Not having a menstrual period for nine months is one of those "side effects" of pregnancy that nearly every expectant mother will be grateful for. Unfortunately, your body will make up for the "loss" after you give birth during lochia, the postpartum bleeding that every woman will have, it may seem like you are having all those periods in one go!
Lochia is the process of clearing the uterus out of any tissues that are left after you delivered your baby. The bleeding will last much longer than a normal period, and can go on for around six weeks! In the beginning, you will need a lot of "monster menstrual pads" also known as maternity pads to prevent you from soaking through. There may also be large bits of tissue and blood clots. The bleeding you will experience in the days after birth is likely to be bright red, much like a menstrual period but heavier.
At this time, you may also be surprised that contractions did not end with labor some women experience noticeable and even painful uterine contraction in the first week postpartum, especially if they are breastfeeding. And if you are already a seasoned mother, don't think it won't happen to you. Those notorious after pains are likely to get worse with each baby you have. You may also notice that your lochia flows more heavily during times you are physically active.
It is, therefore, an excellent idea to stock up on maternity pads and take them with you when you go out for a walk with your baby, or shopping. As your baby gets older, your bleeding will gradually reduce and turn brown instead of red. By the time you go for your six week postpartum visit with your healthcare provider, your lochia will probably have come to a halt. You may also like to read our postpartum pain relief tips!