Postpartum

Navigating Your First Period After Having a Baby

What to Expect From Your First Period after Baby- and When Will it Return?!

After giving birth, there is a period of time before you start to experience a menstrual cycle again. You may be wondering if your periods will be different during postpartum after baby or how long it will take for your period to return. While periods after birth vary greatly, there are some things you can expect when it comes to having your first period after baby.

Chances are, it has been awhile since you had your last menstrual cycle. While pregnant, there is no ovulation and no period (except for VERY RARE cases of superfetation.)

RELATED: New Mom New Baby Postpartum Guide

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.  I am a postpartum coach and mother of 2. While all content on Postpartum Together is created with research and best practices, do not replace any information with the direct care of your medical provider. Also this site may use affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, Postpartum Together may receive a portion of commission from any sales.

what to expect from your first period after having a baby

When Should My Period Return After Giving Birth?

The return of your period can happen anywhere from a few weeks postpartum to months- even a year+ after giving birth. On average the return of period is around 74 days, but breastfeeding can draw out the time it takes for your period to return because of the hormone levels.  While it is not common for a woman to ovulate while she is breastfeeding, it can happen (and yes, you can get pregnant while breastfeeding!) Your body produces more prolactin when you are breastfeeding to stimulate milk production. This usually keeps your ovaries from releasing eggs and, in turn, not experiencing periods.

Are Periods After Baby Different?

It’s likely going to take a few cycles for you to feel like your period is back to “normal.”  You may have fewer or more days between cycles, your flow may be heavier or lighter and PMS, cramping and other symptoms can feel different after giving birth. If you are noticing a difference in your menstrual cycles, don’t be alarmed. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum cause many fluctuations in your hormones and the impacts go beyond the days of birth and early postpartum. This means we can’t give you a direct answer about what to expect from your period after baby, which is probably frustrating, but know that if periods feel different or you don’t know what to expect, you’re in good company. Most women notice some kind of change at least for the first couple of cycles.

RELATED: Postpartum Emotions

Will I Have Less Menstrual Cramping After Birth?

Often women with endometriosis or other painful period experiences are told they may have less cramping and pain in periods after going through pregnancy (I remember being told this when I was in high school and first prescribed birth control for my periods which, in another story, wasn’t great.) The reason you may experience less pain after birth is again hormones. Increased progesterone levels can carry over from pregnancy and birth which impacts endometrial tissue and can result in less painful periods. This can be a welcomes reprieve after birth, though this does not mean periods will continue to be less painful (I know, bummer).

Some women do enjoy less painful periods after birth. This can be from the cervix and uterus changing shapes, sometimes stretch and impacting the cramps you may experience. Also, hormones can cause the uterus to relax and create easier periods.

Why is My First Period After Birth So Heavy?

First, it’s important to know that lochia after birth can last 4-8 weeks (average 6 weeks) after giving birth. Lochia is the bleeding and tissue passing after giving birth as your body heals from pregnancy and delivery. Read more about Postpartum Bleeding here

During this time, it’s important to know what red flags to look out for such as:

  • 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 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.

In the first period after birth, you may still be experiencing heavier periods which can be caused from the changes in your uterus and the mucous lining throughout pregnancy and birth. As this continues to pass and go “back to normal,” your periods should also.

What is a “Normal” Period After Baby?

Just like pre-baby, normal looks different for everyone and every body. According to the experts at the Cleveland Clinic, an average menstrual cycle is “28 days long; however, a cycle can range in length from 21 days to about 35 days.” The Cleveland Clinic also indicates that most women bleed 3-5 days “but a period lasting only two days to as many as seven days is still considered normal.”

As your cycle returns after birth, you should be thinking of “normal” as your normal pre-pregnancy and use that to identify if anything feels off. This also means if you had struggles like PCOS or endometriosis, they may return after having a baby (though you should have a continual conversation with your provider about this.)

Another consideration is if you were on birth control prior to your pregnancy. Birth control is known to shorten or even get rid of menstrual cycles and so you baseline of “normal” may be different when you are postpartum and not back on birth control.

Cramping During Breastfeeding: Is My Period Back Already?!

Some women wonder if their menstrual cycle is returning just days (or hours!) after giving birth.  Do not fear, you are not experiencing the return of your period. This is most likely involution- afterbirth cramping.

