Postpartum recovery can be a difficult time for the first time mom.
You’ll be learning to care for a newborn, dealing with how your body feels after giving birth, and managing unpleasant postpartum body changes, like perineal pain and continuous bleeding.
We’ve all seen those super real post-pregnancy photos of women in their mesh panties and diapers. This is exactly the kind of thing you’ll be rocking for those first days and weeks postpartum!
So, how long will this last?
Here’s everything you need to know about bleeding after birth and how to handle it.
How long will I bleed?
The postpartum recovery timeline is a little different for every woman. But, in general, bleeding is heaviest in the first 3-10 days and can last up to 6 weeks.
You skipped out on a period for 9 months so your body brings back the bleeding with a vengeance!
Six weeks is around the time your doctor will give you the go-ahead to resume your normal activities like exercise and intercourse.
Up to that point, you’ll need to take it easy and refrain from using tampons and staying away from other things not do after giving birth like swimming, taking deep soaker baths, getting into water with chemicals, soaps, and scents, or water that is untreated.
These activities can all increase your risk for infection. Steer clear and adhere to any other instructions from your doctor.
How can I deal with the bleeding?
It’s no fun experiencing bleeding “down there,” but as women, we’re pretty used to it. However, we don’t usually have to deal with so much bleeding all at once.
Be sure to take as many of the free supplies home from the hospital as you can, especially those mesh panties and ultra maxi pads.
Before going into labor, you can also purchase some adult diapers to have ready for you when you get home if you decide you don’t like the mesh underwear.
Be sure to keep your supplies right next to the toilet so you can easily switch out the pad whenever you need to go to the bathroom.
You’ll also definitely want to avoid taking too many outings while you heal and deal with the heavy bleeding!
When should I be concerned?
If you notice excessive bleeding (bleeding through more than one pad in an hour) or large blood clots, you should seek medical treatment immediately to rule out postpartum hemorrhage.
PPH is rare, but it’s still something to be educated on in case you are one of the 1-5% of women who experience it.
Postpartum hemorrhage typically occurs within the first 24-48 hours of giving birth put can also take place as far out as 12 weeks.
Here are some more signs and symptoms to monitor:
- Low blood pressure and signs of shock (lightheadedness, blurred vision, clammy skin, increased heart rate, chills, confusion, dizziness, feeling faint, or fatigue)
- Turning Pale
- Swelling and increased pain around the vagina and perineum
As your body heals, you’ll be able to pick up more and more of your normal activities. The bleeding doesn’t last forever!
The good news is, if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll likely skip your period until you’re at least 6 months postpartum. Some women even report missing their period until they stop breastfeeding!
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set a good newborn sleep schedule and establish a new daily routine.