Bleeding after giving birth

Blödningar efter förlossningen - engelska

Everyone bleeds from the vagina after childbirth. The blood comes from a wound in the uterus. The wound occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterus. Some people who experience problems with bleeding may need to seek medical attention.

Du kan läsa texten på svenska här.

The blood that comes after childbirth may be called discharge (avslag).  

Typical bleeding after childbirth

The first few days after giving birth, the bleeding is similar to that of a heavy period. 
More blood may come when you are active and moving around. 

More blood may come when you have been lying still and then get up. There may also be clots of blood. 

You will bleed less and less 

The bleeding will decrease over time. After a while, the blood will become more brown in colour. Gradually, it will become lighter brown.  

The bleeding will stop after about six to eight weeks.  

Self-help tips

Here are some tips during this period of bleeding: 

  • Take a shower instead of a bath. 
  • Do not use period products that are inserted into the vagina, like tampons or menstrual cups. 
  • Use a condom if you have vaginal intercourse. 

When and where should I seek medical care?

Most people do not need medical care for bleeding after childbirth. 
Seek medical care if any of the following applies to you: 

  • You are bleeding more than you did the first day after giving birth. 
  • You have large clots or many clots of blood. 
  • The amount of blood saturates a regular sanitary towel within an hour. 

Seek medical care at the maternity ward where you gave birth. 

If they cannot attend to you, seek care from an emergency department. 

Call 1177 for advice 

Call 1177 for help on what to do.  
Your call will be answered by a nurse.  
The nurse can speak both Swedish and English. Help is sometimes available in other languages. 
Call +46 771 11 77 00 if you are calling from a phone with a foreign number. 

Why is there blood?

When you are pregnant, a placenta forms and attaches to the uterus. When the baby is born, the placenta detaches from the uterus, creating a wound.  

After childbirth, the uterus contracts and gets smaller. The wound also gets smaller and heals. 

Some people need treatment 

If you bleed a lot, it may be because your uterus is not contracting properly. There may also be pieces of placenta left inside the uterus. 

In such case, you may need treatment with medicine. 

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