Lochia (Post-Natal Bleeding) – Types, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

5 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Lochia (Post-Natal Bleeding)

Pregnancy is a phase in which a pregnant woman goes through a lot of changes in her body. Not just during pregnancy, but even post-pregnancy, these changes do continue. To overcome these changes, your body needs some rest and hence it’ll probably take around 2-3 weeks for your body to recover after your delivery. One of those symptoms is lochia or post-natal bleeding. It is quite normal to have post-natal bleeding but, in some cases, it gets worse, and you need to speak to your doctor for the same. In this article, we explain all about Lochia

After you deliver your baby, you will see the symptoms which you’ve been contending for the last 9 months. During your post-natal period, you will have to face some symptoms as it’s your recovery period and vaginal bleeding can occur. But do not get scared of it. It is temporary and normal to have vaginal bleeding in the postnatal period.

In This Article

What is Lochia?

Lochia, also known as post-natal bleeding, is a discharge of blood and mucus from the uterus after giving birth. It is similar to menstrual blood in appearance and odor; it can last for up to 6-10 weeks and it gets worse in the initial phase of postpartum. The flow  is heavy initially but with time it starts decreasing until it finally vanishes. This is just a small part of the postpartum healing process and does not cause any kind of complications in women.

Types of Lochia

Types of Lochia

Lochia can be of different types depending on its color. Let’s have a read the different types of lochia below:

1. Lochia Rubra

This discharge is made up of only blood and lasts from the first day of postpartum to the fourth or seventh day of postpartum. It is mainly red and is made up of blood, decidua, meconium, cervical discharge, and bits of fetal membranes.

2. Lochia Serosa

When lochia rubra changes its color from red to brown and from brown to yellow over one week, then this type of formation is known as lochia serosa. This is a discharge that contains less blood and more serum and is pink yellow. Lochia serosa can extend for up to to 3-4 days after lochia rubra. It is to be noted that lochia serosa contains more white blood cells and more red blood cells.

3. Lochia Alba

This is a discharge that contains mucus and leukocytes and is white and creamy. It remains for at least 10-14 days after postpartum and this consists of various cells such as decidual cells, white blood cells, epithelial cells, and mucus.

Top 6 Causes of Lochia in Postpartum Period

Once a baby is delivered, a woman faces several postnatal complications which are also known as lochia. This is something that stays for at least 6-10 weeks and then vanishes. As discussed above, this bloody discharge is caused by the discharge of blood and hence there are several causes behind this arising which will be discussed below.

1. Placental Abruption

One main cause of lochia occurrence is when a woman faces placental abruption. This means that they’ve faced an early detachment of the placenta from the uterus.

[Read : Placental Abruption]

2. Gestational Hypertension

Some women do take up a lot of stress during pregnancy. This stress takes the shape of hypertension and hence later becomes a threat in the form of vaginal bleeding. Higher stress levels lead to high blood pressure which leads to pre-eclampsia which is also known as hypertension.

3. Having Many Previous Births

There is a high chance of lochia occurrence in the second or third pregnancy. But in the first pregnancy, it is very unlikely that this condition can happen.

4. Prolonged Labor

Pregnant women who’ve undergone prolonged labor pain are at a higher risk of suffering lochia. That is why it is quite important to reduce labor to reduce further complications.

5. Infection

During pregnancy, if women have undergone any kind of infection, then it is quite common that post-natal bleeding will be caused. Hence, if you are undergoing any kind of infection during pregnancy, make sure to treat it timely. Otherwise, the threats and risks would be increased.

6. Obesity

It is quite normal for pregnant women to gain weight due to increased appetite, and hormonal changes.

Three Main Symptoms of Lochia

Symptoms of Lochia

The symptoms of postpartum bleeding cannot be neglected. The most common symptoms of post-natal bleeding are anemia, fever, and heavy bleeding. If you have witnessed some symptoms, immediately call your doctor for help. Let us have a look at some of the symptoms of postnatal bleeding.

1. Uncontrolled Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is quite common after delivery. But if this bleeding goes beyond expectations, it becomes a matter of concern. Hence, if you are experiencing heavy bleeding, make sure to consult your doctor at the earliest.

2. Decreased Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure fluctuates after childbirth. But if it leads to a sudden reduction in blood pressure, then it can be a matter of concern. Dipping in blood pressure is not a good sign after childbirth as during this time the body is so sensitive and might not handle these dips in the blood pressure.

3. Vaginal Swelling

Vaginal swelling can also be a symptom of postpartum bleeding. Swelling in the vaginal area is common after delivery but if it stays for too long, call your doctor for help.

How Long Does Lochia Last?

The lasting cycle of lochia varies from person to person but on average it stays for up to 6 to 10 weeks. However, it can go worse in the initial 10 days of delivery.

How to Manage Bleeding After Delivery?

There are ample treatment options for postpartum bleeding but this can be decided by your doctor in a better way. Below are some of the most common treatment options for postnatal bleeding.

  • Medications to help your uterus contract.
  • Gentle massage in the uterus area.
  • Surgical removal of the uterus in rate cases.

When Should You Consider Seeing a Doctor?

When Should You Consider Seeing a Doctor

You should consider seeing a doctor when you are suffering from the following signs.

  • Blurred vision
  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • Passing several blood clots in a day

[Read : When Will My Periods Return After Having A Baby?]


1. What is Normal Lochia Postpartum?

Lochia postpartum is a stage when a woman discharges blood just like that of menstrual blood with the same stale smell. Bleeding postpartum is dark red after the first 3 days of delivery. However, moving on to the tenth day, the discharge will seem to be waterier and browner.

2. How Do I Know if it’s Lochia or My Period?

Lochia should not be confused with your actual period. Lochia is mainly whitish creamy in color and the main difference between this type of bleeding and the actual period is that, unlike your period, lochia will be watery and lighter.

3. Can You Get Pregnant While Lochia?

It is possible to get pregnant before your first postpartum period. This can occur as soon as 4 weeks after giving birth or as late as 24 weeks after the baby’s arrival.

Read Also: Postpartum Hemorrhage: Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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