Author Topic: Prolonged Lochia  (Read 50031 times)

Offline hedy

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Prolonged Lochia
« on: August 21, 2007, 07:38:25 PM »
I thought I'd start a thread on this as there doesn't seem to be one yet. I have a friend who is dealing with this and I'd like to hear others' experiences and discoveries.

Here are some thoughts that Chopchop shared with me:

"In answer to your question, about your friend, IMHO, prolonged bleeding is a sign that things aren't as they should be.  It basically means that the uterine wall has not healed as it should have.  The most common reason for this is to much activity too early.  As in, the mom feels great and starts doing things several days after the baby is born and doesn't use that initial two weeks to rest and recover as she should. 

"So, the answer would be twofold, losing blood requires that it should be replenished.  Chlorophyll would be ideal, in large quantities (Mint tastes best).  Lots of water, rest as much as possible, red raspberry tea to help the uterine tone and heal. If bleeding is heavy bayberry tincture or capsules will help reduce it but will not target the actual cause. 

"There is one remaining possibility, which I doubt from what you have said.  FWIW, if there is remaining tissue (i.e. placenta) inside that impedes complete contraction of the uterus, this can cause bleeding and eventually serious infection issues.  The placenta is supposed to be carefully examined after delivery to ensure that this is not the case and that everything is intact.  The biggest sign of this would probably be the onset of infection or uterine pain.  IF this happens get help QUICKLY, it can be very serious."
« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 07:45:00 PM by hedy »

Offline chrysalyde

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2007, 08:59:04 PM »
I was wondering.... how long is lochia considered prolonged ?

Offline hedy

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2007, 06:37:04 AM »
I was wondering.... how long is lochia considered prolonged ?

Most of the sources I've read say up to six or eight weeks is normal.

Offline jhandrh

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2007, 04:38:37 PM »
I was wondering.... how long is lochia considered prolonged ?

Most of the sources I've read say up to six or eight weeks is normal.

when is lochia supposed to change from bright red to brown/pink?  my baby is 2 wks old and i had a few days when i had no flow except for a few clots, but have not had it change to any other color so far except bright red bleeding.  it is not heavy--just intermittent episodes of cramping (which i thought should be gone too by now ) with clots and the occasional gush of blood.  my dr is not worried so far and says put my feet up.  with my last baby i retained placental fragments for 5 months till my dr finally agreed to do a d & c  (different dr).  then i had no symptoms except the bright red bleeding off/on--no fever, nothing showed up on ultrasound.  i am worried that it is happening again.  last time it messed up my milk supply not to mention making me miserable and anemic.  is my dr right not to be worried or should i be more aggressive asking to be checked?  i am trying to take it easy and dh took extra time off and is doing most of my work.  and still i bleed :-\   any opinions would be appreciated.

Offline Blue Rose

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 04:44:49 AM »
Wow, 6 to 8 weeks seems like a really long time to me. My midwife gave me a tincture combination of Shepherd's Purse and one other herb (which I can't remember right now, but it starts with an 'A') in some water with lots of honey (the Shepherd's Purse is really bitter) and made me drink this RIGHT after I gave birth. Mine dried up and was practically gone within two weeks. Could be just me, but when I talked to her about it afterwards, she gave major credit to the Shepherd's Purse.

If you are concerned about something still left inside, then I would agree that you should get it checked out. Can be very serious if left unchecked. Pray and see what your hubby says and then take the next step.

Also, I was told to stay in my jammies for at least 2 weeks and not try to do anything. Remember what your body has been through and just take it easy. Esp. if you feel you are taking longer to heal this time. Take this time to really enjoy your new little one and rest and relax. Even if you have to get someone to come help with the dishes and a load of laundry, and maybe start dinner for an hour or two. Don't stress, get help, and let your body recoup. IMO the reason we homeschool is for just such occasions!

Congrats on your new little one!
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2008, 05:42:24 AM »
Okay here's a question for you.

I am 2 1/2 weeks post partum and still bleeding quite a bit... not at much as with my first pregnancy but way more than with my second. 

I'm currently taking:
2 supermoms,
1 high quality 500% RDA iron supplement,
2 omega 3.6.9, and
1 TTU every day. 

I am having 2-4 clots that are between the size of a kernel of corn to the size of a quarter around every 4 days.  Just before the clots pass I am in terrible pain, and it was so bad last Saturday that my OB ordered me to the hospital thinking I had appendicitis.

An ultrasound revealed that I have complex fluid in my uterus, so my OB recommended I take 1 prescription pill to cause uterine contractions and get rid of all that fluid quickly before it causes an infection to settle in because it's stagnant.  The pill hasn't been approved by the FDA for breastfeeding moms, so he recommended I pump and dump for 2 days, but I told him I'll not be taking the pill and that I'd just let it pass naturally and possibly take herbs to help.  He said that's fine and he'd see me in 2 weeks.

