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Postpartum Bleeding FAQs


After giving birth, you can expect vaginal, postpartum bleeding. This is normal and part of the healing process.


This discharge, called Lochia, can last up to 6-8 weeks after childbirth. It is a mix of blood, uterine lining, amniotic fluid, and cervical mucus. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a cesarean delivery, the Lochia will be heavy at first and then taper off.


Usually, Lochia has a similar progression: first, it is dark or bright red for several days. The flow is heavy. Then, it thins and becomes pinkish brown for a couple of weeks. Finally, the flow slows considerably and changes to a yellow-white discharge. Lochia is different for everyone; the appearance, consistency, and duration can vary.


You may notice some increase in Lochia first thing in the morning, while you are breastfeeding (because nursing causes your uterus to contract), and when you increase your activity level (walking, household activities, etc).


Follow your provider's instructions for these early weeks. Use and frequently change a maxi pad; avoid tampons. Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.


When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider


If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your provider:


  • Excessive bleeding or discharge (Needing to change a pad every hour)

  • Large clots

  • The discharge has a foul or fishy smell or takes on a greenish color.

  • Painful cramping

  • Excessive pelvic pain

  • Dizziness

  • Fever or chills


A Doula Can Help


Tennessee Family Doulas Postpartum Support provides care for both postpartum women and newborns. Our Postpartum Doulas are available for short shifts, daytime help, overnight support, and even live in care.


We offer feeding support, newborn comfort techniques, birth recovery support, sleep support, meal preparation, product safety information, sibling care, light household support, and so much more!


Call us to schedule a free consultation.


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