After childbirth, all women will experience a few weeks of bleeding. This postpartum bleeding is known as lochia.
What is Lochia?
Lochia is not made up of just blood. After birth, there may still be some particles and debris in your uterus that your body needs to get rid of. Postpartum bleeding is basically your body’s way of expelling the excess blood, mucus and placental tissue leftover from your pregnancy. It can last anywhere between two and six weeks.
What it Looks Like
Postpartum bleeding can take on many different forums, depending on how far into the postpartum period you are. Lochia may start as a gush or it can flow more steadily, like your regular menstrual periods. Initially, there may be some clots that are about the size of grapes, but these should subside.
The color of lochia is usually a bright red at first. After about a week or two, the discharge will change to a more brownish-red color and become thinner in texture. Over the next few weeks, your discharge will continue to change, from a shade of red to pink and eventually a yellowish-white. The flow should also slow down and become lighter as time goes on.
Taking Care of Yourself
It will be necessary to wear sanitary pads for the first few weeks postpartum until your lochia finishes. If you are normally a tampon girl, you will have to adjust to using pads for a few weeks as the use of tampons is normally advised against. Tampons can potentially introduce new bacteria to your uterus, thereby causing an infection.
It is important to take it easy during the first few weeks after labor and delivery. Your body needs time to heal and doing too much too soon can lead to a longer recovery time, which includes having postpartum bleeding for a longer period of time. It is normal that certain activities like walking, breastfeeding and even standing will increase the flow of blood as these activities naturally encourage the uterus to empty.
Learn more about postpartum bleeding and about when to be concerned that you are bleeding too much. Read on for more information
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