After your baby is born, it may seem as though all the symptoms you've been contending with over the last nine or so month will evaporate instantly and you'll suddenly be in tip-top shape. Rest assured that it's normal and temporary. Vaginal postpartum bleeding, or lochia, is the heavy flow of blood and mucus that starts after delivery and continues for up to 10 days. Light bleeding and spotting after pregnancy can continue for up to four to six weeks after delivery though it varies from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. Whether or not you're in recovery from a C-section , your body is ridding itself of all the extra blood and tissue it needed to nourish your baby during pregnancy. Lochia is just like your period — only heavier and often much longer-lasting.
Please sign in or sign up for a March of Dimes account to proceed. Bleeding and spotting from the vagina during pregnancy are common. Up to half of all pregnant women have some bleeding or spotting during their pregnancy. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Call your health care provider if you have any bleeding or spotting, even if it stops. Bleeding or spotting can happen anytime, from the time you get pregnant to right before you give birth. Spotting is light bleeding.
From the beginning of your pregnancy until the very end, when your baby finally arrives, your body is a non-stop work in progress. All sorts of changes will take place over the course of the 40 or so weeks you're expecting. This doesn't end when you give birth, of course; your body will go through a series of other physical transformations in order to get back to a non-pregnant state. One of these changes is an extended period of bleeding called lochia, in which the lining of the uterus , or the endometrium , is sloughed off and the uterus shrinks down to its pre-pregnancy state—the size and shape of a pear.
Bleeding during pregnancy is relatively common. However, bleeding from the vagina at any time in pregnancy can be a dangerous sign, and you should always contact your midwife or doctor immediately if it happens to you. Contact your doctor or midwife if you notice bleeding from your vagina at any time during your pregnancy. During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, vaginal bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy when the fetus implants outside the womb, often in the fallopian tube. However, many women who bleed at this stage of pregnancy go on to have normal and successful pregnancies.