How to Reduce Bleeding After Birthby Elizabeth MacDonald
Women used to give birth in fields and continue working afterward, right? Who are we to complain today? Well, we have every right to complain! Those afterbirth pains are no joke, and who enjoys passing blood clots and bleeding for an entire month?
There is good news though, there are several ways you can aid your body in recovering after giving birth, lessening your cramping and length of bleeding.
How to Reduce Bleeding After Birth
Breastfeed – Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract and reduces bleeding.
Avoid early hormonal contraception – Generally it’s best to avoid sex before 6 weeks postpartum. It’s best to wait for your postpartum checkup before starting hormonal birth control, which can cause further bleeding or spotting.
Urinate frequently – A full bladder can distend the uterus or make it softer, leading to more bleeding.
Herbal Salt Baths – Helping you heal from the inside out.
Herbal remedies – Blue Cohosh, Cotton Root Bark and Raspberry Leaf, Witch Hazel and Lady’s Mantle are just a few of the herbs that can reduce blood flow. Fresh herbs or tinctures work best and you should always talk to your midwife or doctor before dosing.
Increase Iron Intake – Low iron can lead to hemorrhaging after birth. Iron is an important part of blood formulation and low iron is common, especially in women.
- Avoid ibuprofen & aspirin – Blood thinning medications can lead to heavier or more prolonged bleeding.
Passing clots of blood is common during the first two weeks postpartum. Clots can range in size from a pea to a golf ball – and can be quite shocking if you’re not prepared. Blood clots form when you are sitting or lying down. As blood pools, it may clot. Some women experience discomfort walking or using the toilet and many report that after passing a clot the discomfort goes away.
The following symptoms indicate infections in the uterus, including a retained placenta (a small portion still attached to the uterine wall). Contact your doctor as soon as possible if these signs show up.
When to call the doctor
- Lochia will come with unpleasant smell.
- Mother will suffer from fever or chills.
- Bleeding remains a bright red color.
- The stomach will feel tender on one or both sides.
- Unusually heavy bleeding (soaking a large maxi pad in under an hour)
- Typically, the rule of thumb is golf-ball sized blood clots are fine but baseball-sized clots require follow up with your midwife or doctor.
- Dizziness or fainting occurs