Ok friends, today I’m talking about one of the hardest (and least talked about) aspects of postpartum recovery: bleeding (or lochia). I absolutely hated this aspect of postpartum. HATED IT. So I reached out to my readers for some suggestions on your favorite products (since you can’t use a menstrual cup or tampons). Keep reading for all the options!
Postpartum bleeding is exactly like your period-but longer and heavier and contains things like mucus and tissue from your uterus, mostly from where the placenta was attached. It’s even normal to have fairly large clots and chunks of tissue come out (fun!) It’s your body shedding all the extra blood and tissue it needed to nourish baby during pregnancy. Lochia starts right after the delivery and the bleeding can last 4-6 weeks (every woman is different, though, and for some it’s shorter and others it’s longer!) The bleeding is extra heavy in the first 10 days and slowly starts to lessen with time. And-on top of all of this-you can’t put anything in your vagina to help with the bleeding, so as I mentioned earlier: no tampons or menstrual cups.
…It’s not at all fun. Imagine: your body has just been through a battle, you probably have some stitches somewhere (from C-section or tearing), you now have a tiny human who depends on you for everything and doesn’t sleep nearly enough at night and on top of all of that you are having the worst, biggest, grossest, and longest period of your life. Thanks Mother Nature! Postpartum bleeding was easily my least favorite part of recovery.
I’m here to share some must-haves to help you get through this seemingly never-ending time (which-I PROMISE-does eventually end.)
- What to wear?
Comfort is the key to life in the 4th trimester and leaks can, and will, happen. So, I suggest dark leggings, yoga pants, and robes to help!
- Dealing with the “discomfort” (let’s be real: the pain)
Tucks cooling pads can give you such relief when you pat the perineal area with them and put them in your pad or underwear. I also know some moms who swear by Dermoplast. WishGarden makes an herbal “AfterEase” tincture to help with postpartum cramping and pain. And I know some women who have taken a postpartum bath blend, created a “tea” with it, and spritzed it on themselves using a peri bottle. Speaking of which…
- How to keep it clean?
Pretty much every hospital will send you home with a “peri bottle” to help you keep your perineum and vagina clean as they heal, which you should use every time you use the restroom. FridaMom makes an upside down peri bottle that is an absolute game changer in terms of ease of use! You want to be really sure to keep as clean as possible: I know someone who got an infection from wearing damp pads. Which brings me to my last point:
- How do I deal with all this bleeding?
Most women just use pads but, as I just said, that is a solution that leaves something to be desired. I polled some of the amazing mamas that I know and found that the resounding preferred thing to wear during the postpartum bleeding period is: adult diapers or absorbent underwear. Some of the most recommended products were Thinx, Kindred Bravely High Waisted Pospartum Recovery Panties (perfect for healing after a C-section!), Depends Silhouette Classic Underwear, and Always Discreet Boutique Incontinence Underwear.