After the delivery of a baby, bleeding is something that occurs naturally. This is something that may startle some new mothers, especially when they give birth to their first child. During pregnancy, a mother’s body will have a lot more blood than it usually does. During the childbirth process, the placenta actually separates from the uterus and it causes a steady blood flow.
There are several things which doctors do to stop postpartum bleeding. These include uterus massage and giving oxytocin medication. Breastfeeding stimulates the natural production of oxytocin, which in turn stimulates the uterus to contract and release the extra blood naturally.
There can be complications that come along with the natural process, and one that happens most often is postpartum hemorrhage. It usually occurs right after childbirth and can be treated by doctors immediately. That is why it is always recommended to give birth in a hospital rather than at home.
Lochia is a certain type of discharge that occurs after a baby is born. It can last from 4 to 6 weeks after birth. It is a type of postpartum bleeding. It will generally contain both blood and other tissues and mucus. In the beginning, it will be mostly blood, but then it will start to become watery and contain less blood. Eventually, it will become a white and yellowish since it will contain primarily white blood cells.
Lochia is fairly easy to manage with sanitary pads. You will require heavy-duty ones in the beginning so you should get a pack of those to the hospital with you. As the amount of blood in the discharge decreases and it becomes lighter overall, you can switch to regular and then to mini pads.
When You Should Call Your Doctor
From time to time, some mothers will experience infection of the uterus after they give birth. There is also a small risk of hemorrhage some days after birth. You should be familiar with the warning signs so that you can call a doctor and get medical help right away. These include heavy bleeding, bright red discharge four days after birth, large blood clots, foul lochia odor, fever and chills, dizziness and increased heart rates and pain in the lower abdomen.
All women are different so postpartum bleeding and lochia are not the same for everyone. If you have any medical condition and/or taking any medication, you should talk to your doctor for individual information and advice.