Postpartum Bleeding

Overview

After delivery, you will have a bloody discharge from your vagina. This will turn pink within a week and then white or yellow after about 10 days. It may last for 2 to 4 weeks or longer, until the uterus has healed.

Use sanitary pads until you stop bleeding. Using pads makes it easier to monitor your bleeding. Do not use tampons until your doctor says it's okay. If you have a tear or stitches in your vaginal area, change your pad at least every 4 hours. This will prevent soreness and infection.

How much bleeding is too much?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of hemorrhage (too much bleeding), such as:
    • Heavy vaginal bleeding. This means that you are soaking through one or more pads in an hour. Or you pass blood clots bigger than an egg.
    • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel like you may faint.
    • Feeling so tired or weak that you cannot do your usual activities.
    • A fast or irregular heartbeat.
    • New or worse belly pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your vaginal bleeding isn't decreasing.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology