Postnatal Bleeding

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Jan 2003

Hi everyone,

it's been about 2 1/2 months since the birth of my baby and i am still dealing with extended post-natal bleeding.

it went straight through two months without a break, pretty light for the last month but continuous. then i had a break for a day or two, it came back and that has happened two more times, this last time stopping for about 5 days and it has started again.

i know my NP says it could just be my period starting back up but i just wanted to see if others have had any similar experiences? it'll be three months of pretty continuous bleeding and i am getting pretty annoyed with the situation! i am breastfeeding and thought that would give me an extended break from good ol' aunt flo but she's back for an extended visit.

and if anyone found any solutions like acupuncture etc. i don't want to start the pill or anything because i never had good experiences with that and would rather not go the pill route...

thanks for any info/advice! frustrated

Hi, I had exactly your problem though at 9 mos postpartum I can't remember exactly how long it lasted but about 8-10 weeks I think. Mine also got lighter and then inexplicably really heavy with big clots about 5 weeks postpartum. I called the OBGyn's office but they thought it was no big deal. At my 6 week appt, my OB said she could give me estrogen or s.t. like that to stop the bleeding but it might interfere with milk supply so I opted to do nothing. Yes eventually it did stop. All of my mommy friends stopped monthes before i did so I worried it was abnormal but there have been no lasting effects. Also I got my period about 7mos postpartum so in my case it was not an early return to period. All I can offer is sympathy and the knowledge that while annoying, it will actually end! --Happened to me too
Just a thought, but perhaps you have a mild bleeding disorder. A more common bleeding disorder that can have mild symptoms in some people is Von Willebrands Disease. Women with VWD have heavier bleeding during periods, easier bruising, etc. You might bring this up with your doctor. Christina
I had lochia for ten weeks after my son was born. I went to the doctor after nine weeks, because all my books said it could last ''possibly for as long as six weeks,'' and I was getting worried. Nothing was wrong. It finally stopped. I was exclusively breastfeeding the whole time. I didn't get my period until the baby was 11 months old, so it wasn't that. No advice, but similar experience
You may have checked this already, but have your provider be sure there isn't left over placental tissue. I was bleeding, albeit lightly after 6 weeks, through to 8. We waited another week and then he checked - sure enough I had remaining tissue in there that needed to be removed. It can cause infection if you wait too long and it isn't checked. He removed mine right there in the office, and while it was VERY uncomfortable (no anisthesia) it did the trick and I stopped finally within a couple of weeks of recovering from that. Just don't let your provider tell you ''it could be...'' and not demand to have it checked out - you don't want to miss something. Good luck! Susan
I, too, bled for nearly three months after my daughter was born. For me, the bleeding seemed to be tapering off after the first month or so, and then started up with a vengance and continued for almost two more months. During that second surge I was concerned enough to call the doctor, but was told that there is a wide range of bleeding possibilities and not to be concerned unless I was filling a pad with blood within an hour (I was not). One thing I did then was ask if it was OK to start using tampons, since it had been over a month since the delivery, and was told that it was OK, so that minimized the yukiness factor somewhat. I'm afraid I don't have any good advice for you-- I, too, was breast feeding, and that didn't seem to matter. But it did come to an end eventually, and then I didn't get my period for nine months, so don't give up hope! Also, many years ago I bled extremely heavily after an abortion, and I ended up going on the pill just for a month to stop the bleeding. I understand that you don't want to do that, but it is an option (though I know nothing about nursing while on the pill). Good luck! anon
Dear Frustrated, You have every right! Postnatal bleeding, or lochia, if that's what it is in your case, should stop about 3 weeks after delivery! I am a Licensed Acupuncturist with a Masters in Chinese Medicine, including a sophisticated system of diagnosis and herbs. I Specialize in OB/GYN. Since you say that you never stopped bleeding after delivery, it indicates that there may be a delay in the shrinking of your uterus, which can be caused by retained placental tissue. This can be seen on an ultrasound. If you have not done so already, you should have this checked!!!! It can lead to infection, and furthur complications. If this is not the case, then there are many other reasons why you may be having continued bleeding, all of which can be helped by Chinese Medicine, particularly herbal therapy. Excessive strain and/or blood loss during delivery can especially lead to this condition. Even if your menses are returning, this continued bleeding sounds irregular, and the blood loss can lead to furthur depletion. I would recommend the ultrasound first, and then to see a Chinese Medicine practitioner. If you do not already have one, I would be happy to see you. If you have furthur questions about Chinese Medicine, I would be happy to answer them. Rhoda Climenhaga, M.S., L.Ac. 510-306-0067 rhoda