How to know if postpartum bleeding has stopped? 3 ways to check

After welcoming a baby, a mother’s body goes through a recovery phase, and a significant part of this process is lochia. Lochia is vaginal discharge that includes blood, uterine lining cells, and mucus. Understanding lochia, how to monitor it, and knowing “how to know if postpartum bleeding has stopped” will help new mothers feel more at ease during this postpartum period.

What is Lochia? The Stages of Lochia

Lochia: This is a normal physiological phenomenon after childbirth, helping the uterus expel remaining tissues and fluids after delivery.

Stages of Lochia:

  1. Lochia rubra: First 3-4 days postpartum. At this stage, the discharge is bright red due to the high blood content.
  2. Lochia serosa: Around day 4 to day 10. The discharge turns pink or light brown as the blood content decreases.
  3. Lochia alba: Appears around day 10 and can last for several weeks. The discharge becomes thinner and is yellowish or white.


Lochia alba appears around day 10 and can last for several weeks

“How to Know if Postpartum Bleeding Has Stopped” – Based on the Stages of Lochia

How to Know if Postpartum Bleeding Has Stopped?

Average Duration: Lochia typically lasts from 4 to 8 weeks postpartum. However, this duration can vary for each mother.

Indicators that Lochia is Ending:

  1. how to know if postpartum bleeding has stopped – Significant Decrease in Discharge: You only need to use daily panty liners.
  2. Lighter Color: The discharge becomes whitish or pale yellow before stopping completely.
  3. how to know if postpartum bleeding has stopped – No Foul Odor: Lochia may have a slight musty smell but should not be unpleasant.


How to know if postpartum bleeding has stopped – No Foul Odor

Proactive Monitoring of Lochia

Monitoring at Home:

  • Color of Discharge: Observe the color on the pad or when using the bathroom.
  • Amount of Discharge: Estimate the amount based on the frequency of changing pads.
  • Odor: Note if there is any unpleasant or abnormal smell.

When to See a Gynecologist: Consult a doctor immediately if you notice unusual signs:

  • Foul Odor or Fever: Signs of postpartum infection that require timely treatment.
  • Sudden Return of Bright Red Blood: Especially if lochia rubra had stopped, this might indicate late postpartum hemorrhage and requires emergency care.


This might indicate late postpartum hemorrhage and requires emergency care

Distinguishing Between End of Lochia and Menstruation

Menstruation: Typically starts 6-8 weeks postpartum if not breastfeeding, and later if breastfeeding. Menstruation often comes with premenstrual symptoms.

Lochia: Continuous process of expelling remaining tissues and fluids post-delivery.

Care for Quick Recovery

  1. Adequate Rest: Helps the body recover quickly and supports uterine healing.
  2. Proper Hygiene: Prevents infections, especially important in the postpartum period.
  3. Scheduled Gynecological Check-ups: Postpartum check-ups help assess recovery and detect any issues early.

Common Questions about “How to Know if Postpartum Bleeding Has Stopped”

1. What are the signs of abnormal lochia?

  • Unusual Color: Prolonged bright red, greenish, or yellow discharge with pus.
  • Foul Smell: Different from the usual mild musty smell.
  • Additional Symptoms: Fever, severe lower abdominal pain, uncontrollable vaginal bleeding (risk of postpartum hemorrhage).
  • Resumed Bright Red Bleeding: If you had pale yellow or white discharge and suddenly see bright red blood again, consult a doctor.

2. Do C-sections result in lochia? Is the duration different from vaginal birth?

  • C-sections still result in lochia: The process of cleaning the uterus occurs in both C-section and vaginal births.
  • Duration: Generally, there is no significant difference in the duration of lochia between vaginal and C-section deliveries, although some C-section mothers report a slightly longer duration.

3. How long is lochia considered prolonged?

  • Normal: Lochia lasts around 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Prolonged: If lochia lasts more than 8 weeks, or if there is a significant return of blood, signs of infection (foul odor, fever), seek medical advice immediately.

4. When will menstruation return after lochia ends?

  • Average Time: 6-8 weeks postpartum for non-breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding mothers may experience a delay (several months or longer after weaning).
  • Ovulation Before Menstruation: Note that ovulation can occur even if menstruation has not resumed. Use safe contraception if you do not wish to conceive soon.

5. How to speed up the end of lochia and promote recovery?

  • Breastfeeding: Stimulates uterine contractions, helping expel lochia faster.
  • Proper Hygiene: Reduces the risk of infections.
  • Adequate Rest: Ensures your body has enough energy for comprehensive recovery, especially in the first few weeks postpartum.
  • Scheduled Gynecological Check-ups: Doctors will assess uterine recovery, provide necessary treatment, and detect any abnormalities early.

1. Average Duration and Stages of Lochia:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): Lochia usually lasts 4 to 8 weeks postpartum, with stages including:
    • Lochia rubra: 3-4 days, bright red.
    • Lochia serosa: Day 4 to around day 10, pink or brown.
    • Lochia alba: About 10 days to a few weeks, yellowish or white.
  • Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India: This study found the average duration of lochia is 6.2 ± 2.1 weeks for vaginal births and 7.1 ± 2.4 weeks for C-sections.

2. Signs of Ending Lochia:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH notes that signs lochia has ended include:
    • Significant decrease in discharge, requiring only daily panty liners.
    • Color change to whitish or pale yellow.
    • Absence of unpleasant odor.
  • Canadian Paediatric Society: This organization highlights similar signs and emphasizes the importance of home monitoring to detect abnormalities early.

3. Distinguishing Between Lochia and Menstruation:

  • Mayo Clinic: Menstruation typically returns 6-8 weeks postpartum for non-breastfeeding women, though this varies based on multiple factors.
  • World Health Organization (WHO): WHO states that exclusive breastfeeding can delay menstruation for several months or longer after weaning.

4. Postpartum Care for Quick Recovery:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): CDC recommends adequate rest, proper nutrition, hygiene, and scheduled postpartum check-ups to ensure health.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): AAP emphasizes early and frequent breastfeeding as an effective way to help the uterus contract well and reduce postpartum complications.



Understanding lochia and “how to know if postpartum bleeding has stopped” is crucial for all new mothers. Proactive home monitoring and knowing when to see a doctor will help you feel reassured, detect any abnormalities early, and take timely measures to ensure health during this important postpartum period.



Kiểm Duyệt Nội Dung

Ban Biên Tập | Website

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