Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Pregnancy Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is normal after vaginal delivery, as well as after a C-section. Bleeding mainly occurs from blood vessels supplying the placenta. Many women are given a hormone (oxytocin or Pitocin) after passing the placenta, in order to help stop bleeding.

After delivery, vaginal bleeding is normal for about 1 week. Sometimes a few blood clots will pass during this time. Mild contractions of the uterus, which expel blood from the uterus, are common for several days after delivery. A pink or yellow vaginal discharge may continue for a month or two after a delivery.

Bleeding should be mild 4 to 5 days after delivery. Worsening bleeding after this time requires an evaluation. Passing large or painful blood clots after the first few days is also abnormal. Soaking more than 5 sanitary pads in 5 hours is also considered abnormal.

Bleeding may also occur with infection. Worsening abdominal pain, fever, and foul discharge are symptoms of infection.

Home care for postpartum vaginal bleeding includes:

  • Follow the post-partum instructions supplied by your doctor.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Change sanitary pads as needed.
  • Watch for signs of excessive bleeding.
  • Use pain medication as directed by your doctor.

Continue to Pregnancy Prenatal Diet

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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