Periods after Pregnancy
It is no secret that a woman’s body goes through a number of significant changes during pregnancy and after childbirth. But one change that isn’t always discussed is how pregnancy affects your period and what to expect about your postpartum flow.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with postpartum bleeding (called lochia) it is the period of time immediately after birth when you body loses the blood, sloughed-off tissue from the lining of the uterus, and bacteria. It is similar to a period but much heavier lasting for the first three to ten postpartum days. During the time the discharge will turn from red to pink, then brown and finally to a yellowish white. The blood loss is completely normal and unless it is excessive, and shouldn’t be cause for concern. More than anything the bleeding is incredibly inconvenient. Here are some tips for handling those first few weeks after birth:
v Do NOT use tampons because they can introduce bacteria to your uterus.[i]
v Do NOT have sex right away for that same reason.
v Use thick pads and change them frequently; there are maternity sanitary pads that are the most effective.
v Breastfeeding helps to reduce the flow of blood.[ii]
v Lay down; it will allow your body to rest and help to slow the blood flow.
v Get enough iron to replace the iron in the blood you’re losing.
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for a woman’s period to normalize, and many factors such as breast feeding and hormone levels can also affect a woman’s flow. When you are breastfeeding your period will normally hold off for the amount of time you are exclusively breastfeeding, which could be for several months.
Many women also report changes in their period even after it regulates, such as it becoming heavier/lighter or having an inconsistent time frame. It is very important to remember that even if your period hasn’t started back yet, you can still get pregnant[iii].
[i] Lochia: Postpartum Bleeding http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/month-by-month/your-body-postpartum-week1.aspx viewed July 15, 2013
[ii] Top 6 Things To Do During Postpartum Bleeding http://www.boldsky.com/pregnancy-parenting/postnatal/2011/postpartum-bleeding-040711-aid0111.html viewed July 15, 2013
[iii] The Return of Your Period http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/week-16/period.aspx viewed July 15, 2013
- Posted by holx-admin
- On December 4, 2013