The postpartum or postnatal period begins right after the childbirth and extends to about six weeks. The WHO describes it as the most critical yet most neglected phase in the lives of the child and the mother. Quite unfortunately, most deaths occur during this phase. The vaginal discharge after childbirth is called Lochia and it contains mucus, uterine tissues, and blood. This discharge continues for about four to six weeks, i.e., during the postpartum period. Here, we give you some tips to reduce or stop postpartum bleeding.
1. Get rest:
If the blood in postpartum bleeding appears bright red after having appeared as pink or brown, you need to get more rest. You should even check with a doctor if a pad gets completely soaked in an hour.
Breastfeeding releases the hormone called oxytocin which helps in contracting the uterus, thus reducing the bleeding.
3. Avoid sex:
It is recommended to avoid sex during the postpartum period. The reason behind it is that there may be some potential vaginal tears, and damage to the uterus as well, you may get an infection. You should wait until the bleeding has almost stopped before having sex.
4. Urinate frequently:
A full bladder puts pressure on the uterus and inflates it, making it softer and leading to more bleeding
5. Load up on Iron:
Eat plenty of food rich in iron. Iron is important for the body because it helps in replenishing the blood count after the labour. Foods such as lentils, meats, beans, and vegetables like okra and broccoli are good sources of iron. Excess of iron may cause constipation. Iron supplements should be taken only on the recommendation of the doctor.
6. Take proper medication:
Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen as blood-thinning medicines can lead to more bleeding.
7. Use pads:
Use pads instead of tampons as tampons may increase the chance of getting an infection, and pads can handle most flows. In the first week, consider using the heavy flow or overnight pads.
8. Wear delivery underwear:
These are disposable mesh underwear that should be worn during the period of heavy postpartum bleeding. They are more convenient and comfortable than the traditional underwear and are suitable for the first few days after childbirth when you want to do absolutely nothing but rest.
Other than the methods discussed above, you should watch for the warning signs mentioned below to ensure that you are safe and healthy.
1. Watch out for blood clots:
While small clots in blood are normal, larger clots should be taken seriously. If the size of blood clots is larger than golf balls, contact your doctor immediately. It may be a sign of postpartum haemorrhage, which, if left untreated, could prove to be fatal. Low blood pressure and pain in the vaginal region are some other symptoms that should not be left unnoticed.
2. Check temperature:
If you feel feverish, make sure to record your temperature. A fever of over 100.4 may be a sign of a serious infection and you should check with your doctor. Fever, especially along with any of the other symptoms, is concerning.
3. Check the smell:
If the vaginal discharge smells differently from the menstrual period, it is a sign that you need medical attention. Postpartum bleeding with foul-smell can be due to some serious infection.
As mentioned above, the postpartum period lasts from two to six weeks, you should consult your doctor if bleeding continues after this duration.