Postpartum Bleeding 101
Before we dive unto knowing more about postpartum bleeding let's revise our knowledge on periods and pregnancy! Most of you may know that a period is a sign of no pregnancy; that is, a period occurs when the egg fails to fertilize through a sperm. When this happens, the uterus sheds its inner lining that it had prepared for pregnancy. This also means that when you do become pregnant, your period effectively stops for about 9 months.
But what happens once you have delivered the baby? When and why do you experience bleeding again? Let's find out!
Duration and Characteristics
Immediately after delivering the baby, new moms have to deal extremely heavy bleeding (as compared to regular periods) for the coming 3 to 6 weeks. This bleeding is known as Lochia comprises of blood, uterine tissue, and mucus. It occurs when your body gets rid of the extra tissue that it developed to help the baby grow.
Fact: Women who deliver vaginally experience heavier bleeding than those who have a Caesarean birth.
* For the first 2-3 days the bleeding might be bright or dark red in color. They may also contain small blood clots. It is important to pay attention to the size of blood clots and report to your to your doctor if they seem very big.
* After that, in the next 3-4 days the clots get smaller or completely disappear while the color of Lochia shifts to a more darker brown.
* Eventually, after a week or so after giving birth, Lochia turns from bleeding into yellow-y discharge.
* As days go by, this will turn into clear discharge and finally stop completely in 3-6 weeks.
Fact: In some cases, breastfeeding can sometimes increase your bleeding. This is because it triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin which can cause contractions and more bleeding.
In the initial days of heavy bleeding, your regular pad will not be enough. Instead, women have to use super-absorbent and extra-wide maternity pads. (PS: These kinds of pads can also be used for people with heavy periods or for night time use to prevent any leakage or stains).
The time after delivery is equally if not more hard than the time a woman is pregnant. Worrying about leakage or suffering from rashes is the last thing a new mom has time for. This is why we at Azah designed our premium XXXL/Maternity Pads. Made with hypoallergenic organic cotton, these pads offer super-absorbency without compromising on comfort- exactly what a new mom needs.
Abnormalities and Warning Signs
While Lochia is a completely normal process for the body, there are some signs you should look out for and report to the doctor immediately, such as:
* If you are having heavy, bright red bleeding after the first 3-5 days after delivery or if your XXXL pads are completely soaked within an hour, you should definitely check up with your doctor.
* If you feel faint or dizzy
* If you feel feverish or are getting chills
* If your stomach feels tender to the touch
* If you are having abnormally smelly discharge
Once again, Lochia or Postpartum bleeding is a completely normal process for your body. As long as you keep the aforementioned warning signs in mind, you don’t have anything to worry about!
While talking about pregnancy and delivering a baby is common, we rarely find any conversations about what a woman has to go through after delivery. It is, in most cases, equally if not more hard (now with a new family member!) to go through the postpartum phase.
Share this post with your friends and family (and any new moms or moms-to-be!) to help #BreakTheShush on such topics!