You planned for the pregnancy, you planned for the labor, you planned for the birth and you planned for the baby. Did you plan for the postpartum bleeding? Postpartum bleeding can take many women by surprise, especially those who have experienced a cesarean birth. Many think that because a baby was not delivered vaginally, that there wont be as much or the same type of bleeding. Heres the thing, all of our bodies do the exact same thing when we are pregnant.
Our uterus grows a placenta, the organ which supplies nutrients, oxygen and life to your baby during their 9 (or lets be honest, 10) months in the womb. Your body supplies extra blood to that area of your body to keep your baby healthy. After birth, cesarean or vaginal, your body releases the placenta and your uterus works hard to shed the lining and return to normal size. All of that extra blood is no longer needed and as the open wound in your uterus, where your placenta detached, begins to heal, the blood will also begin to lessen in that area of your body. But it has to go somewhere and that somewhere is through your cervix and out your vaginal opening.
Immediately after baby, you will probably have a large amount of blood expelled from your body. It may seem scary but ask your midwife, nurse or OB if its normal and make sure that they are checking you for uterus shrinkage and firmness.
The first few days postpartum, the postpartum bleeding is like a heavy period and will be bright red. There may be some clots, Anything larger than a golf ball need to be discussed with a care provider. Lochia will then lighten each day and become less and less. A few days/weeks after giving birth, Lochia will be more pinkish and watery. Around 10 days PP discharge will be less and more yellow-white-pink tint. It will continue tapering for the next few weeks until you feel back to normal. There may be intermittent spotting for the next few weeks.
You may also get your period back during this time which can be confusing. If you do get your period back before 6 weeks postpartum, make sure to only wear pads as tampons, cups or anything else that goes inside the vaginal wall can be dangerous and potentially cause infection as your body is healing.
Bleeding and lochia can last up to 6 weeks. Make sure you are attending your postpartum check up with your care provider to discuss any lasting bleeding you are experiencing and to make sure that your body is healing the way it should. And just like always, don't ever feel like you can't call or talk with your care provider. They are here to support and care for you!