Postpartum Bleeding – An Overview

It is quite natural for women to experience bleeding for the first few weeks after delivery.This bleeding is known as postpartum bleeding or lochia and will start within sometime time after the delivery and will last for 3 to 4 weeks.

During the process of delivery,the placenta becomes detached from the uterine lining, leading to the opening of many blood vessels and thus leading to bleeding.Along with the blood, mucus and placental tissue, which is seen in the form of small blood clots, are also expelled.

For the first 2 days the bleeding will be heavy and similar to menstrual bleeding with a bright red color.With the passage of time, the intensity of bleeding will decrease and the color will turn from bright red to pink and yellow and finally to a watery discharge.

Wear sanitary pads and do not use tampons as it is seen to cause bacterial infection.You should also empty your bladder frequently, as a full bladder will not promote uterine contractions.

This in turn will hinder with the bleeding and  will cause severe abdominal pain.Also take ample rest and avoid standing and walking for long periods of time.

Even though postpartum bleeding is quite normal,sometimes things might take a turn for the worse.If the bleeding tends to be abnormal and heavy, it is then termed as postpartum hemorrhaging.

In such a case, you will have heavy bleeding in bright red color for more than 7 days accompanied by fever and chills.Large blood clots will be passed and the blood will have a foul smell.

A common reason for the occurrence of postpartum hemorrhaging is the failure of the uterus to contract after delivery.The other reasons many include the failure to expel the placenta ,multiple births ,placenta previa. or any other trauma experienced by the uterus during the course of delivery.

The common method of treatment of postpartum hemorrhage is to induce uterine contractions.A medicine names as pitocin which is a synthetic oxytoxin is usually administered to stimulate uterine contractions.

If the heavy bleeding is due to the failure to pass out the placenta naturally, then placental removal will be done by the physian.In cases where the uterus has undergone irreversible damage,the physician will perform a hysterectomy  .

One should be able to distinguish between normal postpartum bleeding and postpartum hemorrhaging,as if not treated in time the condition can turn to be fatal.



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