by Melissa D. Jaramillo
Regardless of whether your delivery was via c-section or a vaginal birth, postpartum bleeding will be part of your reality. Immediately following delivery and for approximately 4- 7 days after, your discharge can be expected to be bright red. This bleeding is known as the lochia and is part of the natural cleansing process of the uterus.
Over the course of the next 10 days, and for some women, up through the next 6 weeks, this bleeding changes gradually -- first lightening to a pale pink, then more brownish and finally white before disappearing completely. This process varies from woman to woman, and even from pregnancy to pregnancy. Those that have had a c-section may find that their lochia is a bit heavier initially.
Important Note: If you normally use tampons for your menstrual cycle, you still need to hold off until after your 6-week postpartum check up before resuming their use. This is due to the higher risk of infection before your body has returned to normal.
You should contact your care provider with these symptoms:
If the lochia is bright red and you notice either of the above symptoms, you must seek emergency medical intervention immediately! You could be experiencing a postpartum hemorrhage which is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. If you do not have someone to drive you to the hospital then call an ambulance.
Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!
Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.