When will my postpartum bleeding stop? Postpartum Recovery

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iStock.com/SolStock

On top of all the new experiences and challenges that come with welcoming your baby into the world, one of the stark realities of postpartum life is vaginal bleeding. It can feel like your period on steroids! But unlike your period, you'll bleed for longer than a week. Exactly how long postpartum flow lasts can vary from mom to mom. Here's what an ob-gyn and other moms have to say about how long you can expect to contend with postpartum bleeding.

Expect About One Month After Delivery

"Vaginal bleeding will be the heaviest for the first few days after your delivery, and the bleeding should lighten over time. Most women will stop having vaginal bleeding one month after their delivery." -- Juliet Mushi, MD, FACOG, obstetrician-gynecologist at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Valhalla, New York

It May Slow at the Two-Week Mark

"In my experience, postpartum bleeding should stop by six weeks at the latest, but it will most likely slow down, if not end completely, around two weeks." 

It Could Get Lighter After 10 Days

"I hear it should be lighter at 10 days. If it goes down in volume, then back up, you may be overdoing it with your activity level. Try avoiding lifting anything much heavier than your baby for a while."

Call Your Doctor If It's Very Heavy

"My bleeding stopped around six weeks postpartum ... and then came back about four days later and lasted for another week. And then, it was finally over! It also diminished each week postpartum, so by the end it was like a light period. The time to worry is if your bleeding suddenly gets excessively heavy or has huge clots beyond the first week or so postpartum. If that's happening, you should definitely call your doctor."

It Really Can Vary

"Depends. For some of my friends, it lasted a month or two; for others, it was just a few weeks."

Tearing During Delivery May Play a Role

"For me, it was six weeks, and I had grade 4 tear, followed by an episiotomy. And until around eight weeks, I had spotting."

It May Be a Solid Month

"My postpartum bleeding took a solid month to stop. Hello, gigantic pads!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.