Blood loss after childbirth

After giving birth, it is completely normal to lose some blood for a while. Don’t be alarmed if you lose a lot of blood! This is extremely normal. In most cases, the blood loss can be compared to a very heavy menstruation. This blood loss is also called bleeding. The average duration of bleeding is 4 to 6 weeks.

How does blood loss occur after childbirth?

Blood loss after childbirth is very normal. After childbirth, the uterine lining is shed. This is done in the same way as with menstruation.

In most cases, the blood loss is heaviest just after delivery. The blood loss consists of red blood clots, white blood cells and pieces of uterine lining. There may be large clots, especially in the first days. You don’t have to be alarmed by this! It is actually good that your body does this. The clots are often bright red in color at first. Later the color will become brownish, and eventually you will lose yellowish or transparent mucus. The real blood loss often lasts about 3 weeks. After that, you will mainly lose mucus.


In the first days after your delivery, the maternity nurse will check the blood loss daily. She will then determine whether the blood loss is normal and whether there are no infections. If you have any questions about blood loss, it is wise to ask the maternity nurse immediately. She can answer most questions for you and, if necessary, contact the midwife for you. This saves a lot of uncertainty! After all, you can use your energy better now.

When is the blood loss abnormal?

In general, you can say that bleeding after pregnancy is abnormal if it is very heavy, lasts a long time, and if it increases instead of decreases. Even if you are still losing frequent blood after 6 weeks, this is an abnormal situation. In all of the above cases, it is advisable to contact the midwife or GP. Of course, you may be taking blood thinners. Then it is relatively common for you to suffer from a lot of blood loss after giving birth. In that case, always report it to your midwife or doctor. There are a number of causes for abnormal bleeding.

The wound caused by cutting or tearing during childbirth is not sufficiently sutured

If this is the case, the stitches will have to be removed. The wound needs to be re-sutured.

Part of the placenta is left behind

If part of the placenta remains after delivery, it is important that it is removed. This is done in the hospital by a gynecologist. The treatment is performed with an epidural injection or under general anesthesia.

The uterus does not contract sufficiently

After delivery, the uterus should contract again. However, in some cases this does not happen automatically. This can be remedied with medication. This is a course of 2 or 3 days that stimulates the contraction of the uterus.

Can you do something yourself to reduce blood loss?

If there is abnormal bleeding, unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it. In the vast majority of cases, there is a medical cause behind it that you cannot simply remedy yourself. So don’t feel guilty about this! The only thing you can do is breastfeed (if possible). This causes the uterus to contract faster and become smaller, which stops blood loss more quickly.