Afterbirth cramping is the process of your uterus returning to its’ regular size after growing during pregnancy and delivering during birth. This can be noticed most during breastfeeding due to the hormonal release.

I Had My First Period, Now Will They Be Consistent?

Once you’ve had your first postpartum period, you might wonder if you can count on a regular schedule. Chance are, it will take a few cycles in order for your periods to be predictable again. This means you want to still use protection if you are having sex and carry your favorite hygiene products with you (um have you tried Thinx Period Panties yet?!) Also remember that the flow, duration and cycle can change as your body regulates again and gets back into a rhythm. If you find yourself with erratic periods for months after you cycle returns, it’s a good idea to talk with your medical provider about this.

RELATED: Am I Ready for Sex After Baby?

So in short, it’s hard to describe exactly what to expect with your first postpartum period. Like pregnancy, birth, and all things postpartum- our bodies all recover and operate in different ways. Do not be surprised by a difference in duration or flow during your first few cycles after you give birth. Know the signs of any postpartum bleeding problems, and have open honest conversations with your medical provider about what you are experiencing so that you can have your periods with confidence.

do period underwear really work to hold bloodThinx Period Undies are my go-to for all periods, but I SO wish I would have known about them for postpartum and the first period after baby. They can hold up to 4 tampons worth, and are created to absorb moisture and smell. Seriously periods suck, but this can make it less sucky.
Plus, with the link you get $10 off your first order.
Birth, Postpartum

C-Section Massage: Healing After Your Belly Birth

C-Section Scars and Why We Call it Belly Birth

Here at Postpartum Together, we have chosen to refer to vaginal birth and belly birth. Your C-Section Scar is a testament of your beautiful belly birth. Cesarean is a common name for the operation of birthing via incision in the abdomen and uterus. But, we find that referring to this as a c-section dilutes the majesty of any and all birthing. By saying “Belly Birth” we honor that you DID birth a child and you DID do a miraculous thing and celebrate it as it is- a birth.

Disclaimer: (I am not a medical provider. I am a mom, a researcher, a coach. My goal is to help you have the information so you can seek your medical provider if needed.) Disclaimer #2 This post may include affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission on sales made through links on this page.


csection scar massage taking care of your cesarean scar

What Happens After Belly Birth?

Following a belly birth, most women are instructed on how to watch for infection. We You are taught to ease back into activity, and what to do in those early days. However, many women have shared that they were not instructed to perform c-section scar massages on their belly incisions. I attended a postpartum class with Julie of Strong Body Strong Mama and noticed as she instructed a new mom who had delivered via belly birth on how to massage her scar. From that point, I did some research of my own. I talked with my own clients and audience, and have learned that many women are not instructed on how to care for their scar after birth.

Why Do you Need to Massage Your C-Section Scar?

Scars heal by new scar tissue developing and replacing the tissue that was there. When this new tissue develops, it does not grow in the same direction as the original. This means it needs to be retrained and moved to better align. Another issue that can happen with tissue regrowth is adhesions (scar tissue binding to the organs). These issues can cause problems and pain for moms months or years following birth. Some problems women may experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Back Pain

  • Limited mobility

  • Frequent urination

  • Painful Intercourse

RELATED: Sex After Baby: Am I Ready?

When and How to Massage Your C-Section Scar

You should wait until your doctor is able to confirm that your belly scar is healing properly before starting to massage. Oftentimes women get this clearance at their postpartum follow up appointment.

You will see in the video below, you want to start gently with your scar. Start around the scar and then make your way towards the incision scar as you are more comfortable. Massage it a few minutes each day. Your scar has a skin, muscle and organ layer and you will learn different levels of massage and techniques to work each level and help your tissue move freely in all directions.

As you watch below, will see different techniques in the video to show you how to massage and how to lift and roll your scar. Listen to how Sarah of Pelvic Floor and More explains each step, when and how to use the technique and tips for taking care of your scar after a belly birth.

