I am still bleeding after delivery and I have a stomach pain; is this normal?
Vaginal discharge or "lochia" is normal after childbirth; it gradually becomes less bloody, becoming pink, then yellow and white and ceases between the 2nd and 6th postpartum week.
The pain may be cramps. These are uterine contractions that occur most frequently at the time of feeding (related to the release of the hormone oxytocin, stimulated by the baby's sucking. These contractions are necessary to reduce bleeding after delivery and to allow the uterus to return to its normal size. These cramps diminish and finally disappear after between 3 and 7 days.
How to relieve the cramps?
- Urinate often
- Lie down on your stomach and place a pillow under your lower abdomen
- Relax, breathe slowly and deeply
- Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the abdomen
- Take analgesics (painkillers)
Consult your physician in the event of:
- Heavy bleeding
- Lochia that is increasing and not decreasing
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Foul odors
- Fever (above 38.5°C/101.3°F)