Post-natal bleeding

After your baby has been born, regardless of whether you had a normal delivery or a Caesarean section, you'll experience what is referred to medically as postpartum bleeding . At first the bleeding can be very heavy and red in colour, especially if you’re breastfeeding. It gradually gets less and less over the following days and weeks, and it will change to a brownish colour over time.

This bleeding after birth is called lochia and comes in three stages. It is your body’s way of getting rid of the lining of your uterus, and it can last anywhere from two to six weeks after delivery. It’s not uncommon for some women to experience it beyond this period though. – Keep your hospital bag stocked up with maternity pads and ensure that you’ve got plenty at home too! Find out more about each lochia stage:

  • Lochia rubra is the first discharge of blood you will notice and is comprised of blood and shreds of fetal membranes. It is generally quite red in colour and may last for between 3–5 days following birth. During this time you may find you are changing your pad quite frequently.
  • Lochia serosa is the term used to describe when lochia has thinned out and turned brownish or pink in colour. It is made up of red blood cells, cervical mucus, and micro-organisms and can be noticed for between 5–10 days following birth.
  • Lochia alba is the name for lochia once it has turned whitish or creamy-yellow. It typically lasts from 2–6 weeks after delivery. It contains fewer red blood cells and more white blood cells, tissue, mucus, and micro-organisms.

Lochia (post-natal bleeding) is perfectly normal following the birth of your baby. However, if you find that any of these stages continue longer than stated, it may be worth having a chat to your midwife or GP.

Bleeding after birth occurs as your body needs to get rid of the lining of your uterus. The discharge itself is the blood, cells, mucus and tissues shedding from the womb once your baby has been born.

Bleeding after birth is sometimes described as being like a period. But it is often much heavier, especially immediately after your baby is born and for the first few days. It may also differ to a period in colour. You will notice the colour of the flow changes over time starting off bright red, then pinkish-brown, and finally, creamy or off-white coloured. If you’re breastfeeding it can make the bleeding redder or heavier.

Every woman’s experience is different, but bleeding after birth typically lasts for between two and six weeks. By adding maternity towels to your hospital bag checklist and keeping plenty in your bathroom at home, you can feel fresh and comfortable when experiencing postpartum bleeding.

Lil-Lets maternity pads with wings provide fragrance free, comfortable protection, making them perfect for use both before and after giving birth. To absorb post-natal bleeding, it is recommended that you use maternity pads, rather than normal sanitary towels, immediately after giving birth and for the next few weeks. Maternity pads are designed to absorb the very heavy bleeding experienced post-birth. They are usually softer, thicker, more absorbent and longer than a regular sanitary pad. These features help to prevent leaks, provide greater comfort, and are particularly important if you’ve had stitches or your skin feels more delicate than usual.

Lil-Lets maternity pads with wings

Our maternity towels are designed with mums in mind, helping you to feel comfortable and fresh at what can often be a hectic time in your life. For new mums, our extra-long, super absorbent contoured towels provide leak-free protection for postpartum bleeding. Featuring an ultra-soft cover and wings for added security, our maternity pads are designed to suit delicate skin. They are also fragrance free, maintaining the right PH level for your intimate area. The pads are designed to be subtle handbag additions, plus they are easy to dispose of even when you are out and about. Our products will let you get on with enjoying caring for your new arrival

Maternity pads are mostly used post-birth to manage bleeding experienced after birth. Some women also use them during labour, when travelling to hospital, to stop any leaking once their waters have broken.

If your waters break before labour starts, call your midwife. Use a maternity pad (not a tampon) so your midwife can check the colour of your waters.

Probably more than you think! Aim to purchase three to four packs of 10 maternity pads before your baby is born, taking two packs into hospital with you. You’ll need to pack at least two packs of maternity pads in your hospital bag, as your post-natal bleed will be at its heaviest immediately after your baby is born and you may need to change your pad every hour or two. This will reduce to every three to four hours over the next few day and will continue to reduce as the weeks go by, so you’ll need to keep some in stock at home too!

It’s best to dispose of maternity pads in a sanitary bin or with household waste. The great news is that Lil-Lets maternity pads are individually wrapped, so you can put your used pad into the wrapper of your new pad and then pop it in the bin! Alternatively, you could use a nappy sack, sanitary bag, or wrap in some toilet tissue. Never try to flush your maternity pad.

This is completely up to you. For the first few days and weeks, when the bleeding is at its heaviest, it’s best to use maternity pads as they are designed to absorb very heavy bleeding and provide you with the greatest coverage and protection. As your flow becomes lighter, you may want to move to using a sanitary pad, it’s your choice!

Lil-Lets Super Soft Pads with wings

If/when you feel ready to do this, why not try Lil-Lets Super Soft Pads? Lil-Lets ultra-thin, super soft pads have a cotton-soft cover which feels incredibly comfy on your skin. Hidden, micro-gel beads lock-in fluid for all over absorption and secure, stay-put wings offer peace of mind protection. These pads are completely fragrance-free for those that prefer a non-scented pad, plus they are all individually wrapped so you can pop them in your handbag if you’re out and about. Available in three absorbencies (Normal, Long, and Night) to suit your flow, you’ll find the perfect product to suit your individual flow.

It is recommended that you don't use tampons in the weeks after childbirth. Wait until after your six-week check and your period starts again before using tampons.

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