RELATED: Constipation After Birth

Postpartum Recovery: C-Section Scars & The Pelvic Floor

When it comes to postpartum recovery, no matter how you birthed, women often are unsure of how to take care of their bodies. With so much attention on the baby, many women feel like there aren’t enough resources and checkups on her (I will ALWAYS say the one 6-week-check up is NOT enough!) Thankfully,there are resources available to you like Strong Body Strong Mama and Pelvic Floor and More. If there are other topics regarding postpartum that no one prepared you for or go unspoken, comment below or send me an email so we can get it on the blog!

Birth, Postpartum

Postpartum Constipation: Guide to Pooping as New Mom

Pooping Problems After Giving Birth

Shit happens, but sometimes it doesn’t. After giving birth, up to half of women will deal with postpartum constipation. This is another part of life after baby that isn’t discussed but we are here to give you the rundown: why postpartum constipation is common, what you can do to get things moving again, and when you should talk to your doctor about constipation.

Disclaimer: (I am not a medical provider. I am a mom, a researcher, a coach. My goal is to help you have the information so you can seek your medical provider if needed.) Disclaimer #2 this post may include affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission on sales made through links on this page.

Peeing and Pooping After Birth: The Amazon Must-Haves

constipation.png

Why Do New Moms Get Constipated After Giving Birth?

There are a lot of things that shift “down there” when you go through birth. Regardless of whether you had a belly birth or vaginal birth, there are spots that are tender and mentally, we are nervous about feeling the pain again.

Physical factors of postpartum constipation:

  • Dehydration: You lose a lot of fluid in birth and you may go a long time without drinking. This may make it difficult for your stool to pass through.

  • Labor Hormones: All of those hormones that go into birthing you baby may also make your bowel movement more difficult.

  • Medication: Many painkillers are known to cause constipation. If you have painkillers during or after your birth, this can play into after birth constipation. (Cesarean/belly birth may include more medication which can increase chances of constipation. Iron medication (which may be used for some women due to blood loss) also are known to cause constipation.

  • Lack of food: Many hospitals require women to stop eating during labor. This may mean you have less to move through your system following birth.

  • Poop during delivery: Some women poop during delivery. Think about it, if you’re pushing, it can happen! (Don’t worry, your doctor or nurse has seen this before, it’s okay!)

    Mental factors of postpartum constipation:

  • Fear of pain: Our bodies naturally tense up when we fear pain. If you had tearing, an episiotomy or an incision during birth, you may have fear about pain when trying to poop.

  • Embarrassment: If you have a well-meaning nurse, partner, family member, etc. who is helping you with postpartum recovery, you may feel timid about trying to poop after baby. Let it go sister- the embarrassment and the poop! We all poop.

    Related: DIY Padsicles

    How to Poop Again After Giving Birth

woman on toilet pooping after giving birth.jpg
  • DRINK UP! For a number of reasons, it’s important to stay hydrated and get a lot of water after birth. This will give your body something to work with!

  • EAT UP! Make sure to have some fibrous foods as part of your after-birth buffet. Whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies are important parts of eating after birth (and for the weeks of postpartum beyond.)

  • FEET UP! Using a stool to elevate your feet, legs and pelvis while using the toilet can help create relaxation in your body to help things move without strain.

  • BREATHE! Remember those breathing techniques you learned for birthing your baby? Those same techniques can be used to help you poop after birth. Relax your muscles and don’t rush/force it out.

  • Be gentle. Use a peri bottle or other way of wiping instead of toilet paper to be cautious of any tearing and pain. Use a sitz bath to help comfort the area.

  • Stool Softener. Your doctor will likely provide you a stool softener that is safe for breastfeeding and after birth. A medication like Colace can help things get “regular” again.

Dealing with Long-term Postpartum Constipation

While there are many ways to help things get moving right after birth, it is also important to think about the long-term impact on your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor helps our body to poop without pain or problems. There are many reasons to see a pelvic floor therapist (and pelvic floor physical therapy is standard care in some countries!) and ensuring that your able to poop and release gas when you want to (and not unwelcomed!) is just one part in addressing the pelvic floor.

RELATED: Do I need to exercise my pelvic floor?

Possible Problems with Postpartum Constipation

While postpartum constipation is quite normal, you do want to keep an eye out to ensure there are no complications. Hemorrhoids (swollen veins in the anus that can cause discomfort) can be common for those struggling with constipation. If you are experiencing pain, padsicles can be very helpful. If the hemorrhoids persist, your medical provider may want to look into it more.

