The following guidelines will help you determine the
severity of your vaginal bleeding.
Severe bleeding means that you are soaking through your usual pads each hour for 2 or more hours. For most women, soaking through their usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours is not normal and is considered severe.
Moderate bleeding means that you are soaking more than 1 pad in 3 hours.
Mild bleeding means that you are soaking less than 1 pad in more than 3 hours.
Minimal bleeding means "spotting" or a few drops of blood.
Your body will change during the days and weeks after
delivery (postpartum period) as it returns to its nonpregnant condition. While
most women move through the postpartum period without serious health problems,
some women may have vaginal bleeding that lasts longer than normal or is
heavier than normal.
Like pregnancy changes, postpartum changes
are different for every woman. By knowing what normally occurs during the
postpartum period, you will be able to identify a problem sooner.
Immediately after delivery, you will have a bloody discharge (lochia)
from your vagina. This will turn pinkish within a week and become white or
yellowish after about 10 days. Lochia may last for 2 to 4 weeks and can come
and go for about 2 months.
Do not worry if you pass a few blood
clots, as long as they are smaller than a golf ball in diameter. Use pads, not
tampons, during this time. Change the pad at least every 4 hours to prevent
irritation and infection.
Do not have sex until the lochia is
almost gone. If sex causes pain, wait a few days because your body is still
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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