding after birth that should decrease and change color over time. This is a mix of blood and mucus and it starts after your delivery. When you were carrying your baby, the body requires extra blood and tissue. Now that you have delivered, the body gets rid of the extra. Your body is healing from where your placenta was attached and your uterus is shedding lining. You may also be recovering from a tear or episiotomy.

How Long Does Bleeding Last After Birth?

Women can expect to bleed for 4-6 weeks after birth, though the blood should change over time.

Related: Cramping After Birth

Products to help with Bleeding After Birth

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If you give birth in the hospital, stock up on the supplies they offer. You will also want to have supplies at home ready to go to help ease the period of postpartum bleeding.

Adult depends: Yes, these are the adult diapers. You will likely only need them for a couple of days, but you will want to change them frequently.
Pads of various sizes/Pantyliners: Have different sizes on hand as your bleeding decreases over time
Peri bottle: While this is more geared towards pain, it can be a great way to clear some of the blood without a painful wipe
Witch Hazel Pads (tucks): Again, mostly for pain, but these are a good substitute for toilet paper those first few days as you’re facing pain. The witch hazel is soothing to the vagina.
Loose Underwear/Mesh Underwear: The last thing you want is for everything to be tight and suffocating. Mesh undies are a great way to stay comfortable and breathable. 
Padsicles: If this sounds like a combination of pad and popsicle, that’s because it is. These frozen pads with the soothing power of witch hazel and aloe vera might be your best friends. Learn how to make them at home in this blog post.

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Postpartum Bleeding Problems

It’s important to know the signs of when postpartum bleeding is not normal. Large blood clots, bleeding that does not decrease over time and foul-smelling bleeding are reasons to contact your doctor. In the first few days, blood clots may be as big as a golf ball, but that should not be the case after the first couple of days. Postpartum hemorrhaging happens in 1-5% of women after birth and early detection is vital.

Call your doctor if you have:

Red and heavy blood more than a week postpartum

Large clots (bigger than golf ball), or high number of clots

Discharge has a foul-smell

Fever or chills

Dizzy and/or nauseous

Racing heart

Note: Postpartum bleeding may increase when you are breastfeeding, engaged in an activity (walking steps, etc.), straining to use the restroom or when you first get out of bed.

Bleeding is a normal part of postpartum as the body transitions from pregnancy and birth. However, if you feel your bleeding is abnormal, contact your doctor.

Disclaimer: The information on Postpartum Together is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Postpartum Together Site. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.

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