So what do I do now?   ;D  I have black and blue cohosh as well as cut RRL and I'm wondering if that's safe for breastfeeding moms, and how much how often.  The same amts. as when you're trying to get labor started?  Thanks ladies.
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Offline blessedmama

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2008, 06:21:27 AM »
ShabbyChic, this isn't herbal info but I DID notice a big difference in how active I was.  The more I just relaxed and remained as inactive as possible it really helped reduce the amount.  My midwife had said to relax and be as low key as possible and when I was "more active" I definitely saw an increase.   HTH a little
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 08:24:22 AM »
YES!  This is 100% true, blessedmama.  When I sit there is almost no expulsion of fluids, but when I get up and wash dishes or vacuum or load the washing machine I'm gushing.  I'm wondering: since the fluid is already there, and we saw how much is still in my uterus from the ultrasound, shouldn't I be up and walking to help it pass as soon as possible?   ???
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Offline kcb

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2008, 08:37:09 AM »
ShabbyChic, this isn't herbal info but I DID notice a big difference in how active I was.  The more I just relaxed and remained as inactive as possible it really helped reduce the amount.  My midwife had said to relax and be as low key as possible and when I was "more active" I definitely saw an increase.   HTH a little

This was the same for me.  Too much activity or stress caused increased and prolonged lochia for me.  Even after it stopped, if I got stressed or too active it would start up again for a few days.  But if you are taking it fairly easy, and you've had good afterbirth contractions, it might be wise to investigate whether something is wrong.

Offline his.silly.wife

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2008, 08:42:19 AM »
YES!  This is 100% true, blessedmama.  When I sit there is almost no expulsion of fluids, but when I get up and wash dishes or vacuum or load the washing machine I'm gushing.  I'm wondering: since the fluid is already there, and we saw how much is still in my uterus from the ultrasound, shouldn't I be up and walking to help it pass as soon as possible?   ???

I believe the extra fluid needs to be encouraged out.  Okay, back to my farm stories...it is not a pleasant smell to have a cow that hasn't cleaned out properly after calving...and the infection is very serious too.  So I wouldn't want to risk it with a person.  If it were me, I would research herbs that encourage uterine contractions, and be up and around, doing chores and such.  But this is just me.
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Offline ladyhen

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2008, 08:44:14 AM »
I wonder if it might be better to continue taking the RRL tea in small amounts, maybe a cup or two of tea a day, to help with healing.  I'm not sure about the black and blue cohosh.   Check at;    www.herbs2000.com

If it were me, I would limit activity as much a possible to facilitate healing and limit bleeding.  Stimulating contractions is a good idea to expell the excess fluid, but couldn't that be accomplished by massaging the fundus (top of your uterus, which you should still be able to feel  above the pubis)?
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2008, 08:47:20 AM »
I know there is no placenta left, and there are no fibroids (based on the ultrasounds I've had done by the ER docs and my OB).  They both confimred independently of one another that there is just too much "complex fluid" still there to be 2 1/2 weeks post partum.  

Both said it would pass on it's own in time, that it still isn't abnormally long for a third pregnancy, that everything else looks normal, to take ibuprofen, and they could make that happen sooner (albeit more painful) if I wanted to take medication.  

No one has mentioned anything more serious than that.  The contractions are most painful when I nurse which is normal.  It seems to be the normal stuff that most women go through post partum, it's just taking longer and it's heavier.  Is there something specific I should ask them about?

Yes, I've been massaging my abodomen, too.  That's a good idea.  I'm just not sure if I'm in the "take it easy" camp or the "get up and get around" camp... which is better in this instance?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 08:49:47 AM by ShabbyChic »
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Offline his.silly.wife

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2008, 09:02:23 AM »
I'm just not sure if I'm in the "take it easy" camp or the "get up and get around" camp... which is better in this instance?

What did your OB recommend?

I have to admit...I'm in the get up and get around camp for most things.  Life goes on for me after a baby arrives.  It goes a little slower, but still goes on.  I think there are a couple of midwives on WTM, (but I don't remember who) they likely have good advice to share.
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2008, 09:34:11 AM »
Well I'm in the "take it easy" camp, but I have 2 sons who are 3 1/2 and almost 2 who are in the "hold on to your seats, boys" camp... so a lot of sitting isn't really an option except on the weekend when honey is home to help me. 

We aren't leaving the house, out and about, but I am up and down all day getting snacks, retrieving lost toys, wiping bottoms, etc.  I've tried to limit my activity, especially after 6 PM when honey gets home, and he's very accomodating.  But I could ask for extra help if need be.
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Offline kcb

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2008, 04:26:50 PM »
Well I'm in the "take it easy" camp, but I have 2 sons who are 3 1/2 and almost 2 who are in the "hold on to your seats, boys" camp...

LOL!  I suspect that a 3 1/2 ds and an almost 2 ds is plenty enough activity in your house!!  No wonder your healing is taking longer than normal.

Offline MommyGus

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2008, 06:07:30 PM »
Have you looked at the post partum belly wrapping thread? that looked interesting to me, and might have some info that could help you with this. Just a thought
« Last Edit: February 24, 2008, 04:02:45 AM by MommyGus »
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2008, 03:32:41 PM »
Well I am 8 weeks and 2 days post partum and not bleeding.  The discharge was almost non-existent at my 6 weeks check-up and then stopped all together. 

