vaginal bleeding after birth

Ugh, maxi pads.

But you'll need them.

 

 

Here's another one to file under gross, TMI pregnancy concerns, right along with the mucus plug. But it's all part of labor and delivery, and you may as well be prepared.

An inquisitive mom-to-be, who happens to have some expensive white cotton sheets that she'd like to keep looking nice, asked ladies in Pregnancy about bleeding after birth. How much? How long after you come home from the hospital?

Here's what moms said to expect.

-- The bleeding can be heavy -- heavier than a period. So hold off on the white sheets until you're completely done. Same goes for nice panties.

-- With my vaginal delivery, I bled for about four weeks. With my C-section, I've bled occasionally, but the heavy bleeding stopped after about five days. Now it's only spotting.

-- I bled between 2 - 5 weeks after each baby. Use old sheets for sure!

-- I bled for four weeks. It was pretty heavy and you can't wear tampons. I hate it, but you've got to use pads.

Speaking of un-fun preggo questions, Huggies.com has a good list of the top 15 questions women have after giving birth. The bleeding issue is on it, as are how to deal with swelling after a vaginal delivery and can I get pregnant before my period returns (um, that would be a big YES.)

Here's what Dr. Spock has to say about vaginal bleeding after birth:

After you deliver, the "blood that formed the lining of the uterus, along with tissue and mucus, is expelled from the uterus." This is called lochia. Typically, the bleeding is heavy and bright red at first (any large clots should be reported to your doctor.) It will slow to more of a regular period flow over the next few days.

Some women may bleed for two months, others for only a week or two. Use sanitary napkins instead of tampons during this time to reduce the possibility of infection.

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If you've given birth before, what was your postpartum recovery period like? What would you tell first-time moms to expect?