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Postpartum Bleeding


What is postpartum bleeding?

Postpartum bleeding is vaginal bleeding after childbirth. This bleeding is normal, whether your baby was born vaginally or by C-section. It contains blood and the tissue that lined the inside of your uterus when you were pregnant.

What should I expect with postpartum bleeding?

Postpartum bleeding usually lasts at least 10 days, and may last longer than 6 weeks. Your bleeding may range from light (barely staining a pad) to heavy (soaking a pad in 1 hour). Usually, you have heavier bleeding right after childbirth, which slows over the next few weeks until it stops. The bleeding is red or dark brown with clots for the first 1 to 3 days. It then turns pink for several days, and then becomes a white or yellow discharge until it ends.

When should I contact my caregiver?

  • Your bleeding increases, or you have heavy bleeding that soaks a pad in 1 hour for 2 hours in a row.
  • You pass large blood clots.
  • You are breathing faster than normal, or your heart is beating faster than normal.
  • You are urinating less than usual, or not at all.
  • You feel dizzy.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You are suddenly short of breath and feel lightheaded.
  • You have sudden chest pain.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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