As your body works to go back to normal, remember what is normal for you when it comes to pooping. How often and at what time of day did you go before giving birth?

If you experience bloody stools (keep in mind you will have postpartum bleeding, so you will likely see blood when you are on the toilet, but check to see if it is in the make up of your fecal matter), strange color and/or excessive pain, let your medical provider know.

RELATED: Bleeding after birth

For some women, constipation after birth goes away after the first few days. If this persists for more than a week, let your provider know and keep up the steps for helping your body get “regular” again!

If no one told you about constipation after birth, it can be surprising. Here at Postpartum Together we believe that NO PART of postpartum should be taboo and we are here to talk about it!

Related: After birth cramping

Baby’s Poop- What’s Normal?

Now that you know what to expect with your own poo after giving birth, it will be important to know what to expect from your baby’s poop too! Poop color, poop consistency and more can vary in the age of baby. Learn all things Normal Baby Poop over on the Zulily Blog.

Birth, Postpartum

Cramping After Birth? Here’s How to Handle Postpartum Involution

For a majority of your life, you’ve anticipated cramps. Menstrual cycle cramps you learned about in junior high health class and have experienced for years. In pregnancy, you’re prepared to have braxton hicks cramps and eventually the labor pains. Now that the baby is here, are you in the clear? Cramping after birth can be surprising.

One thing you may not know is that afterbirth cramps are also normal. If you’re like most women you’re wondering “why didn’t anyone tell me I’d have cramps after giving birth!” Whether you’re currently pregnant or finding this article because you’re experiencing afterbirth pains, I’m here to say yes, it sucks and yes, it will get better!

(Skip to the end if you’re just wondering what you can do to ease this pain!)

You can also listen to me open up about all things postpartum with Mama J on this episode of “January’s Podcast”

why am i having cramps still after i had my baby

This post may contain affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission from any purchases made from links on this page.

Why Do I Still Have Cramping After Birth?

Cramps after giving birth are called involution. This is the process of your uterus returning to normal size and is often marked by short, sharp pains. Throughout your pregnancy, your uterus grows around 25X its’ normal size. These cramps after giving birth are helping the uterus to shrink back down. While the process usually takes around 6 weeks, you likely won’t feel these pains for that long. As the days pass, the cramping will reduce and then subside.

Related: Delivering the Placenta

Why Do I Cramp More When Breastfeeding?

Involution (uterine cramps) are caused by the release of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is released during breastfeeding which means the cramping is likely stronger during a nursing session. When you start breastfeeding, the oxytocin is released which triggers the uterine cramping. It’s definitely amazing how our bodies work like that (but that doesn’t make the pain any more enjoyable!)

breastfeeding makes me cramp after having my baby

The Cramping Is Usually Worse in Subsequent Pregnancies

Some of my clients shared that they didn’t notice these cramps much with their first, but they were surprised how strong they were with their second or third child (or beyond!) Most people agree that the afterbirth cramping increases with each postpartum and this is thought to be because of the uterine muscle tone. After the first, the uterine muscles are likely still strong and able to contract more efficiently. In each subsequent postpartum, it takes more effort for the uterine muscles to contract and, therefore, you may have more noticeable cramping.

How Do I Get Rid of Cramping After Birth?!

I wish I could tell you there is a magic pill you could take while doing a magic yoga move and chanting a magic phrase. If I told you that, though, I’d be lying.

When it comes to afterbirth cramping, there are ways to alleviate the pain, though.

  • Pain Relievers (Medicine): Whether you’re at the hospital or at home, you likely have access to OTC pain relief. Check with your provider on dosage if you are breastfeeding.

  • After Ease (Liquid Drops): If you prefer to avoid medication but still want relief, try a liquid drop like After Ease. After ease can be added to your water and is created for postpartum moms to find relief from cramping

  • Heating Pad: Whether it’s the break and heat pad from the hospital, a favorite heating pad from home, or a homemade rice sock, finding a way to put heat on the painful area can help minimize the pain you’re experiencing

  • Deep breathing: Remember that breathing practice you did for birth? It can come in handy again as you breathe through the cramping afterpains. Purposeful, focused breathing!

  • Pee/empty bladder: Don’t avoid urinating!

