Expect to bleed, off and on, for six weeks after birth. Postpartum bleeding is typically the result of:
- the endometrium shedding what it no longer needs
- the placental site
- any tears that occurred in or on your body during birth
The appearance of your bleeding will evolve throughout your lying-in, from deep or bright red to pink/orange/brown and finally to thick, white and creamy.
What to Expect
-In the first three days after baby is born, expect blood flow to resemble a heavy period. It should begin to taper off after Day 3.
-Some clots are typical.
-Blood and discharge should smell healthy, like menstrual flow.
When to Call
-If your blood flow is heavier than a heavy period (Ex: you are soaking a pad in less than 30 minutes), or if the flow does not slow down.
-You are seeing several clots or you see a clot that is as large as or bigger than your fist.
-You notice a foul odor.
Suggested Therapies: How to Support Your Body As It Works to Stop Bleeding After Birth
- Abstain from lifting anything heavier than your baby (if you need to leave the house for any reason, allow someone else to lift your baby in his or her carseat) for the first 16 days postpartum. Limit your lifting and carrying as much as possible until 6 weeks after birth (the average time it takes for the placental site on your uterus to heal).
- Rest in your postpartum space (typically a bedroom) for the first three days postpartum, leaving this space only to use the bathroom or to get some fresh air (air should be taken at home).
- Change your pad each time you use the bathroom – this will help keep your bottom clean, helps reduce the risk of infection and allows you to see how much blood your body is releasing.