How Long does postpartum bleeding last for?
Postpartum bleeding, known as Lochia, is a common experience that a woman will have after having a baby, whether she has the baby via vaginal delivery or cesarean section. Postpartum bleeding is your body’s way of getting rid of extra blood, mucus, and tissue from the placenta after you have given birth.
Postpartum bleeding is similar to the bleeding that occurs during a menstrual period. Postpartum bleeding is generally much heavier than menstrual bleeding, however. Postpartum bleeding typically begins within hours after giving birth, and will continue for about two or three weeks after giving birth. For some women, postpartum bleeding may last for up to as many as six weeks after giving birth.
Postpartum bleeding starts out as a bright red vaginal discharge. The postpartum bleeding generally stays bright red for anywhere from four to ten days after giving birth. After that time, the color will become more pinkish, and eventually becomes an off-white or yellow-white color. Occasionally, postpartum bleeding may contain small blood clots, around the size of a grape.
Some ways to cope with postpartum bleeding include:
– Rest. You should get as much rest as you can (at least, as much as is possible with a newborn in the house!) This will also help your overall stress level.
– Sanitary pads. Use heavy-duty maxi pads to soak up postpartum bleeding.
– Avoid tampons. Tampons can cause infections in the vagina or uterus.
– Drink water. Keeping hydrated will also help with breastfeeding.
There are some signs to watch for that may indicate another problem such as postpartum hemorrhaging. These can include:
– Your postpartum bleeding is still bright red after 7-10 days after birth.
– You experience a fever and/or have the chills.
– The discharge has a foul odor to it.
– Bleeding is particularly heavy (defined as soaking one maxi pad in one hour).
– You experience a rush of blood after bleeding has been slowing for several days.
– You experience golf-ball sized or larger blood clots.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your health care provider.