Question

“How much bleeding postpartum is normal? And how can you tell/measure? I’ve had two friends hemorrhage and have a life threatening situation, both first time moms. One hemorrhage was within a couple of hours after birth while still at the hospital. Staff was giving them bonding time, and they were going through pads fast but didn’t know it was too fast. A nurse came in, saw it was a problem, and my friend was taken immediately into emergency surgery. My other friend had a partially retained placenta with a subsequent hemorrhage at home about a week later and also had to have surgery. I am 13 weeks along with my first and would like to know what to look for. What warning signs are there? What is normal bleeding immediately postpartum and within the first week or so? Further down the road, what’s a normal first period postpartum? Thanks so much.” – Mae

Postpartum hemorrhage is the number one cause of maternal mortality worldwide. The rate of postpartum hemorrhage is between 1-5% of pregnancies, and is most common in the first 24 hours following birth. This episode dives into the risk factors and causes of postpartum hemorrhage, how it is diagnosed and treated, and the warning signs you should look out for. Find out what to expect about bleeding, technically called lochia, in the weeks after our baby born and what you should know about your menstrual cycle and period returning after birth.

Answer
Additional Resources
  • The Third Stage of Labor
  • How postpartum hemorrhage is defined
  • Risk Factors
  • Diagnosis and testing
  • Treatment
  • Red flags and warning signs
  • Lochia
  • You are always best erring on the side of caution. If you ever have any concerns about bleeding postpartum, please contact your doctor or midwife immediately
  • What to expect for your first period after baby
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