In the first day after your birth you will experience heavier bleeding than a normal period. You may have some clots that are the size of a plum. Having one large clot of blood the size of an orange can happen, but shouldn’t be larger than this. The smell of your blood will smell like menstrual blood, but often a bit stronger. After the first couple of days your bleeding will slow and then will stop between 6-8 weeks after your birth. It will also change colour from bright red, to pink, to brown, to yellow and then white. Lots of activity will increase your bleeding so if this happens make sure to rest.
Page Your Midwife Immediately:
If you are soaking a large overnight pad (front to back, side to side) in 30 minutes or less.
If you see more than one large clot in less than an hour.
If the blood from your uterus has a very bad odour that others can smell as well.
Bladder Care and Bowel Movements:
After the birth you should urinate within 2-4 hours and your midwives will help you get up to do this. Sometimes after birth you may lose the sensation that you have to urinate so try to go every 2-3 hours when you are awake. Keeping your bladder empty will help your uterus keep its shape and will keep your bleeding normal. You can use the peri-bottle to reduce any burning or pain when you urinate in the first week as well. You will have your first bowel movement in the first 2-5 days after you give birth. Eat lots of fruit and fibre, drink lots of fluids and be patient. It won’t be as bad as you think!
Rest and Relaxation
It is very important to rest as much as possible in the first few weeks after you have your baby. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps, rest in bed as much as possible, and try to not go up and down stairs too much. Encourage friends and family to support you by bringing meals, offering to shop or do some simple household chores.
Your Mental Health:
Having a baby and becoming a parent is a life changing event and will take some time to get use to. In the first three weeks you can have baby blues where you will cry and feel sad a lot of the time. We hope that you will be able to talk with us about your emotions. It is generally easier if you can share your feelings with people who care for you. Eating, resting, sleeping, talking with your family and friends and getting out of your home will often help you to feel happy and well. Sometimes, even when you are doing all of these things, you still feel sad, depressed and/or anxious. Talking to your midwife about this will help get you on the path to getting more help. Your midwives can refer you to one of the many programs that will help you adjust to becoming a new parent and to get treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety. Don’t be shy, we are here to help!