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Postpartum Bleeding - Topic Overview

Immediately after delivery, you will have a bloody discharge (lochia) from the vagina. This will turn pinkish within a week and become white or yellowish after about 10 days. Lochia may last for 4 to 6 weeks, but it should be less bloody after 2 weeks. It can come and go for about 2 months.

Use pads, rather than tampons, during this time. If you have a tear next to the vagina (perineal tear) or an episiotomy that is healing, change the pad at least every 4 hours to prevent irritation and infection.

How much bleeding is too much?

Call your doctor right away if you:

  • Have bleeding that soaks through your usual pad each hour for 2 or more hours.
  • Have bloody discharge that continues beyond 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Pass blood clots larger than a golf ball over several hours.

Don't be concerned if you pass occasional blood clots, as long as they are smaller than a golf ball.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 13, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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