Postpartum bleeding, or lochia, is a typical phenomenon in which blood and mucus are expelled from the uterus. The first 10-14 days after giving birth are when the bleeding is at its highest, although it can persist for up to six weeks. Some women can experience lochia for only a few weeks, while others may have it up to six weeks.
- Causes Of Lochia Or Postpartum Bleeding?
- How long does postpartum bleeding last?
- Could I possibly experience lochia in the future?
- When and how to seek medical attention for postpartum bleeding
Causes Of Lochia Or Postpartum Bleeding?
In addition to your baby, the placenta and a lot of extra uterine tissue and blood (remember, you weren’t receiving a monthly period!) have been living in your uterus for the past nine months. Postpartum uterine contractions are natural and necessary to help your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size after giving birth.
How long does postpartum bleeding last?
The National Childbirth Trust reports that bleeding lasts an average of 24–36 days but can continue for up to six weeks or more.
It’s normal for the volume and bleeding to alter throughout the pregnancy.
The pattern of postpartum bleeding can shift in several ways in the first six weeks after giving birth.
- On day one, the blood could be red or brown, it could clot, and the maternity pad might need to be changed frequently.
- From day 2 to day 6, the clots may break up, the bleeding may slow, and the blood color may change from dark brown to pinkish red.
- On days 7-10, you may notice a decline in the flow level and a color change.
- On days 11–14, you might only notice a trickle of bleeding, and the color of your blood might still be a dark brown or pinkish red.
- By week 4, the discharge may have turned a creamy white color, and the flow may have slowed significantly.
- Bleeding and discharge of a brownish, pinkish, reddish color or creamy yellow color may appear irregularly during weeks 5-6.
Could I possibly experience lochia in the future?
While some bleeding is expected after childbirth, prolonged or severe bleeding may suggest a problem that needs medical treatment.
Medical professionals will evaluate whether a woman is experiencing:
Postpartum discomfort is frequent as the uterus shrinks to its average size.
Still, it’s vital to let a doctor know if you’re experiencing significant cramping or pain that persists for more than a few days after giving birth.
2. Postpartum hemorrhage
In the first twenty-four hours after giving birth, a doctor may diagnose a postpartum hemorrhage if the mother loses more than one pint (about 470 ml) of blood.
Let your doctor know if postpartum bleeding requires more frequent pad changes than once an hour.
If you have any of the following and experience postpartum bleeding, you should seek medical attention immediately:
- Sickness with temperature swings
- Distress in the tummy
- Weak and dizzy
- An irregular heartbeat
- Multiple clotS
These symptoms may point to hemorrhaging, a potentially life-threatening condition that various treatments can address.
Postpartum hemorrhaging risk factors can discuss with a medical professional, who can also offer advice on how to minimize the likelihood of this complication developing.
The presence of an offensive odor in the lochia may point to an infection. The infection could bring on inflammation of the uterine lining (endometritis).
- To lessen the possibility of infection, one must:
- Make sure to wash carefully before and after going to the bathroom and changing maternity pads
- Trim your fingernails.
- Don’t bother to adorn your hands and wrists with jewelry while you’re in this state.
- Don’t mess with the bandages or stitches.
Factors that significantly increase the probability of a postpartum infection are:
- Surgical induction of labor
- Meconium during delivery
- Postpartum hemorrhage
Those worried about infections should probably see a doctor.
4. Uterine atony
Uterine atony happens when the uterus does not contract after giving birth. Some of the placentae may have been left behind in the womb, or there may be an issue with the mother’s anatomy or muscles.
It is a potential cause of postpartum bleeding and should be taken very seriously.
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When and how to seek medical attention for postpartum bleeding
Normal postpartum bleeding can be treated similarly to a period by most women. A good night’s sleep, regular hygiene, and careful attention to each symptom can be helpful.
Bleeding can be a sign of a severe medical issue, and a doctor may:
- Provide or suggest a massage to help with uterine contractions.
- Instruct or write prescriptions medication that controls blood flow from vessels that supply the womb
- Make sure the placenta has been expelled entirely during labor.
The doctor, such as: may suggest an alternative surgical procedure
- One such device is the Bakri balloon, placed inside the uterus to slow or stop bleeding.
- Embolization of the uterine arteries temporarily blocks off the uterus’s supply of blood.
- The process of surgically removing the placenta from the uterus after a baby has been born.
- In-depth uterine inspection by laparoscopy
- Surgical removal of the uterus
You can always consult the best gynecologist about your lochia during your six-week postpartum checkup if you have any concerns. There are specific red signals, though: It is usual to bleed or pass blood clots after delivery—still, grapefruit-sized or larger blood clots after birth warrant close observation.
1. How prolonged is postpartum bleeding?
Blood, placental tissue, mucus, and flaked endometrial lining are all components of the bloody fluid passed vaginally after birth, known as lochia. Following delivery, it is usual to experience postpartum bleeding for three to six weeks as your uterus repairs and contracts back to its pre-pregnancy size and shape.
2. Can postpartum bleeding stop and start again?
In many cases, postpartum hemorrhage would ebb and flow or be characterized by brief periods of heavy bleeding mixed with milder intervals. Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to experience a return of menstruation within the first eight weeks after giving birth.
3. What does regular lochia look like?
It smells like old tampons or menstrual blood, which is to say, stale and musty. Three days after giving birth, the lochia is a deep red. It’s common to have a few tiny blood clots, no bigger than a plum. After birth, the lochia will be more watery and have a reddish-to-brown tint on days 4-10.