LOCHIA: THE BLOODY BY-PRODUCT OF SELF-HEALING
What it is:
Lochia (pronounced low-key-uh) has nothing to do with a monster and everything to do with your bodies’ extraordinary defense mechanisms.
During pregnancy, your body grows an entire organ (Rad!) called the placenta to help you grow your baby. The placenta is attached to the uterine wall and when you birth your baby, you birth your placenta too (generally about 15-40 minutes after baby). The uterus needs to heal the wound where the placenta used to be attached. Lochia is the byproduct of this healing process and is made of leftover uterine blood, mucus, and tissue. (Yum!)
What you need to know:
You can expect to bleed heavily (even more than a heavy period) for the first couple of days postpartum before it begins to taper off turning from red to pink, then brown, and finally to a yellowish white. Lochia typically lasts between 4 and 6 weeks and can include clotting (up to the size of a golf ball!)- which is normal. If you have profuse bleeding or a larger clot, call your practitioner.
You still have lochia if you had a c-section!
Word to the Wise:
It’s important that the amount of lochia consistently diminishes and the color changes from red to pink to creamy or white as the weeks go on, as this will indicate that your body is moving through the healing process. On a day you’ve done too much physically, you may bleed more. This is a good sign to slow down.
By: Brittany Ducham, FL