Maternity cleansing: postpartum bleeding

Maternity cleansing: blood loss after childbirth, maternity cleansing or lochia is the discharge from the uterus, initially containing blood and later containing wound fluid, after childbirth. Normally this ends after six weeks. What complications can occur during maternity purification?

Blood loss after childbirth: maternity purification

The blood loss that occurs immediately after childbirth is called maternity purification or lochia. First of all, it is important to know why blood loss occurs. During pregnancy, a mucous membrane is built up, which is shed again after delivery. This can be compared to menstruation, where mucous membrane is also shed. There is also a wound in the uterus after childbirth: where the placenta was, a wound remains that must heal. Because everything in the uterus has very good blood circulation, a wound will also bleed more heavily than other wounds elsewhere on the body.

Recognize maternity purification

Maternity cleansing is not difficult to recognize: blood loss occurs a few minutes after delivery. This blood loss is heavy for the first few days, but will eventually decrease. After about six weeks, the bleeding will stop completely. This happens earlier for some women than for others. An average of four to seven weeks of bleeding is normal. Bleeding that lasts longer than six weeks is not normal and should always be checked by a doctor or midwife. If in the seventh week the blood loss is very minimal, or there is only wound fluid, this will stop very quickly.

What does the blood loss look like?

The first days after delivery there is quite heavy bleeding: certainly more than during a normal menstruation. Clots of blood indicate clotted blood: blood that remains stuck in the uterus for a long time and is then suddenly drained outside. There are also pieces of placenta in the blood, which also causes clots. The blood is initially quite dark in color and may even look black. After about a week the blood is bright red in color. Over time, the blood takes on an increasingly lighter color, until it consists only of wound fluid, which is yellow in color. When this stage is reached, the flow will soon stop.

Sometimes an injection is given immediately after delivery, which stimulates the uterus to contract extra. The resulting bleeding is often much more severe.

Complications during maternity purification

Sometimes the blood loss lasts longer than six weeks. This does not happen very often, the body is usually able to clean everything itself. However, if the bleeding continues for more than six weeks, a disturbance may occur. Sometimes there is a clot in the way, preventing the blood from finding a way out. When this clot breaks free, quite a lot of blood flows out at once. This may resemble sudden heavy bleeding. This can also cause bleeding to last longer than six weeks.

Prolonged bleeding also occurs when the uterus is unable to contract properly. The maternity purification then takes too long. This is often also accompanied by heavier blood loss.

Heavy bleeding can occur with a fibroid, which makes bleeding more serious. Women with a fibroid should therefore always give birth in the hospital. These women are often given an injection after delivery to ensure that the uterus contracts properly. If there is a tear in the cervix or elsewhere in the vagina, heavy bleeding may also occur. A wound such as a cut that is not properly sutured can also bleed.

A smelly maternity cleansing and a prolonged or heavy maternity cleansing often indicates that a piece of placenta has remained in the uterus. In that case, the midwife or doctor must be warned: without help, this piece will remain behind and could cause infections.

Very little bleeding

Some women worry because they bleed very little after giving birth. Sometimes the bleeding has stopped after one week. However, maternity cleansing also involves the loss of the yellow wound fluid. Anyone who takes this into account will see that the entire maternity purification process often takes a little longer. However, it may happen that the entire maternity purification process does not take more than two to three weeks. This is no reason to worry: the body has done a good job, purifying everything. However, if bleeding occurs again after stopping the maternity cleansing after a few days, this is not menstruation but a sign that something is not right. Keep an eye on this and consult a doctor or midwife.

read more

  • The signs of childbirth

Similar Posts