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Ever thought of a nurse instructing you about attaching three heavy flow pads? This article will act as a guide to all the new mothers to understand and be prepared for what comes after you have given birth to your baby. After you complete your trimester, there is one last thing, blood! It is known to be postpartum bleeding which is absolutely normal post-pregnancy. However, the important aspect here is to understand how long does it go and how does a mother handle it?
What does postpartum bleeding mean, And, how much time does it take to stop?
Postpartum bleeding or Lochia is a normal, period-like discharge that mothers experience postpartum in both the vaginal and c-section. It is made up of the mucous membrane (the thing that lined the uterus during the pregnancy) and blood.
It usually takes up to four to six weeks post-birth for the postpartum blood to stop. The bleeding is heavier and intense in the initial first few days post-childbirth and will gradually decrease as the days pass.
What is a postpartum hemorrhage?
Postpartum hemorrhage is completely different from postpartum bleeding. A postpartum hemorrhage is heavy bleeding that starts while you deliver the baby or soon after child-birth, equivalent to about half-quart to a quart of blood lost during birth. It is known to be a serious condition that takes place in 1% to 5% of births.
Then, how can we know what the normal amount of postpartum bleeding is ?
Normal postpartum bleeding is like a heavy flow of period at first that is dark red in color. It has a musty smell like the period blood but will gradually change as the weeks go by. Here is a list for a better understanding of how the change will take place:
1. 0 to 5 days post-birth
The postpartum bleeding is dark red in color and has a heavy flow. It may also contain some clots that will be about the size of a plum.
2. 5 to 10 days post-birth
The bleeding will turn into pinkish or brownish from dark red. It will also get thinner and contain a few small clots.
3. 10 days post-birth to 6 weeks
By this period, the discharge turns whitish or rather yellowish in color, which will eventually taper off. There should not be any clots.
Note: You may not experience postpartum bleeding when you’re active and breastfeeding. The bleeding is also said to be heavier at certain times of day, like the morning.
When should a mother be calling a doctor regarding postpartum bleeding ?
A mother should always keep an eye on her postpartum bleeding as any change in the bleeding could be a sign of a problem. You must contact a doctor if you face the symptoms as mentioned below:
1. Large clots
These are clots that are large compared to the normal plum-sized clot.
2. Foul smell
If the odor of the discharge doesn’t seem right you need to contact a doctor as it might be a sign of an infection.
3. Severe pain or fever
These pains could also be signs of infection and are in need of urgent treatments. If you are facing it, contact your doctor immediately!
4. Heavy bleeding
If the flow of the postpartum increases heavily and doesn’t decrease soaking through more than one pad in an hour. You must call a doctor as it could be due to a problem with the uterus, disorder, or even late postpartum hemorrhage.
Here are a few more points for the mothers to deal with postpartum bleeding.
1. Do not overexert and go all over the place. The trick is to take it easy until the lochia lightens up.
2. Visit the washroom more often irrespective of the bladder being full or not. This is important as an empty bladder helps the contract and expulsion of the uterus.
3. Take a bath more often as it helps to keep the sensitive parts clean, especially post the vaginal birth.
While experiencing postpartum bleeding, you must want to be absorbed. So, stock up adult underwear that is super-thick. Feel free to triple up if needed. As the flow decreases, switch to thinner pads and avoid the usage of tampons for the first six weeks of postpartum as it may cause infection. Be well-prepared mothers!