Whether you have a vaginal birth or a c-section birth one thing remains certain. You will have postpartum bleeding. But how much will you bleed postpartum is what we are going to go over today.
After waiting 40 (+) weeks to meet your baby the day finally arrives and now you are on your way home wearing matching diapers with your newborn.
Not what you expected in your new role of mom right?
Also known as lochia, postpartum bleeding happens, even to c-section moms who didn’t have a vaginal birth.
Your placenta just detached from your uterine wall leaving a ‘gash’ that needs to heal.
The bleeding after birth is composed of blood, tissue and mucus that is all coming out.
Before jumping into all things vaginal bleeding – I want to highlight my Postpartum Care Bundle that can help you start feeling more confident in your new role as MOM.
Table of Contents
How Much Should You Be Bleeding After Birth – What Is Normal
As always every body is different. But normally after giving birth a woman will bleed slightly heavily for the first 3-10 days. Then after those first few days you will start to bleeding less (but yes still bleeding) for the next 3-6 weeks.
I cannot stress this enough it is completely normal for you to bleed after delivery well into your 8th week as well. I know the cut off is normally 6 weeks but we all heal differently some of us need more time.
So do not feel like something is completely wrong if you are still bleeding at 2 months postpartum.
The First Ten Days Of Postpartum Bleeding
Day One: Bright red and brown blood, you will be using hospital grade pads going through one every 3-4 hours. You will have a few clots or lots of little blood clots.
Day Two – Five: Similar to the first day with less clots coming out. You’ll be using sanitary pads one every 3-5 hours.
Day Six – Ten: Brownish, pinkish (no more bright red) blood. Blood clots should be very small or almost completely gone.
Related: The Best Postpartum Underwear (for vaginal & c-section moms)
Tips For Handling The First Ten Days Of Postpartum Bleeding And Beyond
- Pee often, even if you don’t feel like you need to go. In many cases you may not feel like you do need to go. Go anyway.
- Remember to use a peri-bottle after using the restroom each and every time the first few weeks postpartum! It is a life saver
- Don’t exert yourself. If you see that you are starting to get more bright red blood after it has gone away it can be a sign to take things easier and rest.
- Try to rest as much as you can (with a newborn I know that is a hard task to do)
Why You May Not Feel Like Going Pee After Birth
Your pelvic floor muscles have been weakened. Your baby no longer sits on top of your bladder so you have less pressure.
It is also super important that you go pee 6-8 hours after giving birth and continue to go to the restroom regularly to avoid urinary tract infections.
What Is A Peri-Bottle?
It is basically a squirt bottle for your vagina. Given everything your body just did to birth a baby – you’ll want this squirt bottle to spray on yourself to avoid using toilet paper those first few weeks.
Especially handy if you happened to get stitches or tore during birth.
What If I Start Bleeding Bright Red After Stopping
Normally when this happens it is because you over exerted your body and new fresh blood has moved down. If this continues however you must seek medical attention. Make sure you are resting and not lifting / moving heavy objects especially mothers who had c-sections nothing heavier than your baby until you get the okay from your doctor.
When Should I Worry About Postpartum Bleeding
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, passing large blood clots and are soaking pads; one every hour for three consecutive hours it could be signs of postpartum hemorrhaging.
What Is Postpartum Hemorrhaging?
It is when your body is passing excessive amounts of blood.
Signs to look for in postpartum hemorrhages:
- Foul Smelling Blood
- Increased Heart Rate
- Uncontrolled Bleeding
- Larger Blood Clots
What Are Common Causes Of Postpartum Hemorrhaging?
Uterine Atony: it is when your uterus DOES NOT contract after birth. Diagnosed normally a few hours after birth.
This is one of the biggest reasons that your nurse will press down and check your stomach after birth. Hurts a lot but it has to be done!
Uterine Trauma: Usually caused from having a cesearan birth or having a ruptured uterus.
Related: Overcoming a Disappointing Birth
Tips For Postpartum Bleeding
Wear the big comfortable granny panties – and take a handful of mesh panties from the hospital.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing large blood clots – don’t be quiet about it.
Breastfeeding mothers sometimes have more vaginal bleeding due to the contractions that come with breastfeeding.
Use your maternity essentials that you can find in this post “Maternity Essentials For The First Time Mom“
Now that you know what to expect with postpartum bleeding after giving birth it is time to recap what we went over:
It is normal to bleed heavily after birth for the first 10ish days. Then it will slowly taper off in the coming weeks.
If you have excessive bleeding go to your doctor, call your midwife, or head to the ER.
And always be prepared with heavy duty sanitary pads or buy a box of depends (no shame – it’s motherhood)