What Is Post-Natal Bleeding?
After giving birth you’re flooded with all kinds of hormones, so it’s natural to be emotional. Both your body, and your mind, need to recover after growing a beautiful baby for the last nine months, and finally meeting her for the first time.
Regardless of whether you had a normal delivery or a Caesarean section (C-section), you’ll experience bleeding and discharge from your vagina as your body gets rid of the lining of your uterus. This is called lochia or post-natal bleeding and can last anywhere from two to six weeks after delivery – or sometimes longer.
The Three Stages Of Post-Natal Bleeding
Lochia is perfectly normal following the birth of your child. It comes in three stages:
Lochia rubra – This is the first discharge of blood and consists of blood and shreds of fetal membranes. It’s quite red in colour and may last for between three to five days after giving birth. During this time you’ll have to change your maternity pad frequently, as the bleeding may be heavier than having your period.
Lochia serosa – This means the discharge you’ve experienced in the first few days has thinned out and turned a pink-brownish colour. It consists predominantly of red blood cells, cervical mucus and micro-organisms, and usually happens between 5 to 10 days after giving birth.
Lochia alba – The last and final stage of your post-natal bleeding which usually happens between two to six weeks after delivery. By now the discharge has turned into a whitish or creamy-yellow colour. It contains fewer red blood cells and more white blood cells, tissue, mucus and micro-organisms. How Many Maternity Pads Will I Use?
If you’re almost due, you might be busy packing your hospital bag and making sure that you have everything you need for the big day. The last thing you’d want to do is run around and ask people to bring you this and that.
Make sure you buy a few packs of maternity pads before your baby arrives. They're even useful for the journey to hospital if you're concerned about your waters breaking! Don't forget to include at least two packs in your hospital bag, as you’ll be changing the pad more often (about every hour or two) right after your beautiful baby’s born.