Postpartum bleeding is an entirely natural process that every new mother is confronted with. Experts say that after childbirth excreta containing some blood are regular and typical for all new mothers regardless of the type of delivery and the course of pregnancy.
Though the excreta after giving birth are not dangerous for the mother’s health in the majority of cases, every woman should regard signals of her body with attention during this period. Intense and abundant bleedings may be a symptom of various diseases, so it’s necessary to consult a doctor and pass a thorough checkup immediately after such problems first appear.
Lochia (postpartum bleeding) is a post-natal uterine vaginal discharge. Primary discharge, red lochia (lochia rubra, lochia cruenta), is mainly composed of blood. Approximately in a week, it is replaced with the serious lochia (lochia serosa), a brownish discharge, consisting of a mixture of blood and mucus. After that, the white lochia appears (lochia alba, lochia purulenta) – the dense discharge of yellowish or white color, consisting of microorganisms and cell fragments. The duration of each type of lochia is individual, but normally it is 5-7 days.
How Long Does Postpartum Bleeding Last?
Most women dream of recovering from long-term pregnancy and childbirth as soon as possible. The excreta from the vagina may cause a lot of trouble, so many young mothers wonder how long postpartum bleeding lasts. To come to know the peculiarities of this issue a young mother should understand what exactly causes the postpartum bleeding is and what kind of discharge is considered normal.
During the final stage of giving birth the placenta flakes off the uterus and as a result, a wound on the endometrium is formed. This wound is bleeding until it’s fully healed. The bloody discharge from this wound is called lochia.
As a rule, lochia is not exuding for more than 8 weeks after a baby was born, and they usually don’t cause any discomfort. During the first few days after delivery, lochia can be quite intense, but after some time their amount gradually lessens. If the pregnancy was going on without complications and the young mother can breastfeed her child, the healing process of the wound increases considerably. Lactogenic hormone, which is responsible for producing breast milk, is stimulating the uterus and helps your body to regain strength sooner after pregnancy.
Till the moment postpartum bleeding stops the woman should very carefully look after herself and her state of health. In the presence of at least one of the following symptoms it’s necessary to immediately consult a doctor:
- Lochia have a deep red color for more than 3 days;
- The bleedings have become more abundant and you have to change hygienic products every hour;
- Lochia have keen unpleasant scent;
- The excreta are accompanied with general weakness, nausea, high body temperature and dizziness.
To hasten the period of rehabilitation after childbirth a woman is recommended to follow a diet and sleeping schedule. Health-giving food leisurely walks outdoors to get fresh air and unfailing good spirits will help the young mother to eliminate many postpartum problems.
Postpartum Bleeding after a Month Since Childbirth
Gynecologists claim that a small amount of excreta containing some blood is absolutely normal occurrence after giving birth and young mothers shouldn’t be afraid of it. However, in some cases, women may face considerable intensification of bleeding after a month since giving birth. Such a symptom can be an alarm signal, that’s why in such situations the breastfeeding mother should immediately pay a visit to a doctor.
Intense excreta after a few months since childbirth can be a sign of endometritis – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the uterus. A woman should visit a gynecologist and have an ultrasound examination to find out the cause of the disease. Timely treatment of the disease in most cases enables to avoid complications and further progress of inflammation.
Also, a profuse lochia discharge three weeks after childbirth can be a sign of lochiorrhea. Lochiorrhea may indicate an infectious disease in a woman or a sign of disturbed blood coagulation.
In rare cases, postpartum bleeding can indicate restoration of the menstrual cycle. This is often the case when a woman refused to breastfeed and the baby is getting a nutrient formula since the first days of its life.
Any changes in coloring, amount, and scent of the lochia shouldn’t pass without notice. Intense postpartum bleeding can indicate perversion of internal organs, so you shouldn’t let it all hang out.
Flooding after Childbirth
Flooding (uterine bleeding) is the most complicated after-effect that a young mother may endure after giving birth. Such pathology may have grave consequences; that’s why it, first of all, requires immediate medical intervention. Experts discern a few most common reasons for flooding after childbirth:
- Excessive dilatation of the uterus;
- Complications during the delivery;
- Injury of the uterus during the delivery;
- Blood-clotting disorder (coagulopathy);
- Hypotonia of the uterus – the most common cause of uterine bleeding after childbirth, characterized by its low contractive activity.
Postpartum flooding often appears right after delivery, so the doctors take necessary measures in time. But in some cases, intense flooding appears after a few months since the baby was born. In such situations, a woman has to call an ambulance without delay because this problem requires constant medical observation of a specialist.
The treatment of postpartum flooding includes the following stages aimed at a patient’s stabilization:
- Diagnostics and elimination of the main reason of intensive postpartum bleeding;
- Restoration of normal functioning of the uterus with the help of specific medications and external massage of the organ;
- If it’s not possible to stop postpartum bleeding, doctors immediately conduct an urgent hysterectomy.
It should be mentioned that intense postpartum bleeding is an exception to the rule and is quite rare, so a young mother shouldn’t be worried out of her mind. There’s no reason for panic. In the majority of cases, postpartum bleedings are painless and over in a few months after giving birth to a child. The most important task of a woman during this period is to watch her health and be fastidious about personal hygiene. It will enable a woman to regain her strength after giving birth as soon as possible and get rid of unpleasant symptoms.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.