The end of your pregnancy, is not the end of changes you’ve been undergoing so far. After the birth of your baby, women will have heavy bleeding called lochia, which lasts for a few days. This happens in order to flush out the blood and tissue which is not necessary anymore from the uterus.
In the first 2-3 days after delivery, you will go through heavy bleeding, but this is considered normal. Lochia comprises of blood originating from the detachment of placenta, mucous, remains of placenta tissue. In the following days, lochia becomes lighter in color and flow. After a week or more, it turns more pale and the discharge becomes occasional. Lochia may last from 4-6 weeks and varies with different women.
When is it alarming?
In the first few days after delivery, if you soak more than one sanitary pad within an hour, you may be having excessive bleeding. This is more than normal heavy bleeding and could lead to Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH). The first 24 hours post delivery are very important to watch out for, because postpartum haemorrhage happens during this time. In few cases, PPH may occur up to 12 weeks after delivery.
Symptoms of postpartum haemorrhage
When you continuously bleed heavily, your internal organs may not receive enough oxygen and blood and this can be fatal. You should know what signs to look out for, so that you can get prompt help from doctors.
- Bleeding does not seem to lessen or is continuous
- Bleeding still appears bright coloured, even after first three days
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Blood clots, bigger than regular size
- Paling of skin
- Blurry vision
- Racing heartbeat
- Inflammation of vaginal area
Treatment for PPH may include administering of medicated injection to stop the bleeding, blood transfusion, uterus removal or surgery to identify the cause and stop it.
What you can do after delivery
Postpartum haemorrhage is mainly caused in cases, when the uterus does not contract back enough after delivering placenta. In order to make the contractions of uterus more quicker, these measures will be helpful post delivery.
- Breastfeeding your baby
- Getting gentle uterus massage from a health practitioner
- Taking enough rest in the initial days, to let yourself heal
- Urinating as frequently as possible