Those first weeks. I remember receiving a box of “goodies” from our insurance company. Well they weren’t exactly goodies, they actually freaked me out. Pads the size of pillows, cleaning alcohol, stretch underpants, plastic bed cover (many Dutch women give birth at home so that was for them, i figured) plus a whole lot of other, what I felt, were useless things. Oh and there was also a small teddy bear. Thanks. Though I didn’t imagine using anything in the box, I kept it anyway. I mean, one never really knows if something will come in handy. Figured the pads the size of pillows could have some other use (pillow), plastic bed cover handy for changing baby outside, and the underpant things – well i just didn’t understand that one at all.
Then my baby was born. And then I got it. Once again, I hadn’t been exactly prepared for the “after” the birth part of having a baby. Isn’t it enough that we are dealing with a newborn for the first time in our life? Isn’t it enough that we don’t get any sleep? No it’s not. We also get to have an extended “menstruation”. Thanks, whoever came up with that one… And yes, I made use of mostly everything in that box!
Here is what I wrote about it in my book Babies 0-6 months.
Why do I have so much blood discharge?
Ah the joys of having a newborn. This is not one of them… Lochia is the blood discharge that you will experience after birth and is part of your recovery. Remember that you have gained almost 50% more blood during your pregnancy and it is coming out now plus there are some ot
her leftovers (such as mucus and placenta tissue). This blood discharge can last up to a month but can also be over much more quickly. During the first few days you will have to use heavy duty pads and change them regularly. As the week progresses you should be able to use smaller ones: however, don’t use tampons because they can introduce bacteria into your uterus and vagina causing infection. It’s important to note that this is not your first “menstruation” but only looks like it. If you are breastfeeding full time you will not likely have a menstruation until you start weaning.