    RELATED: The First Pee After Birth

  • Belly binding: Belly Binding is a technique that includes wrapping the abdomen with cloth to provide support for healing. Some believe this helps the uterus contract and the pressure can be helpful in alleviating afterbirth pains

No Part of Postpartum Needs to Be Taboo: Even Cramping After Birth

If no one told you about after birth cramping, it can be shocking to realize that even after birth you may still feel contractions. Here at Postpartum Together we believe that NO PART of postpartum should be taboo and we are here to talk about it!

Want a safe space to talk about ALL THE THINGS life after baby? Need a judgement free community? Do you want to learn about the changes that have happened in you- mentally, physically, relationally, identity and more?

Postpartum Together has a number of small groups to help you navigate your transitions after birth. Get the details and secure your spot here.

Postpartum

Worst Massage of Your Life: Fundal Massage After Giving Birth

What is a Fundal Massage?

how to stop it from hurting when i pee after birth

 

When the Nurse Comes In Right After Birth…

A fundal massage, also known as a uterine massage, is a normal part of after-delivery care.  This typically happens shortly after birth and can continue for hours or days depending on the needs of the patient.

Who doesn’t want a massage after the labor of bringing another human into the world?

When Do You Get a Fundal Massage?

A uterine massage often happens while you are doing skin to skin with your newborn and is done in order to prevent postpartum hemorrhaging. Chances are, if you’ve had massages throughout your life, most of them were not near your pelvic bone and uterus. This massage is also described as “rougher” than massages you may be used to as your doctor, nurse or midwife works to stimulate the uterus.

Stimulating the uterus to contract is important to help rid the body of blood clots and help it to move into the post-birth processes needed for recovery. Your medical provider will also place one hand in the vagina to support the uterus.

The name “fundal massage” comes from “fundus” which is the top of your uterus. The uterus is an organ in which the fertilized egg is implanted. The uterus grows throughout pregnancy and upon delivery, will transition back to its’ normal size.

uterine massage after giving birth

Postpartum Hemorrhaging

Postpartum hemorrhaging refers to the excess loss of blood following childbirth and occurs in 1-5% of birthing women. Hemorrhaging causes a drop in blood pressure, which the body is not prepared for. Fundal/Uterine massages as well as other preventive measures are done to decrease the chances of hemorrhaging after giving birth. Fundal Massages happen after vaginal birth, cesarean birth, miscarriage and abortions. Any time that a pregnancy comes to an end, the uterus needs to contract and heal. You will likely receive fundal messages from your medical team (and if you don’t, it’s a good time to ask why you are not!) and you may be instructed on how to perform a uterine massage yourself.

Some women will only need uterine massages for the first couple of hours after birth. Some women will continue to receive these massages for a couple of days as the body discards blood and tissue following birth.

There are many aspects to care after childbirth and it is important to talk with your medical provider about what to expect and what kind of care you can anticipate. It is also important to talk to your support person about how to help you through birth and beyond.

Related: Postpartum Bleeding

Sources: The information for this post was gathered through anecdotal, stories shared by other moms, March of Dimes, Cochrane Library.

Birth, Postpartum

Peeing After Birth: What You Need to Know about the First Pee

 

how to pee after giving birth

 

The First Pee After Birth: I Did NOT Expect This!

Here at Postpartum Together, we’ve been talking about the unexpected parts of life after baby. We are usually prepared for birth, but there are many things that happen right after birth that can come as a surprise to new moms. One of those things is peeing after birth (or the first few days of peeing after baby) and how it can hurt and sting. We aren’t here to scare you about afterbirth, but to help you know what you can expect and to let you know you’re not the only one! I remember being shocked at how difficult it was for me to make it to the toilet the first couple of days after giving birth and how much I dreaded going to pee because it would sting so badly.

RELATED: Delivering the Placenta

Why Does Peeing After Birth Hurt?

Peeing After Vaginal Birth

Birth takes a toll on your lady parts. For women who deliver vaginally, there is often either an episiotomy or vaginal tearing.

