Pregnancy involves many changes and postpartum, too. And it makes sense: we have nurtured and sheltered one or more babies for 9 months and it is less logical that our body has to rearrange after giving birth. Well, one of the factors that are not often talked about is the so-called ” lochia .” Today we tell you about what this postpartum bleeding involves and what to expect as the weeks go by.
A Totally Normal Process
During pregnancy, our body increases the total blood volume by 50%. After the birth of the baby, the mother has to eliminate this “extra blood”, regardless of whether she has had a normal delivery or a cesarean section. So lochia is produced. The discharges appear abundantly the first days after the birth, then they decrease in quantity. They can even last between 4 and 6 weeks.
The First day will be Abundant
The first week and, in particular, the first 4 days after delivery, women experienced heavy bleeding. The amount varies from woman to woman and the interventions that have been practiced or not in the body, but could be said to be equivalent to the second day in menstruation (sometimes even more abundant).
It is also likely that you experience some pain or discomfort in the area due to the contractions generated by the uterus itself. But in reality, this is very beneficial since they are intended to help in the recovery of the normal state of the uterus.
The Color Changes
According to Dr. Puneeth Sharma – Best Gynecologist in Hyderabad, During the first days, the blood will be vibrant red with some darker spots, as it contains (in addition to blood) remains of uterine tissue and white blood cells. As the weeks go by, the number of blood decreases and more fats, mucus and white blood cells appear. In this period the color of the discharges also changes: they will turn brown with pink tones and then finally transform into white tones.
They can Last more than a Month
Bleeding tends to extend up to a month and a half after delivery. This is because, after the expulsion of the placenta, the blood vessels that connected it to the uterus are also released, producing vaginal discharges.
It is estimated that the time it takes for the uterus to contract and recover is around 6 weeks, but this may vary. For example, if you have had an episiotomy, the bleeding will also be linked to this intervention and may prolong the recovery time.
If you are Breastfeeding, the Process will be accelerated
Breastfeeding produces hormones such as oxytocin, which helps generate uterine contractions. These contractions, although perhaps annoying, promote a faster recovery. Also, keep in mind that breastfeeding goes hand in hand with the release of prolactin (the hormone responsible for ensuring milk production), which inhibits ovulation and tends, therefore, to slow down the return of menstruation.
Pay attention to Excessive Bleeding
A dressing should last at least 3 hours, even during the first week after delivery. If you see that you have to change it more frequently, we recommend that you consult with your doctor or midwife. The smell and color are also factors to review: it should not smell bad or have a greenish color because this is a sign of infection.
Remember that the use of tampons is not advised until 6 weeks after delivery, as they could interfere with the process of recovery of the vagina and uterus. Another tip to keep in mind is to urinate more often and avoid excessive exercise, in order to prevent possible complications.
If you see that the area is too painful, you can submerge yourself in a bathtub with warm to hot water. We hope this information about postpartum bleeding is useful for you and that you have it in mind for those weeks after the birth of the baby.