Then last week (7 weeks post partum) I began having a LOT of yellow/grey discharge that has no odor.  I'm wondering if this is the complex fluid draining?  Has anyone else had prolonged fluid drainage?  Should I be concerned?
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Offline born-an-okie

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2008, 04:16:13 PM »
One midwife book I have says that lochia can turn whitish/yellowish toward the end of the discharge.  This hasn't happened with me, though I have usually had some pink discharge for at least 6 weeks, sometimes longer.  I would guess you should keep making sure there is no odor and look for any signs of renewed bleeding (brown or red colors).  Maybe it is the "complex fluid", whatever that means???  If you are really concerned, I would get it checked out, but it may just be a color change that isn't a big deal.

Offline MamaSong

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2008, 06:15:34 PM »
I've always read that lochia changing to white/yellow at the end is normal.  I think mine did for a day or so after my first baby.  Don't recall with the other ones.  Here are some "official" definitions from good ol' Wikipedia:

Lochia rubra is the first discharge, red in color because of the large amount of blood it contains. It typically lasts no longer than 3 to 5 days after birth.

Lochia serosa is the term for lochia which has thinned and turned brownish or pink in color. It contains serous exudate, erythrocytes, leukocytes, and cervical mucus. This stage continues until around the tenth day after delivery.

Lochia alba is the name for lochia once it has turned whitish or yellowish-white. It typically lasts from the second through the third to sixth week after delivery. It contains fewer red blood cells and is mainly made up of leukocytes, epithelial cells, cholesterol, fat, and mucus.

Lochia generally has an odor similar to that of normal menstrual fluid. Any offensive odor indicates a possible infection and should be reported to a healthcare provider.


My experience:

Baby #1 - c-section, quick recovery - lochia lasted 3-4 weeks.

Baby #2 - (14 months later) another c-section, rather worn out taking care of two babies - lochia lasted 8 weeks

Baby #3 - (3 years later) another c-section, husband in Iraq, had a lot of help initially, but impossible to not "overdo" the physical activity with a 4 yo, 3 yo, and newborn - lochia lasted 12 weeks

Not looking forward to how long it will take my body to recover from this next one coming Tuesday!  At least my hubby will be here to nag me to take care of myself this time.

Offline jhandrh

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2008, 08:32:35 AM »
Well I am 8 weeks and 2 days post partum and not bleeding.  The discharge was almost non-existent at my 6 weeks check-up and then stopped all together. 

Then last week (7 weeks post partum) I began having a LOT of yellow/grey discharge that has no odor.  I'm wondering if this is the complex fluid draining?  Has anyone else had prolonged fluid drainage?  Should I be concerned?

Uhhh, my little guy was 4 months old last week and I still have the yellowish drainage.  it either is odorless or mild menstrual like odor.  I have no cycles yet as I am still nursing and assumed that the yellowish stuff was okay.  It didn't occur to me to even worry about it.  I have no other symptoms of anything being seriously wrong.  The red/brown lochia for me lasted about 10 wks or so.  After checking that there was nothing funky left in my uterus, my dr came to the conclusion that the prolonged bleeding was from the uterine lining being thin from breastfeeding.  HTH.

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2008, 04:03:15 PM »
Okay.  I feel better.  It sounds normal, though, so I'm not concerned now.  I am under more stress now, with 3 little kids, so thanks, that brings peace of mind.  I think a doc's visit would be unnecessary unless there is a foul odor.
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Offline jhandrh

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2008, 04:32:01 PM »
I probably wouldn't go back to the dr's just on account of the yellowish drainage.  But yeah, a foul odor, or fever, or more bleeding that you know isn't a period--in those cases I probably would go back.  So hard to know what "normal" is after having a baby!!  Hope everything settles down for you. :)  My baby is also my 3rd so I know what you are talking about with the stress factor too!

Offline AndysJess

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2008, 05:31:31 PM »
I am 9 wks post-partum and still bleeding.  It has stopped for 2-3 days a couple of times, but it has always come right back.  It is always bright red.  It is not super heavy, so I have not worried overly much about it.  The last week, though, I have felt very drained.  I have been weak and dizzy the last couple of days.  I am going tomorrow to have some blood work done.  They are going to check my blood count, thyroid and sugar (the sugar is at my request). 
My dr said if this is something hormonal, there is nothing he can do while I am nursing.
I just want it to stop.  I feel SO bad.  I have no energy, and I am starting to feel depressed.  My house is suffering, along with my family. 
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Offline Mrs. Visionary

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Re: Prolonged Lochia
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2008, 04:12:08 AM »
Andy's Jess,
I for some reason always have had the lochia drag on after childbirth (in addition to heavy bleeding with birth).
Are you getting enough iron? Please make sure you're getting plenty of red meat and LIVER in order to replenish your stores. If you're having ongoing blood loss you're going to be fatigued just from the anemia and this can lead to depression from exhaustion.
A couple of herbs to help stop things up are yarrow and cayenne. The yarrow helped get me back on track when my periods were very heavy and frequent after childbirth. Also, dandelion can help build up the blood.
HTH