Episiotomy: Surgical incision in the perineum during childbirth to enlarge the area baby passes through

Vaginal Tearing: Also known as perineal lacerations. This is tearing that occurs as the skin and tissue is unable to stretch enough for baby to pass through

Regardless of whether you have an episiotomy or have vaginal tearing as baby passes through, the skin and tissue is damaged in childbirth. This makes the area sensitive and can create open wounds. There is also swelling in this region which can contribute to the discomfort of peeing after birth. When you think about it- the swelling and tearing and wounding- it’s no surprise that there can be a burning sensation and pain when you pee.

Peeing After Belly/Cesarean Birth

It is also possible to experience painful pee after a cesarean birth. For those who push and labor for a vaginal birth but transition to cesarean, there may be damage- tearing and swelling- to the vagina from the laboring. Also, a catheter is often placed after a cesarean and the removal of that can cause painful urination.

How to Decrease Pain During Postpartum Pee

I don’t believe in magic solutions or the ONE MISSING STEP to fix your problems. The reality- for many women, peeing after baby is painful. It stings and burns and is a dreaded time. There’s no sugar coating that. However, there are some ways to help decrease that pain (and remember, it won’t last forever!)

  1. Peri bottle and warm water: A peri bottle is simply a bottle that you can fill with warm water and squirt at your crotch while you pee and after. Why? Because the pressure and water can help counteract the sting and allow you to pee more easily, plus a squirt after can clean you up without needing to wipe. No one wants to put toilet paper on that area right after birth. You can get a simple peri bottle like this one or a fancy pants one like this.

  2. Pain Relief:Decreasing swelling and alleviating pain are a part of afterbirth. For your vaginal damage, these are important parts of healing. First, pain reliever. Talk to your medical provider about what dosing is safe right after birth, but you should be able to take pain reliever. Second, ice pads. Cooling will help alleviate pain and reduce the swelling from tearing and bruising. You can purchase ice packs to put in your mesh undies, or you can make padsicles.

    RELATED: DIY Padsicle How-To

  3. Positioning: Believe it or not, the way you are seated on the toilet can have an impact on how you pee. Leaning your body forward can help position the area to be more relaxed. A foot stool allows you to lean forward, prop your legs and create a more natural flow. Foot stools are highly recommended for both pee and poop after birth (and all of the time!) Plus, it’s nice to have on hand once potty-training begins so it’s a great investment! Want the easy-to-stock-up Amazon List? See all the items recommended for pee (and poop) after baby here!

  4. Go in the shower/bath: Throw out your typical opinion of peeing in the shower. Sometimes the counter of warm water surrounding you is very helpful for those first few pees. Peeing in the bath? I know. It’s pushing boundaries, but if you can lay in the bath (get a sitz bath?!) and then pee right before getting out, it’s not that bad. And it can provide a lot of relief for that burn/sting sensation in the early days.

woman pee in shower after birth

Complications to Peeing After Birth that You Need to Be Aware Of

Most of the time, burning and pain while peeing subsides after a few days or weeks. As the body works to heal itself after birth, swelling decreases and tears/stitching heals and with that comes more “normal” urination. However, some women can experience UTIs after birth and it’s important to know when to seek medical advice. (I am not a medical provider. I am a mom, a researcher, a coach. My goal is to help you have the information so you can seek your medical provider if needed.) 

Signs of a UTI After Birth

Pregnancy increases risks of UTIs and the fear of painful pee can cause women to hold it in which can increase risk of UTIs. It is important to find a way to comfortably (as much as possible) pee after birth so that you can take in adequate fluids and not hold in your urine.

(Info sourced from Americanpregnancy.org )

  • Pain or burning (discomfort) when urinating

  • The need to urinate more often than usual

  • A feeling of urgency when you urinate

  • Blood or mucus in the urine

  • Cramping or pain in the lower abdomen

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

  • Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine (incontinence)

  • Waking up from sleep to urinate

  • Change in the amount of urine, either more or less

  • Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong

  • Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder

  • If bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

RELATED: Pelvic Floor in Postpartum

Momma- delivering the baby is a huge feat! Don’t be surprised if there are still some things that are uncomfortable- we never want to scare you (it doesn’t last forever!) but make sure you aren’t totally shocked by life after baby!

This post includes affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission from anything you purchase. They don’t give us much, but hey.

Birth, Postpartum

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

Click here for easy access to products through Amazon:

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.

Click here for easy access to products through Amazon

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.

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