Bleeding after birth Week 2
Bleeding after birth

The amount of bleeding after delivery can be quite frightening, but it’s completely normal and – if you think about it – expected.

First the placenta separates from the uterus, exposing open blood vessels, and then the uterus shrinks down from over one kilogram to just over 50 grams, expelling blood, mucus and tissue as it does.
You also have to remember that the amount of blood in your body increased by about 50 per cent during your pregnancy, and now it’s time for things to go back to normal. Here’s what you need to know:

Week 2:

The amount of bleeding should have diminished a bit from last week, meaning you may be able to replace the super-duper nappy-like maternity pads you’ve been using with regular sanitary napkins (don’t use tampons as your uterus is still open).  However, your uterus is still shrinking, expelling blood, mucus and tissue, and your body basically has a gaping wound from where the placenta was attached.

  • Blood is to be expected. Every woman’s bleeding pattern is different, but in general:
  • You might still be experiencing a bright red flow heavier than your period with clots every now and then. If the clots are bigger than a lemon, call your doctor 
  • On the other hand, you could start to see a more menstrual-like flow, looking more pink or brown than shockingly red.
  • Those breastfeeding may experience less bleeding because nursing stimulates the uterus to shrink faster. 
  • Don’t be surprised if you feel a gush of fluid when you stand up.
  • If the bleeding is uncontrollable or you’re bleeding through more than one pad an hour, call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. You could be heamorrhaging – a serious condition that could be life-threatening if not treated. 
  • The blood shouldn’t have any foul odour. If it does, check in with your doctor. 
  • If you’re not bleeding at all, give your doctor a call.

Related articles:

You and your baby after birth
Your post-baby body
Post natal depression 

This article was written for Kidspot, New Zealand's leading parenting resource.

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